For the product management person its not only necessary to understand the product that they have, the narrow market niche that they are focusing on , the benefits the client will get and other issues.
In the B2B buying process there are the technical people involved – like the CIO and his team or the CTO and her team or the Manufacturing head and the team. Now all the these teams have their own set of gate-keepers and number crunchers. I have earlier spoken about how the existing “infrastructure” needs to be in place for your your solution to get in place.
In addition to the “infrastructure” the financial people need to figure out the implications to their “cashflow” or “profits” with the new solution and then there are the procurement guys who like to get every vendor on the same level so that they can negotiate and get the lowest possible price.
In addition to all this if the CIO is not “powerful” in the political dynamics of the organization then she won’t be able to push your solution through the management committee. In the buying decision, people today do their research more than 60% of the way before they even interact with a sales person of the selling organisation. Which means as a product management person you should create content which can help the CIO move the technology proposal through the management committee in advance.
Similarly today technology is getting more and more pervasive. So even customer service and marketing are getting things like AI involved. So its no longer about just the CIO/CTO. You now have to prepare content which can be consumed by these folks also.
Unlike a product manager of a consumer goods company, for a B2B company, the role becomes more complex because decision making is more collective in nature and therefore you should be able to cover all the personas involved.
Till next time then