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Derisk New Products | By Paul Miklautsch

How to Derisk New Products and Services

According to the National Center for Middle Market in May 2020, 84% of executives are expecting pain with 51% state “ongoing uncertainty” is the most difficult aspect of the current environment. Now is the time to be laser focused on your customers so you can better connect your products and services to their needs.

For middle market manufacturers, their behaviors tend to be product focused with many of new ideas coming from engineering and manufacturing teams. The belief is that internal teams know what customers want, but often times they miss the mark. The majority of these products never reach their full potential and deliver the financial return once thought achievable. 

In contrast, a customer centric approach places the customer at the center of your business, allowing them to guide your activities around solving their needs and problems. By having the customer as the focal point, it will align product development, marketing communication, and sales teams strategies. 

Product Development will be able to:

  • Understand strengths and weaknesses of products and competitors
  • Add new features that solve customers’ problems
  • Create a roadmap of new products or services that customers value
  • Define where to make technology investments

Marketing will be able to:

  • Clarify company and product value propositions
  • Position products and services to target customer segments
  • Align messaging to solve customers’ pain

Sales will be able to:

  • Align customer desired outcomes to solutions
  • Connect the sales process to how customers want to buy

The Product, Market, Sales triangle is a lens to evaluate the major customer facing areas of a business.

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Summary

The customer should be the lens that shifts organizational behavior to help customers achieve their outcomes. By aligning activities to solving problems for customers, new products will have the right feature sets, communicating will use language from the customer, and sales activities will align to how the customer wants to buy.  

At Start Something Bold, a front end innovation firm, we work alongside clients to help ensure the right product and service is delivered to the market.  To learn more about applying a customer driven approach to your business, contact us to discuss your unique business needs.

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By Paul Miklautsch - June 02, 2020

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