One question that keeps coming up in my Office Hours is around testing new product ideas with customers, in a B2B context.
Sometimes in B2B you have better access to customers, because the company has a closer relationship with them than a B2C company typically would. Unfortunately, in a sales-led organization, the sales team is often wary of providing access to their book, either because they’re territorial or because they’re worried about damaging a sale.
There is no easy answer to this challenge, but some things to try include:
Persuade Sales that if they help you, you’ll bring them more/easier/bigger sales.
Talk to Customer Success about what they’re seeing and if they could arrange a call with a couple folks. Best case, create a Customer Advisory Board for ongoing access.
If this is a show stopping problem, then it’s time to talk to leadership about how the sales-led culture is impacting product growth and development, and that your bets are going to be far riskier absent proper data. I don’t consider this tattling, so much as addressing a core conflict in the demands from executive leadership so that it can be mitigated.
Finally, find people in your target segment who are not (yet!) customers. You’ll have to incentivize them, but you can likely find some folks willing to look at a prototype and answer some questions.
If you still need to talk through this challenge, I'd love to talk with you! Feel free to sign up for one of my 75-minute "power hours" so we can deep dive.