Lack of or weak research leads to bad decision making. In-depth research interviews are key to unlocking invaluable insights from your target business audience, leading to good product decisions. Here are 5 reasons why B2B software companies should prioritize research interviews:
- Enterprise software spending is increasing.
This year, U.S. companies are slated to spend more than $460B on enterprise software. Start-ups and Fortune 500s alike rely on software to power efficiency across every part of their business, from payments to human resources and business intelligence. IT decision-makers at small start-ups will spend up to $300k per year on software, and well into the millions at medium-sized companies, while the big enterprises are expected to invest tens of millions. Respondent gives you access to these decision-makers so you can capitalize on their insight.
2. Businesses want specialized solutions.
Enterprise software products are becoming increasingly specialized. Take, for example, the HR category: You have Lattice, a goal-setting tool used to align teams, Culture Amp, which has mastered the employee engagement survey, and Gusto to handle all payroll. Software start-ups are finding their niche, designing highly specialized products that serve very specific needs. By focusing on building one tool exceptionally well, they expect to gain a higher market share in these narrower markets. Understanding the target users of these specialized tools will be an integral part of building products that are loved.
3. Competition is mounting.
Entry-level and mid-market enterprise software companies continue to gain competitive ground against incumbents like IBM, SAP, and Microsoft. The work-flow technology incumbents planted in businesses decades ago have since become antiquated and hard to use, causing a wave of frustrated employees to desire — and start designing — more user-friendly products and experiences. The incumbents are retaliating by investing heavily in R&D. Understanding why teams prefer one solution over another can be nuanced and uncovering why can lead to the invention of groundbreaking products. Access to fast, high-quality research interviews helps research and product teams uncover these nuances faster and more often.
4. Innovation stakes are high.
In order to win in today’s digital landscape, enterprise software companies need to innovate with agility and speed. Users are putting an increasing amount of pressure on enterprise software companies to consumerize their solutions. This means building enterprise solutions that are as easy to use as Uber. (Product-led companies like Slack and Intercom have done this well.) To power smart innovation at B2B companies, everyone in the organization, from marketing and sales to product and engineering, needs access to in-depth interviews so they can constantly learn and innovate.
5. Research interviews reduce bad product decisions.
Reducing the risk of bad product decisions hinges on quality research and is essential to managing product debt. With product teams shipping products faster, and engineering teams committing code faster, research outcomes are expected faster now, too. Companies that build a research culture, where all product decisions are backed by research, build products that resonate with their users. Over time, this research culture forms the foundation of higher-quality decision making throughout an entire organization.