B2B Product and Sales Partnership
Product managers who are in the B2B space have their work cut out for them. B2B product delivery is complex. There is very little wiggle room to test a product concept and get direct user feedback. Products that are not of a "one size fits all". There are specific nuances across countries and industries. Companies selling into the B2B space have specialised sales managers who have domain knowledge and insights into how these companies operate - who their customers are, how they buy, how they in-turn sell their products and grow their business. Building a partnership with sales will enable better understanding of what problems needs solving and in turn influence the product design. Knowing your role and power of influence with the sales team is critical for win-win outcomes. Product plays the role of the manufacturer (the guy in the kitchen who cooks all the great food for everyone), the sales folks bring in the diners.
B2B (business-to-business) refers to transactions that occur between two businesses. In its most basic form, one company or business sells a product or service to another business and receives a payment. In some industries where a segment of the sales is to large companies its called enterprise sales. What makes B2B unique and complex is the nature of the relationships between the companies and the power of influence which can exist in the entire selling process. The buying company given that they are a business have complex criteria before finalising the purchase and its always not all about price. They look into aspects such as product support, product training, onboarding, system changes, product roadmap and reputation. The selling company may have its own ability to influence outcomes through its market presence, networks, supply chain, pricing, innovation path, resourcing and reputation.
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