Marketplace advice: moving from demand side to supply side

Any advice from PMs who moved from the demand side to the supply side? I’ve been historically on the demand side - overseeing consumer products all the time - building audiences, experiences etc., but most recently I’ve moved to a kick-ass supply side role and I’m wondering how to excel. Specifically,

  1. How to keep tabs on my blindside(s)?
  2. How to bring my demand side experience to build great products on the supply side?
  3. What are the common pitfalls you have experienced and how to overcome them?
  4. How to collaborate with, influence, persuade the demand-side product teams better?

Following this as I am going through this exact journey right now. In fact I started just 2 months back. All the best.
Happy to do periodic check-ins to make sure both of us are on track. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve been on both sides. My thoughts:

  1. Supply side isn’t much different from B2B product. Primarily you need to talk to your suppliers, both the biggest ones and the smallest ones to understand the needs of all the segments of your market. Don’t just get the info from Sales or your CS org, sit in on those meetings and create true partnerships with these suppliers.
  2. Everything about product principles is the same across the marketplace. In particular, you can use your data expertise to bear on the Supply side as well.
  3. Just like B2B product, you have problems with loudest voices in the room and client requests. You need to really drill down into what metric is important for supply - it can’t just be NPS - and focus everything on moving it. A really strong relationship with your head of sales/supply is crucial to your success.
  4. There’s plenty of overlap with the demand side. Primarily functionality that demand wants to add that means a change for supply. You can get ahead of this by talking about what different things your supply wants to do or different trends you see that would also result in a better demand. experience.
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Thanks Naomi! I am finding it a challenge to actually cut past the CS/Sales hurdle to talk to suppliers. One specific reason I found is, suppliers, unless they have a problem, don’t want to talk to us. I would like to stack rank their problems so that I could build the right things. How do you suppose I can do this?

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  1. Ask to sit in on meetings. You don’t have to even speak. You’re just there to absorb the feedback directly.
  2. What I used to do with Sales is get them to stack rank priorities themselves. Before every quarterly planning, I would get the VPs and head of sales in a room and ask them for what we needed to build based on the criteria that these features were blockers to sales. I then asked them to vote to rank them, so they were making the decisions. I could then go back to my team to think about feasibility and also how these features balanced against what we needed to built for the long tail. This article is a really good guide: How we ensure alignment between sales and product - Inside Intercom

This is brilliant. Thanks so much!

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