Want to improve your chances of success in your product development, and make products that customers stick around for?
Let’s take a step back and review the facts and stats about the challenge —
facts and stats
Is it such a problem? ‘Only 40% of new products in development make it to market, with only 60% of those that get to market generating revenue’ (Marketing Research Association)
What about the context of our b2b customers? ‘65% of business leaders say that their decision making has become even more complex’ (Gartner)
What’s holding companies back?‘the biggest problem companies encounter when they launch a new product is lack of preparation’ (Harvard Business School)
Let’s zoom out to think about the problem, by considering – what’s the point of b2b companies?
This is often where someone pipes up and says, “To make money, stupid.”
Why do b2b companies exist?
B2b companies exist to make their customers more successful. So, what does success look like for customers?
This is often where someone pipes up again, and says, “To make money, stupid.”
We speak in depth with the customers of b2b services across the world, across markets, and functions and roles. We know that success is more than making money.
What we’re hearing in our customer interviews is that b2b customers are increasingly expected to solve the complex, and they are expected to solve it fast.
“I feel like I’m dealing with a 3d puzzle that changes all the time.”
source Substribe b2b customer interview, May 2021
We’ve interviewed hundreds of b2b customers and the mood music is the same across industry, geography and persona.
The higher up the ranks we go, the more isolating the roles are.
As an aside, this is why community and networks are increasingly important.
the problem with traditional product development
Seen through the customer lens, waiting around for a neatly planned product development cycle with a start, middle and end really sucks.
This linear approach to product development isn’t geared to help the customer be more successful as their world continues to change.
The linear approach solves a problem when the idea was formed, and by the time it launches, that problem is in the rear view mirror.
So long, neat product idea!
changing the approach to innovation
When we hear problems, we use the ‘how might we’ approach to rephrase them as opportunities, so that we can channel our curiosity.
HMW be prepared for product launch… what if the preparation for your new product is centred around the people you want to help be more successful – that’s internal teams as well as customers – and you understand how their needs and their experience of your product changes over time?
HMW think differently about product development …what if you continually innovate, engaging internal and customer teams?
HMW help our customers be more successful …what if you tune into your customers regularly, and with intent, using this to discover and rediscover how they are defining success for them, their teams, and their customers?
continual innovation is the answer
The world of your b2b customer is not staying still. Use systematic methods to get into lockstep with your customers, crafting your service to deliver value continually and don’t let up. You’ll be in this for the long haul if you get this right.