Lean B2B - B2B Customer Development

Let's face it...

Applying The Lean Startup in a Corporate environment is not easy.

Finding early adopters, building credibility, reaching decision-makers, building a Minimum Viable Product, marking progress... Lean B2B is a framework used by thousands of entrepreneurs to focus, innovate and find traction in the enterprise. No filler, just actionable advice.

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Lean B2B
Lean B2B

Lean B2B logo

Packed with more than 20 case studies and insights from over a hundred entrepreneurs including the founders of Taleo, Vontu and the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, Lean B2B is used by thousands of innovators around the world to quickly find traction in the enterprise.

The Lean B2B Methodology

Finding and validating business opportunities in mid to large businesses will overwhelm the most focused entrepreneurs. Not only will they need to manage their team and build a great product, they will also need to develop domain expertise, grow a network of influencers, find the decision-makers and understand the risks and expectations. Lean B2B helps entrepreneurs focus on the right things each step of the way to increase their odds of success (and keep their sanity).

Some of the key things you'll learn:

  1. How to assess the business and market potential of opportunities to find the right opportunity for you team
  2. How to find early adopters, quickly establish credibility and convince business stakeholders to work with you
  3. How to find and prioritize business problems in corporations and identify the stakeholders with the power to influence a purchase decision
  4. How to create a minimum viable product and a compelling offer, validate a solution and evaluate whether your team have found product-market fit
  5. How to identify and avoid common challenges faced by entrepreneurs and learn ninja techniques to speed up product-market validation

Selected Content

  • The Lean B2B Framework
    Page 41. The Lean B2B Framework.
  • Creating a Money Map
    Page 53. Creating a Money Map.
  • ow to motivate early adopters in the early days
    Page 82. How to motivate early adopters in the early days.
  • Problems that matter (and problems that don't...)
    Page 92. Problems that matter (and problems that don't...).
  • The 3 things your MVP should say about your startup
    Page 148. The 3 things your MVP should say about your startup.
  • Spotfire case study on speeding up product-market validation
    Page 205. Spotfire case study on speeding up product-market validation.

Lean B2B logo

"The book will pay itself off in the first couple of pages!"
- Ben Sardella, Co-Founder, Datanyze


Lean B2B is definitively one of the most inspiring books I have read so far covering the B2B market. This is a must read for every B2B entrepreneur, Saas creator or consultant and business school student. It's the kind of book you don't read once, you go back to it on a regular basis.

Carmen Gerea, CEO & Co-founder, UsabilityChefs

Probably the most slept on book in the Lean startup market right now.... There is no sugarcoating here. Garbugli tells you exactly what needs to happen and how to make it happen...literally holds your hand and spells it out. I was really impressed with the overall depth and advice presented. There is a lack of broad and vague generalized answers which is common in similar startup books and that is very refreshing. Instead you will find specific actionable steps laid out for you to tackle. If you're a victim of ''paralysis by analysis'' or simply don't know where to begin when it comes to starting your own B2B....you need to read this end of story. A hidden gem!!

AJ, B2B Entrepreneur

Having read most of the classic books on Lean Startup (Eric Ries, Steve Blank, Alex Osterwalder, Ash Maurya, Cindy Alvarez, etc.), finding "Lean B2B" and absorbing its content has been essential to understand and/or confirm (since I’ve worked in a large corporate myself) what the differences in the B2B space is.

Daniel Almodovar, Innovation Partner, Altran

In my humble opinion this book is one of the best out there in the lean entrepreneurship constellation. Thoroughly written, this is more a 'how book' rather than 'what book' packed with examples and case studies.

Dan T., B2B Entrepreneur

Garbugli breaks down the processes and steps needed to succeed as a B2B start-up. The lessons, tips, questions, experiences were incredibly valuable and the case studies demonstrate how other start-ups have pivoted to succeed.

Ian Chalmers, Principal, Pivot & Pivot Health

I wish I could go back in time and read the book two, three or even four years ago. It would have spared me a lot of things and would have taught me lessons that I had to learn myself the hard way. But even now, I have the book in my office on my desk at all times. It is not just a book that you read once, but a book that I regularly go back to.

Jonathan Gebauer, Founder, exploreB2B

Lean B2B nails the key to being nimble and iterative in the complex, drawn-out world of B2B entrepreneurship: relationships. It captures how I've been running my own Lean B2B practice for years and makes it accessible to anyone.

Brian Gladstein, CEO and Founder, Explorics

Lean B2B is the definitive guide for any B2B entrepreneur. This complete collection of stories and experiences is the perfect companion resource as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey. The book will pay itself off in the first couple of pages!

Ben Sardella, Co-Founder, Datanyze

I read this book with my two co-founders during our first year of business. Being a technical entrepreneur, it's very easy to get lost in early customer conversations since there are so many pitfalls. Lean B2B gives and excellent framework for navigating these early conversations, especially when you have no experience building a business from scratch. Our team especially loved the bit in the book about segmenting your buyer personas into technical, experience, and ROI buyers... but that's just one of many golden nuggets in here. If you're building a B2B software company, I would highly recommend reading this book before you write a line of code!

Zakir Hemraj, VP Product Development, Loopio

I learned B2B the hard way, making mistakes following B2C tactics tweaking them to make them work in B2B.

All these lessons were in the book. I could have just read this book and saved myself months of runway and immeasurable frustration and anxiety.

Dillon Forrest, B2B Entrepreneur

I'm clearly a better entrepreneur after reading this book.

Nicolas Cliche, Consultant & Entrepreneur

It's the kind of book I regret not having read before wasting months of work. It does not tell you how to scale and how to conduct business after product validation, but if you are still at the customer development phase, read it now!

Briac Guibert, Entrepreneur and Startup Advisor

The book I read of which I have learned the most.

Étienne Thouin, Founder and CTO, SQLNext Software

Read this book before you schedule even one more meeting about your startup.

Jeffrey L. Cohen, Co-Author of The B2B Social Media Book and Distinguished Lecturer at Ball State University

The lines between B2B and B2C may be blurring, but they are lines none-the-less. Successfully applying lean principles to B2B product development is a challenge, especially for entrepreneurs lacking insider enterprise or lean experience. Lean B2B is an insightful guide to overcoming these unique challenges and tapping into a multi-billion dollar market for enterprise solutions.

D. Wayne McIntyre, Founder & CEO, Psykler

Lean B2B is a must-read to understand one of the most under addressed market opportunity by Start Ups : B2B. "Enterprises can't innovate like startups and that's a major opportunity for entrepreneurs". Lean B2B gives the keys to evaluate and start your B2B business, from how to choose your market, your co-founders, validate your product, prepare your pitch and win clients. Very Insightful.

Wandrille Pruvot, Chief Revenue Officer, Art of Click

Garbugli finds the sweet spot between the excitement and hard work involved in a start-up and the economic attractiveness of selling a product or solution to businesses that need what you are selling. In a clear and well-written style, refreshingly free of jargon, this book leads you through the logical steps that can help you discover if there really is a market fit for your product and, if there is, how you can make the most of that opportunity.

Steven Chiu, Co-Founder, of Zhaopin and Hstry

This book is essential reading for would-be entrepreneurs who face the daunting task of entering B2B markets.

Paul Gillin, Co-Author, Social Marketing to the Business Customer

Lean B2B is filled with rock-solid advice for technology entrepreneurs who want a rapid-growth trajectory. Read it to increase your certainty and your success rate.

Jill Konrath, Author of AGILE SELLING and Selling to Big Companies

Lean B2B lays out a solid framework to uncover the problems that are important to potential customers as startups march towards a viable product-market fit. Readers will come away with a deep understanding of how to find their prospects' problems, a laser-focused value proposition, and a solid foundation for their marketing teams to create compelling content that fuels your startup’s revenue pipeline.

Robert Phillips, SVP Marketing, Kapost

About The Author

Étienne Garbugli
Entrepreneur, Researcher & Author

Etienne GarbugliEtienne works at the intersection of Technology, Product Design and Marketing. He's a 2-time Startup Founder (Flagback and HireVoice), a 4-time entrepreneur and a recognized UX research expert.

Over the last ten years, he has validated no less than 25 businesses for clients and personal projects, met hundreds of entrepreneurs, ran countless tests, and tried all existing methodologies to learn how to cheaply validate business ideas.

Etienne is a Product Design & Marketing Consultant currently travelling the world. He is also a board member of Entreprise SaaS Accelerator Venturetec.

The Venturetec accelerator program uses the Lean B2B methodology.

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