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Product Value in B2B Software

March 24, 2022

3 minute read

In a recent post, Janna talked about how to determine and position product value, including the many different ways to satisfy user and customer needs in the realm of B2B software:

  • Saving money
  • Saving time
  • Reducing pain and friction (in workflows or communication)
  • Doing one’s job better (more efficiently, transparently, stylishly, etc.)
  • Looking awesome among teammates and in front of the boss

While it may not be obvious at first blush, there is a recurring theme across all these value paths: productivity.

The highest form of leverage that B2B software can offer to an enterprise is productivity. An improved ability to effectively and efficiently run the business is the intended outcome of all B2B software purchases. And running the business could manifest as any number of workflows, across any number of personas, involving any number of tools. So where does one begin?

As always, research is the ideal route, but we need to scope down the problem space from something as broad as enterprise productivity. In this post we identify an emerging organizational shift that product managers building B2B software should be aware of; more and more companies are becoming aware that team-level (vs individual-level) productivity is the real point of leverage. The team (vs a user in isolation) has become the atomic unit in an enterprise, and there is tremendous product opportunity in enabling intra-team and inter-team collaboration. An example of intra-team collaboration would be a product pod consisting of a PM, UX designer, and an engineer reviewing wireframes as part of a scoping discussion, while an example of an inter-team would be a product pod and marketing team coordinating on a blog post that includes a recorded product demo.

When conducting research into potential new product opportunities for your B2B software, consider not only your core user but also adjacent personas. Power users don’t operate in a vacuum; for every creator and champion heavily using your product, there is a consumer and beneficiary also being pulled into your ecosystem. In fact, this adjacent user may not even be part of the org chart at your customer, but they are part of the workflow that spans the extended enterprise (think contractors, partners, integrators).

As a product builder in B2B software, identifying points of intersection between core-user friction and team-level collaboration can turn up opportunities for enterprise-wide value. And such problems to dive into and innovate around are great items to put on a roadmap once you’ve ditched the timeline view.

If embarking on an exploration around team-level productivity, one thing to keep in mind is an inherent tension between user-perceived vs buyer-perceived product value in the realm of B2B software. This is a longer topic for a future post, but trends like the decentralization of purchase decisions, usability expectations of enterprise software, and product-led growth all point to a future where users wield more power in the ultimate purchase decision.

If you’re interested in learning more about what ProdPad has to offer with regards to synthesizing feedback and lean roadmapping, please check out the ProdPad Sandbox, a pre-loaded product management setup where you can see ProdPad in action at your own pace.

And if you enjoyed this guest post from our former and future webinar collaborator Ibrahim Bashir, you can read more of his writings here, as well as sign up for his upcoming cohort-based course on scaling B2B products here

Multi-Product Plays in B2B SaaS

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