Introduction

In this article, we discuss B2B Product Management. B2B is the short form of Business-to-business. It is a trade between two businesses. It essentially means that one business entity sells its products to another company. It is in sharp contrast to what B2C stands for – in B2C or Business-to-Customer, the business sells its products to direct customers. What are B2B products? These are products that one business entity purchases from another commercial enterprise to produce or manufacture their products – it could be tools or equipment or raw materials, semi-finished products, and more.

In this article let us look at:

  1. What is B2B Product Management?
  2. How does B2B differ from B2C Product Managers?
  3. Difference between B2B and B2C

1. What is B2B Product Management?

B2B product management is all about managing B2B products and dedicated B2B product managers. In this type of product management, product managers work on products targeted at business or commercial users. Compared with B2C product managers, there are plenty of similarities between both and some remarkable differences. 

The interesting thing to note is that the product managers in both domains speak the same language but with differing dialects. To do justice to their job role, B2B product managers (PM) need to be experts in their specific industry.

For example, if a B2B product is meant for the construction industry, the PM needs to know what can facilitate construction managers to do a better job. The crux is that either the PM will come to the table with relevant knowledge or gain knowledge through hands-on experience. They need to research exhaustively and in-depth. B2B product managers need to speak to their customers more frequently, go on for site visits and keep in touch with the industry news to be updated about industry trends.

2. How does B2B differ from B2C Product Managers?

B2B versus B2C Product Management

In B2B, the number of users is quite limited. However, in B2C, the numbers are unlimited. The critical difference lays the foundation for the difference in product management in B2B versus B2C. Here are the differences between the roles of B2B and B2C product managers.

ParametersB2B Product ManagerB2C Product Manager
ExpertiseB2B managers need to be industry experts.B2C PMs need to experiment a lot to gather data about customer preference and behaviour.
FocusThe orientation is entirely towards the persona of the professional buyer.The orientation is completely towards the persona of the individual buyer.
User baseLimited. The buyer of the product is usually not the user. It is relatively narrow. Therefore personalization is one of the key focus areas here.Wide. The buyer is mostly the end-user. It is exponentially significant.
ParametersB2B Product ManagerB2C Product Manager
Key metrics or focus Customer retentionLoyaltyCustomer acquisition and costLifetime Value
User personaThe person who purchases the product is usually not the end-user. B2B product management involves dealing with decision-makers – therefore, product managers need to understand the user and decision-makers’ personas.The focus is on the age, gender, race, hobbies, interests, location, and income of the end-user
Value of businessThe sale value is usually relatively high because the product prices are usually high, and sales are in bulk.The value is comparatively less.
Marketing knowledgeB2B product managers are not expected to have detailed marketing knowledge because there is a separate team to handle that aspect.In the B2C segment, product managers need to be thorough with the latest digital marketing techniques to reach a broader customer base.

3. Difference between B2B and B2C

The entire gamut of B2B and B2C involves different ball games. It is because the intrinsic composition of the B2B and B2C differ. Here are the critical differences between B2B and B2C enterprises.

  • B2B implies a business-to-business model, while B2C stands for business-to-consumer.
  • B2B management involves selling products to commercial enterprises, while B2C sells products to end-users who are individual customers.
  • One key aspect of product management in B2B vs B2C is that if the customer or the end-user is unhappy, it will impact the business performance because it is a one-to-one relationship. Compared to this, in B2B, the association is formal, and usually, when there is a contract, the usual norm is to stick with the contract for the entire duration of the contract.
  • B2B companies need to focus on workflows, while B2C companies are focused wholly on customer satisfaction. 
  • Also, in the B2B model, companies work consistently to scale up their production, while B2C is focused on making the purchase cycle seamless.
  • B2B companies are product-centered, and B2C are customer-centric.
  • B2B companies have structured sales teams that get leads and convert them into a confirmed business. B2C companies, on the other hand, usually do not have separate sales teams.

Conclusion

Due to the underlying difference between B2B and B2C product managers, each must understand their role well before donning the cap. B2B product managers need to keep reading the latest books on b2b product management to enhance their knowledge and stay abreast of their domain.

Interested to learn all about Product Management from the best minds in the industry? Check out our Product Management Course. This 6-month-long program takes place online through live instructor-led sessions. It is the only program in India that offers the ‘Bring Your Own Product (BYOP)’ feature so that learners can build their product idea into a full-blown product, and go through an entire Product Development lifecycle. Not only this, but this is the only program in India with a curriculum that conforms to the 5i Framework. Post completion, learners receive a joint certification from the Indian Institute of Management, Indore, and Jigsaw Academy. 

Also Read

What is Agile Product Management? A Comprehensive Guide (2021)

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