March 26, 2024

Product management thinking, P2

A product manager should be ready for any surprise that might impede product introduction. In this post, I will share one of my stories as an example of how you can't plan everything.
Product management thinking, P2

This is a funny example of when everything you planned can gowrong.


In 2017-2018, we supplied dozens of thousand lead acidbatteries for one of the largest telecom operators. As it was already evident, themarket is starting to switch to Lithium solutions with the constant pricereduction, so we begin proposing these solutions instead. The customer was veryprice-sensitive, so it was one of the significant factors.


After deepmarket/competitive research, our team created a solution with lithium batteriesthat was acceptable to the customer, had a better price, and had numerousadditional advantages. We won and signed a new agreement; all was good, but somethinghappened….


Regional managers responsible for product procurement didn’twant to buy the product. And you know the reason:

-      When lead acid batteries were considered “dead” inthat country, they were supposed to be utilized.

-      Our customer didn’t have a centralizedutilization procedure, so it all was given to regional managers, who just wroteoff old batteries.

-      When you utilize batteries, you don’t need topay; you get money from the utilization company.

-      So, regional specialists utilize batteries andreceive cash bonuses for this operation.

Overall, people in these places get about 30-40% salary cashbonuses every few months.


Guess what? They didn’t want lithium batteries that wouldruin their money flow.  


In the end, customers start replacing lithium solutions, butthis is an excellent example of when you can have an unexpected surprise.


The end!

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