Summary / TL;DR: The VP Product had a great, but junior, product management team and used us to lay the groundwork and ready the customers for deeper, more meaningful, product feature, offer and roadmap discussions.
In this engagement, we were retained by the Vice President of Product Management for a B2B software company that provided solutions for Employee Benefits Administration. Our direct contact had a somewhat junior product management team. As a result, there was a level of frustration that the product management team didn’t have the foundation needed to have meaningful product roadmap discussions with their customers.
To remedy this, the Vice President of Product Management asked us to come in and put in place a regular, recurring Win / Loss program. We spoke not only to Loss prospects but also to Won customers to understand their assessment of the vendor’s whole offer. Not least of which included getting feedback on issues and strengths within the whole offer, as well as laying the groundwork for his Product Managers to be able to have meaningful and deep conversations with the end customer about feature functions, product roadmaps and the overall direction of the solution set.
This is quite a common engagement partner for us. Oftentimes, we are brought in to have that initial independent conversation with the end customer so we can illuminate areas of strength and identify areas of weakness. But, in each interview, we also ask if the customer would be willing to have a secondary interview with one of the Subject Matter Experts at the customer or vendor that we’re representing. Frequently, we find customers are much more willing to do that after the initial interview. That doesn’t come with the backdrop of a sales call.