In the past few years, we\u2019ve seen an explosion in the number and quality of resources for technology product managers to learn from. Yet something I\u2019ve noticed is that the large majority of product management resources out there are heavily geared towards consumer technology. As I made a transition from consumer to enterprise product management, I realized how different things are, and why PMs need a differentiated approach for enterprise landscape.\r\n\r\nEnterprise products are hard to build and even harder to scale and manage. This article aims to nail down the absolute \u2018must know\u2019 for enterprise product managers.\r\nOur focus in this article is to outline problems more evident in small to growing enterprise companies, rather than structured bigger boys (read IBM, Salesforce).\r\nYour Customer May Not Be Your User: Serve Both\r\nIn consumer tech, we build products for end-users. In the enterprise, we serve two types of people \u2014 end-users and buyers. In a lot of companies (especially the bigger ones \u2014 the ones whose logo goes up on your website), the person who actually uses your product is not the person who signs the check to pay for it.\r\nAs an enterprise product manager, it is crucial to understand both end-users\u2019 and buyers\u2019 needs and to find the balance by delivering value to all stakeholders.\r\nThis means that your product should solve buyer\u2019s business problem while giving a delightful experience for end users.\r\nThe Path To Burnout Is Paved With Customisations\r\nFor a young startup, the biggest hurdle is to deliver a long list of customisation requests to nail the first big enterprise logo. Very quickly, companies start falling in love with customisation as it gets them easy revenue. Everyone stays happy till they hit a point when they realise that every customer\u2019s customised code is branched out and your engineering team has 100 code bases to support.\r\n\r\nAfter that, every single release looks like a mammoth exercise, many bugs remain unsolved and newer updates never reach end users. Also, by then customisaton requests become a full-time job of the product team, disrupting all product roadmaps.\r\nSoon enough, the company becomes so culturally inclined towards customisation that they will find themselves always building for one big customer and unable to build market features.\r\nAs an enterprise product manager, you have to be extremely careful while accessing new requests. Remember, an easy customisation hack now will cost you more than anyone in the company, as the responsibility of ensuring releases reach end users rests on you. The success of a new age product company depends on how accurately the PM can classify those asks, incorporate identified generic tasks into your product offering, and the quick turnaround on the lower demand tasks.\r\nNot Every Requirement Is Critical, Though It May Sound So\r\nIn B2B most of the time we get product requirements which are to be tailor-made for specific clients. Some of them are blockers for a client launch and some of them are good to have; though on the surface of it everything looks super critical to achieve that million dollar deal.\r\nA good PM is able to prioritise the laundry list and make sure the client sees the proposed value with minimal disruption in the product roadmap. Learn how to say no.\r\n\r\n \r\nStakeholder Management\r\nB2B product management involves complex multilayered stakeholder management. Other than the customer\/user you will be typically interacting with sales, pre-sales, customer success, support (or more depending on the stage of your own company and the client) and they all have different agendas to drive.\r\nBeing a PM you have to keep them updated on release cycle, roadmap planning, and feature success, otherwise, it just leads to a lot of pointed fingers.\r\nUnderstand Your Clients\/Market\u2019s Timeline\r\nIn B2B, your release timeline gets impacted by a lot of external factors which are beyond the control of product team. As an example, most of the enterprise will not agree to a big release just before holiday season or fiscal year end. So while planning release cycle you need to anticipate such events so that your proposed plan actually materializes.\r\nCritical to understand here, some releases have a cascading effect on your rest of the roadmap, as managing unmerged code becomes a huge headache.\r\nB2B Product Managers Need To Be Very Close To Their Tech Teams\r\nB2B products, in general, have a lot of strings attached (APIs, Reliability, Security aspect). As a product manager of a B2B product, you need to closely understand the tech implementation to get it correct in one go.\r\n\r\nAlso, a lot of tech tasks in B2B don\u2019t have very clear impact areas (which gets engineering demotivated at times) so you always have to work closely with tech team to help them understand their impact in the larger scheme of things.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nEnterprise product management can be extremely challenging based on the stage of the company. At the same time, it can be an accelerated, holistic learning experience if you start identifying your mistakes and start learning from them.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis post by Pritam Roy first appeared on Medium and has been reproduced with permission.