MVP in B2B

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) has become an enormously popular way of releasing web applications. The idea is to get a product that works in front of users quickly and cheaply, watch them interact with it and constantly iterate and improve.  In some cases developers will release changes to the product every day, if not multiple times a day. This is also often referred to as an "agile" development environment. This approach is distinct from the old fashioned, "waterfall" approach where changes to the product are planned and implemented less frequently in well planned batches.

In a b2c environment, MVP works extremely well because a developer can release features and iterate based on data/learnings that they capture by watching thousands of users interacting with their code.

In a b2b environment, though, often this isn't so easy.  At the outset, there may only be one or two individuals using the product so good data and learnings may not be as easy to capture.  As a result, it's critical that when b2b organizations use an MVP approach they be super disciplined about setting up formal feedback loops where feedback is filtered quickly and regularly back to their product team. Most clients should support this as they’ll get to see much of what they recommend being built into products rapidly.  But it’s important to get buy-in on participation in the feedback loop from the early adopters.  This may be a new concept for them as most of their current software vendors are more than likely using the ‘waterfall’ approach.

Also, given the pace of change in an agile development process, it's important that the client-facing team is aware of the more significant product changes that are being made.  Often, an agile, MVP driven environment can lead to such fast paced change that b2b salespeople aren’t aware of the significant features or changes being released.  And an awareness of the substance and timing of product changes can be an excellent way to speed up deal movement and client adoption.