Today companies worldwide are focused on trying to develop new products, services and solutions to meet both customers needs and drive business growth.
Unfortunately, in some instances, their innovation efforts are not successful. This is because companies are unaware they are making one or both of the following errors:
- Not making sufficient effort to understand and deliver to market/customer needs (Recent studies have shown that this is the number 1 reason why start-ups fail!)
- Undertaking customer research but focusing on making broad correlations/assumptions such as “X percentage of customers say they want a product/service offering or feature.”
Instead, B2B product and service providers should focus on what customers want to accomplish. In other words, the JOBS TO BE DONE.
What is a “job to be done”?
A job is what business buyers ultimately seek to accomplish in a particular circumstance. This could be:
- Goals they are trying to achieve
- Tasks and or activities they are trying to complete
- Problems they are trying to resolve
- Situations they wish to avoid
Understanding this context is critical when creating products, services or solutions that business buyers want to purchase!
The 3 jobs business buyers want done
Business buyers ‘hire’ your company’s products or services to get three kinds of jobs done:
1. Functional jobs
The task the customer wants to achieve such as cutting costs, gaining market share, increasing collaboration.
2. Social jobs
The way in which business buyers want to be perceived by their peers, management and/or leaders within their industry.
3. Emotional jobs
How they want to feel such as feeling confident, certain or validated.
By understanding all three jobs that business buyers seek to get done, your company will be able to create a value proposition that truly resonates with your buyers.
For start-ups and SMEs that are looking to obtain large corporate or government clients, having this depth of understanding will give you the edge to compete and win against your larger, ‘big name’ competitors.
How to identify and understand the jobs to be done
To gain an in-depth understanding of business customer needs around the outcomes they are trying to achieve (ie jobs to be done), we suggest you do the following:
Review any existing customer research you may have
What insights, if any, does it reveal about jobs buyers want to be done?
Make a list of companies that buy your solution. Identify the buyers within these companies
Consider non-customers that don’t use your solution as they often can be a sourced of identifying unmet or underserved customer needs
Conduct in-depth interviews and strategic customer reviews to gain an understanding of the following:
- What are the jobs that need to be done?
- What are the key tasks in getting a job done?
- The context in which they may struggle with executing a job
- What does success look like both for the business buyer as well as the company when the jobs have been completed?
By gaining insights, into these areas, you will be able to identify opportunities to both improve your current product and service offerings as well as potentially develop new ones. Both of which will put your company closer to achieving its business growth objectives.
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About Michael Haynes
B2B Customer Acquisition & Growth Strategy Consultant
For over 20 years, Michael has worked with micro-businesses to large corporates alike across Australia and Canada, developing and implementing business growth strategies and programs.