Enterprise (B2B) sales teams deal with the world one account at a time; product managers deal with whole customer segments. This naturally creates some friction, which good companies anticipate and manage.
Talking generically about ‘customers’ or ‘users’ can generate lots of confusion, especially in B2B or B2B2C situations. We can be more precise by saying doctors, or shoppers, or data analysts, or whatever we really mean.
The revenue side of the house often believes that incremental budgets – or major deals – all that it takes to add new items at the top of the development queue. Like ordering a custom-built sandwich at the deli counter…
The “No Head of Product Syndrome” is where product managers are scattered throughout a complex organization, but lack an executive-level product leader who can to create conditions for success: drive good hiring/mentoring, create bits of semi-standard processes, and set achievable role/job expectations.
Technical Build versus Buy decisions should be straightforward, but we need development collaboration and motivation to get these right. What emotional barriers do we hit, and how do we address them? And how do we become better students of organizational behavior?
Product managers must be part of the (enterprise) selling process. But selling and learning are hard to do at the same time with the same customer. How do we create separate learning opportunities with a wide range of customers and prospects to deeply understanding markets, segments and fundamental needs?
Various product management schools, workshops and certificate programs strongly suggest that attendees will get jobs as product managers. Success metrics seem critical here, but are notably missing. “Of the people who’s already spent thousands of their own dollars on this course, how many are now working as product managers…?”