The most difficult thing for any B2B product or service organization is to see their target-customer organizations the same way those organizations see themselves, a perspective that has nothing to do with your products or services. Organizations that make it part of their culture to consistently live in the world of their target-customer organizations are the ones that become market leaders.

Here are five principles that will help your organization become a market leader, and they begin with your product management & marketing discipline.

  1. The dynamics of your target markets have nothing to do with your organization or its products/services. Markets are what they are. The fact your organization exists has no bearing on the manner in which organizations in those markets conduct business. Get to know them for what they are.
  2. Your target customer organizations have business goals, performance metrics and work processes that support both. With or without any products, services or technologies, those organizations will run their business every day. Understand how they do it.
  3. Don’t go looking to uncover needs that support a new product idea or improvements to existing products/services. Put yourself in the shoes of an executive, a department head and people working in the trenches of the business and just uncover needs, period. Some will be relevant to what you do and some won’t. You need to know both. It’s a great way to innovate.
  4. Prioritize the impact of the needs you’ve uncovered based on their benefit to the target-customer organization, then define product requirements that create the most impactful solution. The end results will be more favorable for your customers as well as your organization.
  5. Market and sell your credibility. If you’re knowledgeable enough to uncover the needs and build the solutions, your credibility becomes your biggest strength when it comes to marketing and sales. Products, solutions, features and capabilities are simply the proof points that substantiate superior knowledge of the target customer’s business.

Until you understand who your target customers are, what they do, why they do it and what they’re trying to accomplish, nothing about your products or services is relevant. Understand the top to bottom business of your target-customer organizations from their perspective before products enter the discussion and your organization will be wildly successful!

Your Next Steps

  1. Discover how the Proficientz framework helps B2B solution providers live in their target customer’s world and deliver higher value solutions.
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