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What Your Customers Want

The majority of companies developing B2B products (products sold to businesses rather than consumers) are wasting their precious R&D budget on developing products that their customers don’t want.

Research shows that only 5%1 to 25%2 of new products are successful in the marketplace. Where else in your business would you accept a success rate this poor? Is there room for improvement? You bet.

Amazingly, you only need3 to conduct 6 to 10 discovery interviews to reveal the needs of your market. Discovery interviews are a simple and effective tool used by the most successful B2B product companies including DuPont, John Deere, ITW companies and more.

Discovery Interviews are used right in the middle of the Fuzzy Front End of the new product development process before the big money in product development is spent.

What are discovery interviews?

Discovery Interviews are a Voice of the Customer (VOC) tool, and the most effective VOC tool for B2B products.

Discovery Interviews are a structured interview technique developed by Dan Adams at AIM. Using a properly structured interview process in a one-off interview arrangement, a series of interviews are conducted with 6 to 10 important targets/clients in your new product market segment. During the the interview process your customers’ problems with current products in the market segment are teased out and their needs are precisely identified.

From the interview results it is relatively straightforward to evaluate and rank the 10 or so most important problems that this group of customers face. You now have the most critical needs of this market segment from just a small sample of interviews.

Dan Adams’ process is designed to be implemented by members of your own Technical and Sales/Marketing teams. The interview techniques are straightforward and anyone can be trained to use the them effectively. Software tools are also available to help facilitate interview structure planning, and information collection and documentation.

What makes great discovery interviews?

They keys to conducting great discovery interviews are organisation and training.
Ideal discovery interviews are very structured and the attendee roles or moderator, note taker and observer are clearly defined.
Great listening and probing skills are essential as well.

Concentrated B2B markets and Discovery Interviews are a dream match. Interviewing customers from concentrated B2B markets increases the effectiveness of Discovery interviews in precisely pinpointing what your new products should be.

Want more?

The Discovery Interview is the cornerstone of AIM’s New Product Development Blueprinting process that we use at Bayly. If you are interested in how discovery interviews fit within the new product blueprinting process, download our Ebook here.

You can contact Mark Bayly on +61 3 9413 9000 or send him an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more on this vital tool and the New Product Development Blueprinting process.

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1. Strategyn, “Innovation Trade Record Study”, 2014
2. Cooper, RG, “Winning at new products”, 3rd Ed, page 11
3. Adams, D, “New Product Blueprinting, the handbook for B2B Organic Growth”


New Product Blueprinting, Dan Adams

Blueprinter software Discovery Meeting tool


Bayly ebook, more information here