B2B is Product Management

Aakriti Agarwal, Deployments and Growth at Blend and former Product Manager at Palantir, shares how she gains insights to make a meaningful impact on her customers’ bottom line and how she handles feature requests from customers with big budgets.

B2B product management has a unique set of challenges as compared to B2C product management. Aakriti speaks to the challenges of prioritizing feedback from major customers and navigating the complex processes within a customer’s organization.

Given her experience at Deutsche Bank, Palantir and Blend working on big problems in big markets, Aakriti was the perfect guest to share how to navigate these challenges successfully.

When prioritizing feature requests from customers and deciding what to build, Aakriti ensures that what she builds will provide a positive ROI for the customer’s business, rather than simply building what her customers say that want.

“We should build on things that are very high leverage and actually will move the business forward for the client and for our company rather than building features that only give incremental impact.”

Aakriti is not afraid to say no to a feature request, even if it’s from an important customer with a large budget. When receiving a request from a customer, she asks what the consequences of not getting the feature would be and considers the viability of workaround solutions.

In order to navigate her customers' internal policies and procedures, Aakriti creates buyer personas both for decision makers and end users. This helps her plan ahead for any potential barriers to adoption or usage. She's also very strategic about gaining insights to understand how her highest performing customers work and to understand where her industry is heading.

You’ll learn a lot from this episode about handling feature requests and getting customer feedback for B2B products. Here are the highlights:

  • Aakriti describes the most challenging aspects of B2B product management (7:40)
  • Aakriti’s strategy for saying ‘no’ to large clients (11:34)
  • How Aakriti circumvents internal politics in a large company (16:20)
  • How Aakriti simplifies the process of handling feature requests (19:20)
  • How Aakriti transitioned from a product focus, to a growth focus (21:30)

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or SoundCloud below.