If you like sub-optimizing, you’ll love using traditional voice-of-customer methods.

B2B companies have huge advantages over B2C, but they may not be obvious. After all, didn’t the same fellow who bought a rail car of soda ash also buy a can of soda pop? Nope. He changed… a lot. B2B customers are more technically savvy, objective, supplier-dependent, and can predict their needs. Careful reflection of these differences leads to different approaches.

More in article, B2B Customer Interviews: Are They Different?

The best customer interviews are exhilarating… like running without boundaries.

Isn’t a fill-in-the-blank customer questionnaire a bit… boring? If instead you keep asking, “Any other problems?”… you’ll have absolutely no idea what the customer will say next. Exhilarating? You bet. Uncomfortable? Perhaps… but only at first. With practice you’ll love it, and you’ll never go back.

More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B (page 12).

Some companies don’t launch products. They let them escape.

This is how one B2B marketer described their launch process to me. It’s much better to use a rigorous process, documented in five brief reports: Launch Plan Summary (with strategy, team, activities & results), Prospect Profile, Message Brief, Media Guide, and Launch Results. The middle three address who to tell, what to tell and how to tell.

More in article, How to Plan an Amazing B2B Product Launch (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).

Be clear on what you own and what your customers own.

Customers own “outcome” space. You own “solution” space. Don’t let them into your space… unless you want to become a contract manufacturer. Instead, enter their space to understand desired outcomes better than competitors. This lets you deliver unique value in your solutions, which is handsomely rewarded though premium pricing.

More in article, Should You Develop New Products like Steve Jobs? (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).

Maximizing shareholder value is a lovely result… but a lousy goal.

Tell me to increase shareholder value and I struggle to identify something I can do as an employee to raise earnings per share. Tell me to understand and increase customer value, and I can think of a dozen things to do, most of them actionable, measurable, and beneficial to our bottom line. Many of these I will find inspiring… as will others.

More in article, Why Maximizing Shareholder Value is a Flawed Goal (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).