The Importance of Anecdotes for B2B Businesses

If you are running a B2B business, you need to pay attention to anecdotes more than data.

Companies tend to become data oriented about their customers as they get larger. It becomes unwieldy to think about individual cases so they are summarized into statistics and trends.

This is a bad thing when a small number of customers are going to end up being the most valuable (which is the case for most B2B businesses). If, for example, you dismiss problems because “only a small number of users have it” you might miss an important insight from your best or, someday your best, customers.

This is distinctly different from B2C businesses where users have less variance in their value to the company like a social network. Those businesses, necessarily need to think about the nominal user. However, applying similar techniques and adopting a similar approach to B2B products is deeply flawed.

I borrowed some of these ideas from A Business State of Mind on the the Colossus podcast.