It was a good year for B2B content. As we reflect on 2017, we bring you a countdown of our most read articles of the year.
10. What To Read In B2B
Our “B2B Book Reviews: One-Sentence Recaps” page offers an efficient path to seeking wisdom from experts and staying on top of new trends.
We provide you with some of the best classic and recent books on B2B – and a few we don’t think are worth your time.
For example, here’s what we had to say about these books:
- Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World
Author Jill Konrath has a been a B2B sales rockstar for years, and she proves it yet again with this book.
- Blue Ocean Strategy: How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant
This book earns its status as a classic, though it could have lost 100 pages and still been great.
- Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice
You have to understand “jobs to be done” before you can adequately measure your success and prepare against disruption. See our in-depth review.
This list will provide you the opportunity to improve your B2B skills, and is continuously updated with new books to rush order or avoid like the plague.
Have a book that you want us to review? Let us know.
9. #Mrx Pro-Tip: Interview Your Competitors’ Ex-Sellers
“Running B2B Market Research? 26 Questions to Ask Sales Reps” reveals the wealth of insight you can access by interviewing former members of rival sales teams.
This piece includes key questions to help you get the right data. For example:
- What were the key selling points of the competitor’s product or service?
- Which product features were clients most interested?
- What buying criteria did clients have?
- Which features left customers uninterested or unimpressed?
- Which of the competitor’s product or service features were the most lacking?
Check out the full article for more key questions and best practices for interviewing ex-sellers to better understand your rivals.
8. “You Can’t Always Have Quant With Your Qual.”
B2B tech is a niche field. As such, it can sometimes be extremely challenging or downright impossible to get an appropriate sample for a quantitative study. Luckily, qualitative research can get the answers without relying on a mathematically irresponsible sample.
Learn how to design the right kind of study to match your needs with “You Can’t Always Have Quant With Your Qual.”
7. If You Have a Point, Make It & Other Grumpy Writing Tips
If you’re in B2B tech, chances are, your job requires you to communicate through writing at some point. Read “Write Right: Convincing Content” for the best ways to get your point across.
Marketing Manager Isabel Gautschi encourages you to mean what you say, make smooth transitions, procrastinate strategically, and say it in fewer words. She didn’t earn her editing nickname “Half-As-Long” for nothing. Check out the piece for more curmudgeonly advice for writing compelling arguments.
6. There Are No Stupid Questions, But There Sure Are Some Smart Ones
In “101 Market Research Questions,” we share some of the sharpest questions we have based studies off of for B2B tech clients. Check out the smartest questions our clients have asked us to answer over the years.
5. “This Methodology Opens Numerous Possibilities.”
“Gender Gap: A Look at 50 Tech Giants” shows us that LinkedIn ad targeting opens the door for a number of studies of the tech industry.
We took a look at the workforces of 50 large tech companies to uncover insights on the gender gap and to reveal the demographic information accessible to researchers through ad targeting.
Yep, the gender gap is still pretty gapingly wide. The good news is that researchers are not forced to wait for intermittent diversity reports to study it.
4. Disruption Red Flag: Competitors Know Your Customers’ “Jobs To Be Done” Better Than You Do
Are you missing a critical measurement of success? Find out with “Customer Insights: You Need More Than Market Segmentation Data.”
It’s essential for companies to understand “jobs to be done” in order to build solutions that truly meet their customers’ needs.
Using Clayton Christensen‘s latest book, “Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice,” we examine essential questions for product teams:
- What are target customers’ “jobs to be done”?
- Does your solution get the job done?
- Do you have the right data to measure whether or not it does?
- Do customers have a “job to be done” that no current marketplace solutions meet? If so, this is an opportunity for innovation.
3. “Don’t Just Drop the Bomb and Leave.”
It’s difficult to be the bearer of bad news, but we share our constructive approach in “How Good Researchers Give Bad News.”
Check it out to learn how we turn bad news into constructive criticism. Advice includes:
- Be direct.
- Use data to defeat fear.
- Acknowledge sample bias.
- Describe the disaster you’ve averted.
- Offer a cure.
- Remember: There was a fire before you arrived.
Good researchers know not just share devastating findings and leave. Instead, they deliver the bad news, endure the pushback, and point the client in a direction that can improve their business.
2. Keep Your Presentation From Crashing & Burning
“The Pre-Flight Checklist for Research Presentations” provides a handy way to make sure your presentation is ready to soar to success. Relevant to anyone giving a business presentation, our advice shares practical tips for keeping your audience engaged.
1. Our Ageism In Tech Data Got Your Attention
Your favorite article of this year was, “Ageism in Tech: The Silent Career Killer.”
We examined government data, a Payscale study and LinkedIn ad targeting data to research ageism in the tech industry. Spoiler alert: the tech industry is not kind to those over age 35.
Thanks For Reading!
This year has provided us the ability to continue growing as a business, expanding our client base, and provide you with quality content that is important to you. We continue to appreciate our listeners and readers and encourage them to share their terrific feedback. We look forward to sharing more research, book reviews, and exciting interviews with you in the coming year. Thank you for your support, and we wish you the happiest of New Years!
This post is brought to you by Cascade Insights.