The next big leap for the B2B product management profession will be a complete shift away from “market problems” to a focus on “customer goals.” This will be the turning point that finally takes B2B product management to the level of influence and leadership it has always aspired to in the organization. Why? Here are the three biggest reasons.
1. Customer Value is All But Guaranteed
Here’s a common scenario: Your organization invests a ton of money, time and resources building a new product that solves a legitimate customer problem, only to be met with a lukewarm reception by the market. Why? The product didn’t solve a problem that had a significant impact on the strategic business goals of your target customers.
A shift in focus from market problems to customer goals reduces the odds of that scenario to almost zero. When you focus on the business goals of your target customers from the top down, it will always, always lead you to the biggest obstacles standing in their way of success. Develop solutions that eliminate those business obstacles and success is all but guaranteed.
2. It Changes the Culture by Changing the Conversation
When the strategic business goals of your target customers become the organization’s mission, identifying and removing obstacles becomes everyone’s passion. Imagine the focus and the momentum achieved when everyone rallies behind a common view of your target customers, speaking in their vocabulary.
It would completely reshape the conversations in your product, marketing, sales, services and support organizations to a theme of customer business value. The product conversations that follow would take on a completely new meaning because of the high-fidelity business context that prefaces them.
3. Customer Success is Measurable
How many customer success stories do you currently have where the customer articulates the value of your solutions in quantifiable terms or metrics that are strategic to their organization? The answer for most solution providers is, not enough.
Customer success stories are the best marketing and sales tools – bar none. They also guarantee the highest customer retention rates possible because the value is undeniable. You’ve now earned the right, and have the leverage, to charge a premium for your solutions!
Solving customer problems of any sort is a good thing, but that’s not what the product management function gets paid to do. They get paid to deliver business solutions that ultimately make the customer organization better at what it does, from the top down.
That’s an impossible goal to meet when you have product teams working in silos, each with a focus that rarely, if ever, goes beyond uncovering the next market/user problem.
When the product management function successfully makes the shift from market problems to customer goals, they’ll deliver solutions that make groups of users measurably better at their job, which makes customer departments measurably better at their business function, which ultimately makes the customer organization better at its business.
Proficientz has the one and only product management, product marketing and sales enablement framework and training programs that are centered on customer goals and business solutions instead of market problems and products. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your product management function lead the culture change and achieve a sustainable growth model.