【译文】B2B产品管理的20条实用规则(1-4)(字多无图挺有用)

RULE1 :If product managers don’t do their jobs, the other departments will fill the void

如果产品经理不做好自己的工作,其他部门就会填补空缺

When I first worked as a product manager, I wasn’t all that sure what I was supposed to do. So I waited for everyone else—Engineering, QA, Tech Writing, Marketing, Sales Support, Customer Service—to stake their claims; then I ran around filling in the gaps. At the time, this struck me as a quite handy and pragmatic way to define my job. But it was a bad idea—and not just because I got stuck with all the stuff no one else wanted to do. As it turns out, products end up being better if someone truly owns the entire thing.

当我第一次担任产品经理时,我不太确定我应该做什么。所以我就等着其他人——工程人员、质量保证人员、技术写作人员、市场营销人员、销售支持人员、客户服务人员——来证明他们的观点;然后我跑着填补空白。当时,我觉得这是一种非常方便和实用的方式来定义我的工作。但这是个糟糕的主意——不仅仅是因为我被那些没人想做的事情困住了。事实证明,如果某人真正拥有了整个产品,那么产品最终会变得更好。

As so often happened during the course of my long career, I learned the hard way that good product managers aren’t just pragmatic, they’re proactive. They don’t just sit around waiting to see what everyone else does; they make it clear up front what their role is. And then they fill that role, rather than the gaps.

正如在我漫长的职业生涯中经常发生的那样,我从惨痛的教训中认识到,优秀的产品经理不仅务实,而且积极主动。他们不只是坐在那里等着看别人做什么;他们很清楚自己的角色是什么。然后他们填补这个角色,而不是留白。

Here are just a few of the things that can happen when product managers don’t fill their roles:

以下是一些产品经理不称职时可能发生的事情:

If you don’t provide clear and supported input to the process, the engineers will develop what they please. It’s your responsibility to talk to your customers (and your prospects), check out the competition, listen to the analysts, learn about your industry, learn about your customers’ industries, find out what your sales engineers and customer support reps are encountering, look at those RFPs, and glean market intelligence. And it’s your responsibility to translate all this “stuff” into product requirements that you communicate to your engineers.

如果你不提供清晰和可支持的输入过程,工程师将开发他们想要的。你有责任与你的客户(和你的潜在客户)交流,了解竞争,倾听分析师的意见,了解你所在的行业,了解客户所在的行业,了解销售工程师和客户支持代表遇到了什么,查看这些建议请求,收集市场情报。你有责任把所有这些“东西”转化成产品需求,然后传达给你的工程师。

Yes, there will be things that your developers come up with on their own—and a lot of it will be great. But you need to be the driving force behind what goes into that product, or you could end up with a magnificently engineered product that nobody wants or needs.

是的,你的开发人员自己会想出很多东西,而且很多都是很棒的。但是你需要成为产品背后的驱动力,否则你可能会得到一个没有人想或需要的伟大的工程产品。

If you don’t provide clear direction about your target customers, Sales will go wherever they please. Your products should be built with some particular use and customer in mind…shouldn’t they? Please let Sales know.

如果你对你的目标客户没有明确的方向,销售就会随心所欲。你的产品应该考虑到一些特殊的用途和客户,不是吗?请让销售知道。

Even if your products are entirely horizontal— every company can use a database and a word processor—products need to be targeted to specific customers and/or buyers. You may also have a product that’s better suited for certainsized companies or specific geographies. There may be good reasons to target industries as well. (If you’re selling to later adopters, for example, Get-a-Life Insurance is more apt to buy if One Life-to-Live Insurance is on your customer list.)

即使您的产品是完全水平的——每个公司都可以使用数据库和文字处理程序——产品也需要针对特定的客户和/或购买者。你也可能有更适合特定规模公司或特定地区的产品。或许也有很好的理由将目标瞄准行业。(例如,如果你要卖给后来的接受者,如果你的客户名单上有一份One Life-to-Live保险,那么Get-a-Life保险就更易于购买。)

The point is, you need to send Sales where they stand the best chance of winning. Even if you have the most generic product, you have to start somewhere. Pick that somewhere wisely, or Sales will pick it for you. And, in the short run, they’re not necessarily going to choose wisely (i.e. in support of your long-run strategy). Sure, they may make a sale or two, but it may not end up being a good thing for your product or your company.

关键是,你需要把销售送到最有可能赢的地方。即使你有最普通的产品,你也必须从某个地方开始。明智地选择它,否则销售人员会帮你挑选。而且,在短期内,他们不一定会做出明智的选择(比如支持你的长期战略)。当然,他们可能会卖出一两个,但这对你的产品或公司来说可能不是件好事。

While we’re on the subject of sales, if you don’t establish pricing, Sales will make it up. You absolutely need to listen to what Sales has to say on the matter. But it’s up to you to determine pricing that will work, that’s commensurate with the value provided, that’s not out-of-whack with the competition, and that is what the market can bear. If not, you’ll be in the wonderful world of having your sales team cannily figuring out what the prospects have in their wallets, and then establishing that as the price du jour—or just low-balling and overpromising to get the deal. (Just watch out when customers get together and compare notes.)

虽然我们谈到了销售,但如果你不确定价格,销售可以弥补。你绝对需要听听销售人员对这件事的看法。但这取决于你自己来决定价格是否合适,是否与所提供的价值相称,是否与竞争不相违背,这就是市场所能承受的。如果没有,你将处在一个美妙的世界里,你的销售团队会敏锐地发现潜在客户的钱包里有什么,然后将其确定为交易价格——或者只是低报并过度承诺以获得这笔交易。(只是要注意客户聚在一起交换意见的时候。)

If you don’t provide clear direction about target customers and the right message for them, Marcom will go wherever they please and say whatever they want. Like Sales, if you’re not providing guidance to Marcom about target customers, they will come up with it on their own. Their programs may make spectacular sense; they may not. It’s best not to leave things to chance.

如果你没有提供目标客户的清晰方向和正确的信息,公关部会想去哪儿就去哪儿,想说什么就说什么。就像销售一样,如果你不针对目标客户向传播人员提供指导,他们会自己想出办法。他们的项目可能壮丽非凡;也可能不会。最好不要听天由命。

Similarly, if Marcom doesn’t know what the product is and does, they will come up with their own story. Again, their story may make spectacular sense; it may not. Again, it’s best not to leave things to chance. I worked for a company that was teetering, very publicly, on the brink of bankruptcy. One day, I saw a banner ad for one of our services. The ad touted our financial stability. I immediately called the ad person in Marcom and pointed out that this wasn’t exactly our strong suit. “But that’s what our buyers are most interested in,” she told me.

同样的,如果传播人员不知道产品是什么,他们会想出自己的故事。同样,他们的故事可能很有意义;也可能没有。再说一次,最好不要让事情听天由命。我曾在一家濒临破产的公司工作过。有一天,我看到了我们其中一个服务的横幅广告。广告吹嘘我们的财政稳定。我立即打电话给公关部的广告人员,指出这并不是我们的强项。“但那是我们的买家最感兴趣的,”她告诉我。

I could go on about how important this rule is, but by now you get it. And you were likely well ahead of me in getting it.

我可以继续说这个规则有多重要,但是现在你明白了。你很可能比我先得到它。

Of all of the Pragmatic Marketing rules, I find this the most important. And that’s not because those who will be filling whatever void you leave are evil and must be stopped. (Hey, you may even want, need, appreciate their suggestions and advice.) But, if engineers are figuring out what’s in the product all on their lonesome… if Sales is pulling prices out of their ear on the way to a call…if Marketing is claiming that your product solves world peace when it’s really designed for warmongers—they’re all trying to do something that is neither their expertise nor their responsibility. That responsibility is yours. Take it and use it.

在所有实用的营销规则中,我认为这是最重要的。这并不是因为那些填补你留下的任何空白的人是有害的而必须被阻止。(嘿,你甚至可能想要、需要、感激他们的意见和建议。)但是,如果工程师正在基于他们的寂寞发现产品中应该有什么……如果销售人员在打电话的时候把价格拉出了他们的耳朵……如果营销是声称你的产品是真正为战争贩子设计,解决了世界和平的时候-他们都在试图做的这些,既不是他们的专业技能也不是他们的责任。这是你们的责任。拿去用吧。


RULE 2:An outside-in approach increases the likelihood of product success

由外向内的方法增加了产品成功的可能性


However brilliantly, presciently, and uniquely imagined a product is; however a product idea seemingly springs fullblown from some Medusa’s head, there is no substitute for solving a real problem experienced by real people in a way that will work for them.

How do you get real?

无论产品多么出色、多么有先见之明、多么别具一格;然而,一个产品的想法似乎是从一些美杜莎(老汤注:美杜莎,又译梅杜莎、墨杜萨,是古希腊神话中的蛇发女妖,戈耳工三姐妹之一,居住在大洋俄刻阿诺斯的彼岸与黑夜之地相接的地方。父亲为大地盖亚与海洋蓬托斯之子福耳库斯,母亲为前两者之女,福耳库斯的姊妹刻托。也是美国漫威漫画旗下超级英雄。美杜莎的主要武器是她的头发,她可以控制头发的密度,使其头发十分坚硬。她也可以控制头发增长速度,可任意延伸或铺张开来。美杜莎也可以使用意念操控头发移动,可攻击或捆绑目标。即便她的头发被剪掉,美杜莎依然可以意念操控断发进行攻击。美杜莎能与黑蝠王进行脑波交流。她通常负责解读黑蝠王的肢体语言和转达他的指令。)的头脑中蹦出来的,没有什么可以代替解决一个真正的问题,一个真正的人经历的,对他们有用的方法。

I’ve found the key is in five simple words: See how your customer works.

我发现关键在于五个简单的词:看你的客户是如何工作的。

That means looking at the current processes they have in place, at the inputs, the outputs, the end results. Who does what to whom? How do they do it? Where do they hit roadblocks? Little snags? Where does the ball drop? What happens when that happens?

这意味着要观察他们现有的流程,观察输入、输出和最终结果。谁对谁做什么?他们是怎么做到的?他们在哪里遇到障碍?是小障碍吗?球落在哪里?这种情况下会发生什么?

There are a number of ways you can do this.

有很多方法可以做到这一点。

One is to actually go in and watch. Some of my most valuable hours in the field have been spent observing how my customers get their jobs done—with or without my product.

一种是亲自去看。我在这一领域最宝贵的一些时间是用来观察我的客户是如何完成他们的工作的——不管有没有我的产品。

In days of yore, as the product manager for a mainframe financial reporting system, I spent the night at AT&T while they closed their books, just to see how they used our product.

在过去的日子里,作为一个大型财务报告系统的产品经理,我在AT&T呆了一晚,当他们在做年底账目的时候,只是为了看看他们是如何使用我们的产品的。

(老汤注:closed the books,会计用的一个说法,也就是每年年底把公司的帐目结算好,做到收支平衡,从而结束一年的帐务。)

Boy, was I exhausted after 20 hours. And, boy, did I see some areas where our product could be improved.

天啊,20个小时过去了,我累坏了。天啊,我有没有看到我们的产品有哪些地方可以改进的。

I’ve done this a few times since. And, to me, it’s the most effective way to figure out where your product needs to go. Knowing what people go through trumps your imagination, common sense, and intuition—no matter how wonderful they all are.

从那以后我已经做过几次了。对我来说,这是找出你的产品需要如何改进最有效的方法。了解人们的经历胜过你的想象力、常识和直觉——不管它们有多棒。

Another good technique is open-ended interviews that get your customers and prospects to talk about “things”: business, processes, behaviors, wish lists, druthers, etc. When I’ve used this method, I’ve taken notes and, where possible, made recordings.

另一个好方法是开放式访谈,让你的客户和潜在客户谈论“事情”:业务、流程、行为、愿望清单、选择等等。当我使用这种方法时,我做了笔记,如果可能的话,我还做了录音。

A third technique I’ve used is creating “A Day in the Life” scenarios, where you lay out the hour-by-hour activities your customer goes through and figure out where your product can be inserted to relieve some of the pain that invariably occurs in even the happiest work day. Obviously, it helps if you’ve observed and/ or spoken with customers to ensure you have the right idea about how they spend their days.

我使用的第三个技巧是创建“生活中的一天”场景,在这个场景中,您可以安排您的客户可开展的每小时活动,并找出您的产品可以插入到哪里,以减轻在最快乐的工作日也会发生的一些痛苦。显然,如果你观察和/或与客户交谈,确保你对他们如何度过他们的日子有正确的想法,这是有帮助的。

The bottom line: Your product has to “fit” the customers’ needs and desires, solving a true problem. You never want your customers to be stuck exchanging an existing problem for a new one—using your product. This won’t happen if you build a product outside-in.

底线:你的产品必须“适合”客户的需要和愿望,解决真正的问题。你永远不希望你的客户被困在用你的产品换一个新的问题中。如果你是由外向内开发产品,这种情况就不会发生。


RULE 3Time spent on the strategic reduces time wasted on the tactical

花在战略上的时间减少了浪费在战术上的时间


Simply defined, strategic is where you want to go; tactical is how to get there. It’s pretty easy to see that you’d better have the strategic figured out first.

简单地说,战略就是你想去的地方;战术就是如何到达那里。很容易看出,你最好先把战略弄清楚。

While there are many different areas in which the “strategy vs. tactics” debate can occur, I’ll frame it here in terms of trying to market a product absent a strategy. (Which also translates into trying to market a product for which the product manager hasn’t followed Rule #1, and the product has just sort of happened—generally at the hands of the engineers, I’m afraid.)

虽然“战略与战术”的争论可能出现在许多不同的领域,但我将在这里把它框定为试图营销一个没有战略的产品。(这也可以理解为试图推广一种产品,但产品经理并没有遵循第一条规则,而且这种产品刚刚出现——我担心,通常是在工程师的手中。)

My personal favorite is the “if we build it, they will come” approach, in which a product is built, then tossed over the transom into Marketing, who are presumably waiting with open arms and closed mouths for the product toss.

我个人最喜欢的是“如果我们构造它,他们就会来”的方法,在这种方法中,一个产品被制造出来,然后被扔到市场上,市场上的人大概张开双臂,闭上嘴巴等着产品被扔出去。

No, no, a thousand times no!

不,不,一千个不!

You need to have a product strategy in mind that spells out positioning basics (who’s going to use the product and why), establishes the pricing rationale, provides at least a rudimentary guidepost for where the product is going, etc., etc., etc.

你需要在头脑中有一个产品战略,阐明定位的基础(谁将使用这个产品和为什么),建立定价的基本原理,至少提供一个基本的指导,产品将走向哪里,等等,等等。

Another thing we’ve all faced as marketers is the situation in which we’ve been goaded (forced?) to just do something, do anything. “Something” must be done! This usually comes down on the head of Marcom and usually means helping fill the big, gaping maw at the beginning of the sales pipeline.

作为营销人员,我们面临的另一件事是我们被驱使(被迫?)去做某事,做任何事。必须得做点什么!这通常落在传播人员的头上,通常意味着帮助填补销售渠道开始时的巨大缺口。

Do something. Do anything. Let’s get going.

做点什么。做任何事。让我们看看。

Banner ads…webinars…email blasts…spiffs…promotional deals… guys with sandwich boards trolling the streets.

横幅广告……网络研讨会……电子邮件群发……促销活动……拿着广告牌在街上闲逛的家伙。

Thus, the campaign to nowhere begins.

因此,这场无路可走的运动开始了。

You may get somewhere, but even that somewhere is going to feel like nowhere, absent a strategy. Never confuse activity with action.

你可能会到达某个地方,但即使是那个地方,如果没有战略,也会让人觉得毫无进展。永远不要把行为和行动混为一谈。

There’s a corollary to this rule: In the absence of a strategy, people will go ahead and do what they think is best.

这条规则有一个推论:在缺乏战略的情况下,人们会勇往直前,做他们认为最好的事情。

So the marketers will look at the product they’ve been given and hazard a guess on where they can market it. They may do a bangup job of it. (Great! Two hundred tuna fishermen attended our webinar. Too bad our product doesn’t really do anything for them. Not to mention that we really should be selling to tuba players. Tuna? Tuba? Close enough.)

所以市场营销人员会看看他们得到的产品,并大胆猜测他们可以在哪里进行营销。他们可能会做得很好。(太棒了!两百名金枪鱼渔民参加了我们的网络研讨会。糟糕的是,我们的产品并没有真正为他们做任何事情。更不用说我们真正应该卖给的是大号球员。金枪鱼?大号?足够接近)。

Strategy’s hard. It means really thinking through things. It means taking a risk by declaring where it is you want to go. It means having the discipline and strength to give it time enough to succeed.

战略是很难的。这意味着真正地思考问题。它的意思是通过声明你想去的地方来承担风险。它意味着有纪律和力量给它足够的时间去成功。

Tactics absent strategy? You might think you’re getting somewhere, but you’re really on the night train to nowhere.

缺乏战略的战术?你可能认为你在去往某个地方,但你实际上是在坐夜车,去不了任何地方。


RULE 4In the absence of market facts, he who owns the compiler wins

在缺乏市场事实的情况下,谁拥有编译器谁就是赢家


I’ve lived through this nightmare more than once, and all I can say is, even in the presence of market facts, it’s plenty easy for the guy with the compiler to win. But when you’re working with the engineers, it is always best to have the following:

我不止一次经历过这种噩梦,我能说的是,即使在市场事实面前,拥有编译器的家伙也很容易取胜。但是当你和工程师一起工作的时候,最好遵循以下几点:

  • Win-loss analysis. If 19 out of 20 times, you hear that a key factor in a loss was ease of use, your developers may respond that “the customers don’t know what they’re talking about,” “we’re selling to the wrong people,” and “our sales folks don’t know how to sell.” But you will have market facts to support your argument that the UI needs work.

盈亏分析。如果在20次中有19次,您听到一个导致损失的关键因素是易用性,那么您的开发人员可能会回答“客户不知道他们在说什么”、“我们卖给了错误的人”和“我们的销售人员不知道如何销售”。“但你需要有市场事实来支持你的论点,即用户界面需要改进。

  • Competitive information. The last thing you want to find yourself doing is playing competitive catch-up. It is always useful to know what you’re up against. And, if you can anticipate moves that your competition is going to make— by watching what they’re saying publicly, whom they’re partnering with, where they’re selling, etc. —so much the better.

竞争信息。你最不想做的事情就是在竞争中被迎头赶上。知道你面对的是什么总是有用的。而且,如果你能预测到你的竞争对手将要采取的行动——通过观察他们公开说了什么,他们与谁合作,他们在哪里销售,等等——那就更好了。

  • Market trends. What’s going on in your industry or the industry into which you sell? What’s being said about technology trends? No, you don’t have to listen to every pronouncement from on high, but it helps not to operate in a complete vacuum. So dig up whatever data you can find on SOA, SaaS, MDM, or whatever acronym your product needs to accommodate. (Years ago, I worked for a software company that was wedded to OS/2. I came to a development meeting with a copy of InfoWeek magazine sporting a cover showing OS/2 in a coffin with a lily on it. That display definitely helped us move along on our decision to convert to NT.)

市场趋势。你所在的行业或你所要销售的行业发生了什么?人们是怎么看待技术趋势的?不,你不必听来自高处的每一个宣言,但不要在一个完全真空的环境中运作是有帮助的。因此,尽可能多地挖掘关于SOA、SaaS、MDM或您的产品需要适应的任何缩写词的数据。(几年前,我在一家与OS/2紧密相连的软件公司工作。我带着一份InfoWeek杂志来参加一个开发会议,它的封面显示OS/2在一个棺材里,上面有一朵百合花。那个封面确实帮助我们做出了向NT转换的决定。)

  • Customer input. The customer is not always right, and sometimes, they will ask for stupid or irrelevant things. But your trusted customers— not your developers—are the ones actually using your product, so their ideas matter.

客户输入。顾客并不总是对的,有时,他们会要求一些愚蠢的或不相关的东西。但是你可信任的客户——而不是你的开发者——才是真正使用你的产品的人,所以他们的想法很重要。

  • Sales engineering and customer service input. Better than anyone else, your sales engineers tend to know the technical obstacles to selling and implementing your product. You need a forum for capturing their ideas. Better than anyone else, your customer service folks tend to know the technical obstacles to ongoing, day-to-day success with your products. You need a forum for capturing their ideas, as well.

销售工程师和客户服务输入。您的销售工程师比任何人都更了解销售和贯彻产品的技术障碍。你需要一个论坛来捕捉他们的想法。与其他任何人相比,您的客户服务人员往往更了解您的产品持续的、日常的成功所面临的技术障碍。你还需要一个论坛来捕捉他们的想法。

When you, as a product manager, start talking product with the engineers, you need to be armed with the richest set of market facts you can find. The preceding suggestions are useful sources of those facts. It’s then up to you to put the market facts into a digestible, sensible format for presentation to engineering.

作为一个产品经理,当你开始和工程师谈论产品时,你需要准备好你能找到的最丰富的市场事实。上述建议是这些事实的有用来源。然后由您来将市场事实转换成易于理解的、合理的格式,以便向工程师进行介绍。

There is still no guarantee that a really stubborn guy with a compiler won’t balk at product ideas that aren’t invented in his brain. But, if you’ve got the facts, ma’am, it’s far more likely that resistance will fade away.

我们仍然不能保证,一个真正顽固的家伙,如果他有一个编译器,他就不会对那些不是在他脑子里想出来的产品创意产生抵触。但是,如果你了解了事实,女士,抵抗就更有可能消失。


 

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