Question Page

How do you think about the differences between "enterprise" product management and SMB or mid-market?

2 Answers
Veronica Hudson
Veronica Hudson
ActiveCampaign Senior Director of Product ManagementJune 9

There is always going to be some nuance to individual features or problem sets based on a company being SMB, MM or Enterprise. However, I do believe that many features can still be used across business types, it really comes down to pricing, positioning and packaging. For example, you might have a feature that is intially only available via API. In many cases, an enterprise customer will likely be best-equipped resource-wise to take that on, given that they have in-house engineering resources. Over time, a UI might be developed to best support common use-cases, opening that product up to a wider customer base in the SMB/MM range.

One of the core differences where you'd need to make product decisions based on who you are serving is around features of scale. What are the tools that a marketing team of 30 might need that a soloprenuer does not? For example, an approvals process is likely not required for a team of 2, but it becomes more critical once that team expands, even more so if there are outside vendors like agencies involved. Roles and permissions across the tool are also key as you bring in more team members.

Enterprise customers also tend to have more legal obligations/considerations when buying software. If your platform doesn't have SSO, for example, that might eliminate you from consideration before they even see the product.

988 Views
Luca Beltrami
Luca Beltrami
Faire Head of Product, RetailersJune 15

Let me start from the commonalities: You are building something that solves a user problem and creates customer value that also generates business value in the process.

The line between enterprise and SMB is fluid, though in the case of companies like Faire (and I also observed this at Airbnb and Travelnuts to some degree), SMBs often act more like consumers.

Two key differences are:

  • Where you get your insights: The research process tends to be more consumer-esque for SMBs, where you rely on user research and experimentation more than on sales teams or account management teams for insights. Often enterprise products are more likely to have a sales driven roadmap since the sale is often contingent on having/ promising specific features.
  • How you release product and measure success: The larger and more fragmented your user base (more likely for SMBs), the easier it is to launch experiments and A/B tests that give you a statistically significant result. For enterprise, it is harder to exclude large and important customers from improved experiences at random, thus you are more likely to work with betas and pilots, which will inevitably have less rigorous results. 

There are many more but these are the two that most stand out for me.

1621 Views
Top Product Management Mentors
Natalia Baryshnikova
Natalia Baryshnikova
Atlassian Head of Product, Enterprise Agility
Deepak Mukunthu
Deepak Mukunthu
Salesforce Senior Director of Product, Generative AI Platform (Einstein GPT)
Derek Ferguson
Derek Ferguson
GitLab Group Manager, Product
Tom Alterman
Tom Alterman
Notable Head of Product
Anton Kravchenko
Anton Kravchenko
Carta Sr. Director of Product Management
Patrick Davis
Patrick Davis
Google Group Product Manager
Marvin Green
Marvin Green
Splunk Director, Product Management
Hiral Shah
Hiral Shah
DocuSign Director of Product Management
Mckenzie Lock
Mckenzie Lock
Netflix Director of Product