The desired outcome of Competency #2 to fully describe and prioritize customer requirements to focus your limited resources to develop innovative solutions in order to deliver well-differentiated products — and be able to do it faster than your competitor. Discovering, prioritizing, and using customer requirements to create clearly differentiated products must be a core competency in your organization. Your marketing and R&D professionals must have the skill and ability to develop a deep understanding of your customers. With technical barriers fleeting, this is one of your company’s few sustainable competitive advantages. Understanding customer requirements is not making a list of new features — far from it. Nor is it a casual conversation with a random customer. Understanding customer requirements is the ability to select the right customers to interview, prioritizing the high-value questions to ask, and probing in-depth to uncover unstated or unarticulated requirements. Creating clearly differentiated products rests on your ability to develop deep understanding of the problems that your customers are attempting to solve. It also means you must understand the desired outcomes that drive their behavior, while at the same time doing better and faster than your competitors !!Fundamental Questions * Is your Market Requirements Document (MRD) simply a list of features? * Do your marketing and R&D teams collaborate to discover and prioritize customer requirements? * Do your distribution channels say that your products are easy to sell? !!Starting Points * Review and then re-engineer your Market Requirements Document (MRD) so it contains only customer requirements and not a list of features. * Starting immediately, ensure that your marketing and engineering teams interview customers together. * Ensure that your marketing and appropriate R&D leaders acquire the skills, knowledge, and abilities to discover, prioritize, and utilize the [[Voice of the customer]] (VOC).