Understand your customers’ buying process

Understand your customers’ buying process

懂得你的客户的购买过程

If you want to be a bad product manager, assume that if you build a great product, getting people to buy it will not be a problem. Just figure out what needs there are in the market, design a product that meets those needs, and the money will just roll in.

如果你想成为一个糟糕的产品经理,假设你构建了一个不错的产品,那么让人去购买它将不会是一个问题。只需要勾勒出市场中有什么需要,设计一个满足这些需要的产品,那么,钱就会滚滚而来。

If you want to be a good product manager, understand your customers’ buying process and factor that in to the overall design of your product. Yes, you must have a good product in order to succeed, but a good product alone will not lead to sales success. Without understanding the process which your customers go through to evaluate and buy a product, you may be missing crucial elements in the product or in surrounding elements — everything from sales channels to product support — which will impact potential revenue.

如果你想成为一个不错的产品经理,那么就要懂得你的客户的购买过程和你的产品的总体设计中的因素。当然,你必须有一个面向成功的好的产品,但是仅有一个好的产品并不会让销售成功。缺乏对你的客户参与评估和购买产品的过程的了解,你或许在产品或者相关事情中忽视关键的元素-来自销售渠道去支持产品的一切-这将影响潜在的收益。

  • What budget is used to fund purchase of the product? Understanding where the money comes from within an organization is important because the budget for that area may be shrinking. For example, you may develop a fantastic service to help companies organize and optimize their in-person training, but if budgets for in-person training is being cut across the board, you’ll be facing an uphill battle no matter how good your offering is.

什么预算是用来购买产品的资金?要懂得组织内的钱来自哪里是重要的,因为在那个区域可能会紧缩。例如,你开发了一个非常好的服务去帮助公司组织优化他们的个人培训,但是如果对于个人培训的预算在董事会被削减了,你将面对一个艰苦的战斗,无论你提供的服务有多好。

  • Whose approval is needed for the purchase? Depending on the type of product, and the amount that the product will cost, there may be other individuals who need to approve the purchase. For companies, it is standard that a manager has a certain level of signing authority, above which the individual will need to seek his or her manager’s approval. You may have designed a product which will improve the effectiveness of a company’s marketing efforts, but the price point may be such that it requires approval by higher levels of management. Those higher levels of management may have different priorities, questions, and timelines for approving such a purchase, so understanding those approval levels and their implication is essential to build your overall value proposition.

谁的批准在购买中是必须的?依据产品的类型和将要花费的数量,将会有其他的个人去批准购买。对于一些公司,经理在签字权上有一定的级别,这是一种标准,超过后,这个个人就需要寻求他或者她的经理的批准。你或许设计了一个产品去提高公司营销事务的效率,但是这个价格点需要更高级别的管理者批准。这些高级别的管理者在批准这样一个购买上会有不同的优先级、问题和时间线,因此,对于构建你全部的价值主张,懂得这些批准级别和他们的介入必不可少的。

  • Does the purchaser have a different set of criteria than the user? Products for children are classic examples of this. Toddlers never purchase their own toys — and the purchasers (most likely parents or relatives) will have different criteria than their young users. Parents may look for criteria like durability, materials used, age appropriateness, and even country of manufacture; children may focus more on colors, shape, familiar characters, or unintended uses. (One can imagine an inner monologue of “I like this toy car because it’s black and it would let me pretend that I’m talking on a cell phone just like daddy.”) Purchase criteria need to be factored into the design, development, and marketing of a product to ensure that all elements of the product strategy align with the factors which will influence purchase.

是否有一套不同于使用者的购买标准?针对孩子的产品就是这样一个经典的例子。幼儿不会购买他们自己的玩具-这个购买者(大部分是父母或相关的人)将有不同于他们孩子的标准。父母或许会寻求这样的标准,像耐用性、所用材质、适合的年龄,甚至是生产国;孩子或许只会更多关注颜色、形状、熟悉的角色,或者偶然的使用。(一种能够描述内心独白,像“我喜欢这个玩具车,因为它是黑色的,它能够让我像爸爸一样用手机来交谈”)。购买标准需要在产品的设计、开发和营销中被考虑进去,从而确保产品战略的所有元素能够这些会影响购买的因素结合起来。

  • Are the purchasers used to making this type of a purchase? Addressing an unmet need of a customer segment who has been ignored is a ripe opportunity for product success, though it presents new challenges in executing a sale of a type which may have no precedent. Maybe you have software that will help a company with their financial reporting obligations. The users of this software and the decision to purchase may come from a Finance Department, which may have no experience evaluating this type of software. Or, you may be selling a product which is a large capital expenditure to a group which is used to deciding on smaller operational expenses, and they may be paralyzed by the prospect of a large initial investment, regardless of its long-term benefits.

是购买者用来形成的这种类型的购买吗?定位于被忽视的客户细分的未满足的需要,对于产品的成功是一种成熟的机会,尽管它在执行某类的销售上面临着新的挑战,它是没有先例的。或许你有一个软件有助于一个公司在他们的财务报表。这个软件的用户和购买的决策将来自财务部门,他们对这个软件是缺乏评估经验的。或者,你可能正在销售一个对于一个集团来说是一项大型支出的产品,它被用来决定一项较小的运营费用,他们或许被一个大型的早期投资的前景所麻痹,而不管它的长期利益。

  • Are there other decision-makers which need to be included? Many companies traditionally have grown by selling the same products to more of the same customers, and also selling new “similar” products to those same customers as well. As products branch out to new groups within existing customers or entirely new customer groups, there may be new stakeholders for which there needs to be accounting. Imagine you are a product manager at a software company which traditionally has provided products to allow individuals with an organization to perform statistical analysis. If you now plan on launching an product to facilitate enterprise data mining of customer information, there may be a whole new set of individuals involved in the purchase process — those focusing on legal, security, and privacy — whom were never a part of the purchase decision for your other products.

有其他的决策人需要被考虑到吗?许多公司传统上是通过销售同样的产品给更多的同样客户来成长的,也销售新的“类似”产品给那些相同的客户。由于产品业务拓展到新的存在的客户群体或者完全新的客户群体,那么或许就会有新的利益相关者的需要被描述出来。想象你是一个软件公司的产品经理,你们的公司传统上一直在提供产品帮助组织内的个人去执行满意分析。如果你现在计划发布一个产品去改进企业客户信息的数据挖掘,这就会有一个全新类型的个人参与到购买过程中-这将集中于法律、安全和隐私上-他们从来不是你们其它产品的购买决策的一部分。

There are a multitude of different factors which need to be accounted for when creating a product and setting it up for success. Identifying unmet market needs and meeting them is a crucial part of successful product management, but if the overall purchase process is not understood and accounted for, all of the great work which went in to developing an innovative product will be all for naught.

在创建一个产品并期望它成功的时候,会有很多不同的因素需要被说明。识别未满足的市场需要并满足它们是成功的产品管理的关键部分,但是如果整个购买过程没有被了解并说明,所有这些为创建一个革命性产品的伟大工作将都是徒劳无功的。

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