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Challenges of (Lean) Enterprise Product Management

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Enterprise software products often have expensive sales teams, long sales cycles, lumpy revenue streams, and organizational gaps between buyers and users. This creates different problems for product managers than with high velocity ecommerce or B2C tech product.

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Challenges of (Lean) Enterprise Product Management

  1. 1. Challenges of (Lean) Enterprise Product Management Rich Mironov CEO, Mironov Consulting 23 Aug 2016 1
  2. 2. • Veteran product manager/exec/strategist • Organizing product organizations • Smokejumper VP Products • What will customers pay for? • 6 startups, including as CEO/founder • “The Art of Product Management” • Founded Product Camp About Rich Mironov w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  3. 3. Conversations, market information, priorities, requirements, roadmaps, epics, user stories, backlogs, personas… product bits strategy, forecasts, commitments, roadmaps, competitive intelligence budgets, staff, targets Field input, Market feedback Segmentation, messages, benefits/features, pricing, qualification, demos… Markets & CustomersDevelopment Marketing & Sales Executives Product Management What Does a Product Manager Do? w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 3
  4. 4. w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  5. 5. • Identify pain/need (e.g. user journey, interviews) • Describe/position a possible solution • Validated learning (mock-up, smoke test, MVP) • Iterate to improve concept • Early sign-ups (crowdfund, ask for the order) • Iterate toward revenue product Consumer-Focused Lean Validation W W W. M I R O N O V . C O M
  6. 6. • User is buyer • We can talk to lots of target users (with plenty left) • We can run A/B tests with product variants, sign-up variants, pricing options, alternate messaging… • Identifying need >> building solution • User can commit ahead of shipment/value/use Often-Unstated Assumptions
  7. 7. w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m • Proposition A/B testability? • Buyer’s decision risk? • Purchase complexity? • Buyer’s success metric? • Target audience size? • Product technical risk?
  8. 8. w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m • Proposition A/B testability? • Buyer’s decision risk? • Purchase complexity? • Buyer’s success metric? • Target audience size? • Product technical risk?
  9. 9. growth hacking
  10. 10. • High-powered (expensive) sales teams • Small numbers of customers (100’s – 1000’s) • Big ticket deals, long sales cycles, lumpy revenue streams  Subjective (political) win/loss attribution Enterprise Sales
  11. 11. • Few prospects, some already in funnel • Heavily over-surveyed/over-marketed personas (corporate CIOs) • Can’t afford A/B testing with serious prospects • Sales wants to control every interaction • Real decision makers not obvious • Complex incumbent systems • Need to show hard ROI/efficacy Enterprise Validation Challenges w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  12. 12. Marketing/Sales Funnel w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m Target audience Aware Interested Evaluating Buyer Repeat Buyer • Might take years with dozens of touches • Message and product mostly stable throughout
  13. 13. • “Closing” meetings • Organized by Sales • Goal is to close • Anticipate/answer objections • Never raise new issues or ask about new needs • Listening/learning meetings • Organized by Product Management • Open-ended questions • Dig for blockers, issues, ideas, new concerns • Trial-close unbuilt products, unproven solutions Two Kinds of Customer Meetings W W W. M I R O N O V . C O M
  14. 14. • “A legacy system is any system that works.” - Bob Epstein, Sybase co-founder • Every enterprise is already (sort of) operating • Uniquely confusing assembly of old systems, mis-designed processes, inherited policies, acquired divisions, accidents • We have to displace exactly one piece Detailed Systems and Process Contexts Are Essential w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  15. 15. No corporation ever fully replaces any production system Your product fits here
  16. 16. • Bottom-up, land-and-expand, departmental • Jira, Slack, product-level marketing, recruiting, productivity, travel, events • Strategy: start with workgroups • All-or-Nothing Major Systems • ERP, finance, corporate HR, security architecture… • Evaluation process, RFP, references substitute for real trial Can Customers Directly Try/Test Your Product? W W W. M I R O N O V . C O M
  17. 17. • Mironov’s Theorem #2: whenever enterprise customers are really interested, Sales and Execs will convert “learning” into “early revenue commit” • “Beta,” “early access,” “preview,” “early adopter” • MVP is whatever we can sell to someone sooner Co-Opting “MVP” w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  18. 18. Solo/SMB accounting vs. enterprise accounting: Validation approach, provability, mean-time-to-joy? Collaborative Example #1 w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  19. 19. Single-family health insurance vs. F200 group policy: Validation approach, provability, mean-time-to-joy? Collaborative Example #2 w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  20. 20. • Every enterprise security company has the same benefit headline • “We will stop x% more bad stuff than competitors” • How do enterprise customers choose? Collaborative Example #3 w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  21. 21. • How many of your users logged in this week? • Strong predictor of Trial  Paid • Strong predictor of Paid  Renewal • Onboarding success, feature usage, problem identification • Finally, a non-vanity enterprise metric Instrumenting (Cloud) Apps w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  22. 22. Prioritizing Based on Use 25Des Draynor, Intercom: https://blog.intercom.io/prioritising-features-wholl-use-it-how-often/
  23. 23. 1. Product/market fits into complex environment 2. Dozens of in-depth interviews replace hundreds of pre-sale A/B tests 3. Intense pressure for one-off features 4. Must understand buying process/players 5. Market adoption happens slowly 6. Usage metrics typically post-sale Enterprise Lean Takeaways w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  24. 24. CONTACT Rich Mironov, CEO Mironov Consulting 233 Franklin St, Suite #308 San Francisco, CA 94102 RichMironov @RichMironov Rich@Mironov.com +1-650-315-7394

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