High Octane Product Management

The Ideal Product Marketing Candidate for B2B

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. This sample product marketing job description just might ruffle a few feathers. First, it’s not your typical “get the product off the shelf” job description. Second, there may be people in product marketing roles that don’t meet the requirements. Don’t sweat it. It’s a job description for the “ideal” candidate, and we all know how that goes. It’s like finding your dream home in the perfect neighborhood at a bargain price.

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Top 3 Culprits of Underperforming Products

High Octane Product Management

Any number of factors can contribute to underperforming products, but the root causes are usually tied to a combination of the following three issues: . Vague Definition of Target Customers. When products try to be all things to all people, the result is usually mediocre value for most. The Solution: Prioritize your product investments on the market segments that are most conducive to revenue/market share growth and deliver solutions for a specific need (e.g.,

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Trending Sources

How to Create a Strategic Portfolio Roadmap

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. Atlanta, GA March 28, 2017: $795 per person. Strategic Portfolio Roadmapping Workshop. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn how to develop a strategic portfolio roadmap that drives new growth by shifting your inside-out product vision to an outside-in customer vision.

Hiring the Right Product Manager

High Octane Product Management

When it comes to hiring the right product manager, there’s no foolproof technique. Treat it like you’re shopping for a product. You have a set of needs. There are obstacles to meeting those needs, and you’re going to shop for a person who can best remove those obstacles. The situational interview will quickly separate the contenders from the pretenders.

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Two Things Senior Executives Value Most From Product Management

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. If you want raise the level of product management influence, think like an executive. Consider the various situations your senior executives find themselves in and the types of information that help them make more informed decisions. Then make it a routine practice to brief your executives accordingly. Make your executives look good and watch the product management influence skyrocket.

Customer Value, Underperforming Products, Product Demo Objections and More

High Octane Product Management

The B2B Product Manager Magazine May 2017 is now available. In this issue we examine the impact of a customer value culture, why products underperform and three steps to connect corporate strategy to product, marketing and sales execution plans. Plus, tips on using white papers to generate more qualified leads and the difference between voice of the customer and sales feedback. View the May 2017 Issue. In This Issue: Blog: High-Octane Product Management.

Overcoming Product Demo Objections

High Octane Product Management

Product demo objections are a staple of the sales process in the B2B software business. Your competitor’s products have just as many or more deficiencies than yours. Don’t get too worked up over it. Successful demos require that you master the art of making certain product deficiencies seem trivial in the grand scheme of the overall solution. How do you do it? By asking the right questions early in the sales cycle.

Creating a “Customer Value” Culture, Powered by Product Management & Product Marketing

High Octane Product Management

A customer value culture exists when your entire organization is driven by the strategic goals of your target customers. When that culture exists, you’re consistently rewarded with predictable growth. What’s the key to creating such a culture? Answer one simple question that becomes the rallying cry for your entire organization.

Using White Papers to Generate More Quality Leads

High Octane Product Management

To this day, white papers are still largely viewed as more educational than propaganda. For all the white papers produced, many B2B organizations fail to get the maximum marketing value for their efforts. The Playbook: White Papers 101. There are a multitude of approaches to solving any problem. A white paper in its most basic form educates prospective customers on your approach to addressing an issue without making a direct sales pitch.

The Universal Product Management Framework: 3 Questions and an Org Chart

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. There’s a universal product management framework that takes product management, product marketing and sales enablement down to the lowest common denominator.

Sales Feedback or Voice of the Customer?

High Octane Product Management

How reliable is our “voice of the customer” when the only source is sales feedback? Sales feedback is important but it’s one data point only. Voice of the customer is more encompassing and consists of research that comes from a broader spectrum of customers, prospects analysts and industry thought leaders that go far beyond the sales pipeline. Be especially cautious when sales feedback is feature-specific instead of business-need specific.

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Connecting Strategic Plans to Product, Marketing & Sales Execution Plans in 3 Steps

High Octane Product Management

Most organizations have strategic plans that include goals for revenue growth, new customers, market share and other quantifiable metrics. All good! But a huge disconnect often exists between the corporate strategic plan and tactical product, marketing and sales plans. When that’s the case, the organization loses tremendous momentum because all disciplines are going in different directions, focused on different goals with competing and often conflicting plans.

Product Feature Prioritization – A Three-Step Technique

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. Product feature prioritization! If only there was a magic machine that took product enhancement lists in one end and spit a credible priority list out the other. The intention is good – invest in features that yield the greatest return.

Selling Around Deficiencies, Rock Star Product Managers & The Functional Designer Role

High Octane Product Management

The B2B Product Manager Magazine April 2017 is now available. In this issue we cover everything from selling value in spite of your product’s deficiencies to what makes a rock star product manager to the criticality of the functional designer role. Plus tips for hiring the right product manager and getting unbiased customer feedback. View the April 2017 Issue. In This Issue: Blog: High-Octane Product Management. Imagine What a Rock Star Product Manager Could Do For Healthcare Reform.

Selling Around Deficiencies, Rock Star Product Managers & The Functional Designer Role

High Octane Product Management

The B2B Product Manager Magazine April 2017 is now available. In this issue we cover everything from selling value in spite of your product’s deficiencies to what makes a rock star product manager to the criticality of the functional designer role. Plus tips for hiring the right product manager and getting unbiased customer feedback. View the April 2017 Issue. In This Issue: Blog: High-Octane Product Management. Imagine What a Rock Star Product Manager Could Do For Healthcare Reform.

Getting Customer Feedback Without “Leading the Witness”

High Octane Product Management

What are some ways we can get unbiased customer feedback to validate product ideas? Getting customer feedback on product ideas can be a double edge sword. If you’re not asking the right questions, this process can create more headaches than it alleviates. The secret to valuable unbiased feedback lies in how the questions are asked. Here are a few simple tips that should yield more useful customer feedback. Henry Ford said it best. “If

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Strategic and Tactical Product Management – A Bad Idea

High Octane Product Management

There are two issues with the labels of strategic and tactical product management: The tactical label lacks the glamour of a strategist, not to mention all the hard work that goes with it. Neither label is conducive to market/customer focus. The Playbook: Forget about strategic and tactical. Think about strategy and execution. Strategy is everyone’s job — deciding what you’re going to do and why it’s valuable to the market.

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The Functional Product Designer: A Must-Have for Product Success

High Octane Product Management

Product usability is the new currency for differentiation. That makes the role of the functional product designer, a.k.a business analyst, subject matter expert (SME) or agile product owner more critical than it has ever been, yet many organizations still insist on combining it with the product manager role. If you want high-value products with superior usability, here are the top three reasons the functional product designer needs to be a separate role.

Product Management Is a Contact Sport – What’s Your Injury Risk?

High Octane Product Management

There’s a good reason why athletes in contact sports wear protective pads. Over time, statistics have shown where injuries are most likely to occur, hence the placement of the pads. If product management is a contact sport, what’s your organization’s risk of injury? What types of pads do you need and where is their optimal placement? Delivering, marketing and selling products in B2B is a contact sport in many ways.

Differentiation and Innovation: Your Ticket to Surviving Product Commoditization

High Octane Product Management

As the barriers to entry continue to get lower, technology product lifecycles are becoming increasingly shorter. If you don’t want price to become the single biggest buying driver, you’ve got to figure out a way to get out of commodity rat race. Differentiation and innovation are your two best options! Differentiation. Differentiation boils down to unique positioning in your sales and marketing efforts with your products and company reputation serving up the proof points.

Obsessing Over Customer Success, Demo Techniques and Web Lead Generation: The B2B Product Manager Magazine, March 2017

High Octane Product Management

The B2B Product Manager Magazine March 2017 is now available. In this issue we cover everything from obsessing over customer success to demo techniques to improving your website lead generation and conversion. We also throw in a few tips for improving feature adoption, product demos, product planning and win-loss analysis. View the March 2017 Issue. In This Issue: Blog: High-Octane Product Management. Obsess Over Customer Success and Product Success is All But Guaranteed.

Obsessing Over Customer Success, Demo Techniques and Web Lead Generation: The B2B Product Manager Magazine, March 2017

High Octane Product Management

The March 2017 Issue of The B2B Product Manager Magazine is now available. In this issue we cover everything from obsessing over customer success to demo techniques to improving your website lead generation and conversion. We also throw in a few tips for improving feature adoption, product demos, product planning and win-loss analysis. View the March 2017 Issue. In This Issue: Blog. Obsess Over Customer Success and Product Success is All But Guaranteed.

Obsess Over Customer Success and Product Success is All But Guaranteed

High Octane Product Management

If you obsess over customer success, product success is all but guaranteed. Applying that concept in a B2B environment however, requires a broader definition of “the customer.” The good news: when you redefine “the customer” to encompass the entire customer organization, success comes faster and with fewer speed bumps. Put your customer success manifesto into practice with one overarching goal and three supporting pillars. The Goal.

Improving Adoption of New Features

High Octane Product Management

How can we improve adoption of new features? The number one reason customers don’t take advantage of new features is because they’re not explained in a manner that’s relevant to how people do their job. Most new features are communicated as follows: Here is a great new feature. Here’s how it works. Here’s the benefit. What’s missing? Context. If you can’t give your users a scenario (job task) that’s familiar to them and how the new feature set will help, chances are, they won’t use it.

Win-Loss Analysis: It’s Rarely the Product

High Octane Product Management

How much time should we spend on win-loss analysis? There’s an age old adage that people buy from people, and it’s no different in B2B. So when you win it’s largely because of your salesperson. Ditto when you lose! Product deficiencies are just the most convenient excuse. When asked about a win, customers will readily admit they bought because they felt more comfortable dealing with your organization than the competition. Read, “I connected with your salespeople better.”.

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Three Unexpected Data Points That Will Boost Your Website Lead Generation

High Octane Product Management

A recent lead generation study, The Critical Importance of Lead Validation in Internet Marketing , revealed three important data points that most people don’t expect — bits of information that can have a major impact on your website lead production if you know what to do with the data. Here they are. A Full 50% of Website Conversions Are Something Other than Leads. Website conversions consist of phone calls and form submissions.

Removing Speed Bumps in Your Product Planning Process

High Octane Product Management

Opinions are like noses. Everybody has one when it comes to your product planning process. Just like noses, no two opinions are alike, making it difficult to garner broad support for any product plan. The speed bumps pop up every time you’re asked for more information leading up to the approval process. The Playbook: In many cases the need for more information stems from the lack of clarity in the information you’ve already gathered.

Marketing Buzzwords: Why You Should Keep Them Out of Your Lexicon

High Octane Product Management

It’s a common practice in all product companies to use marketing buzzwords and catchphrases in sales and marketing materials and in conversations with peers and colleagues. Are buzzwords bad? It all depends on who you’re talking to and what you’re trying to accomplish. Buzzwords don’t mean anything to the people we most want to influence, prospects, and customers that will eventually fund our future paychecks.

Web Demos: Engaging An Audience You Can’t See

High Octane Product Management

The #1 challenge with conducting web demos is the ability to read and engage an audience you can’t see. Is the demo going well? Are they doing e-mail while I talk? Does anyone care? Somebody, anybody, give me a sign! How do you really know if your value proposition is resonating with your prospects when you can see them? The key to reading a prospect you can’t see is to engage them in a discussion during the demo. Here are 3 tips to help your cause. Uncovering Needs That Matter.

Answering the “Product Vision” Questions With Something…Visionary

High Octane Product Management

“What’s on our strategic roadmap?” What’s our product vision?” If you’re the head of products or strategy in a B2B organization, you’re constantly fielding the “product vision and strategic roadmap” questions. A different approach to answering these questions will help you articulate a vision that energizes everyone and simplifies the execution of your product, marketing and sales plans.

Product Demo Techniques: Telling Versus Selling

High Octane Product Management

When it comes to product demo techniques, there are two styles: telling and selling. The “telling” demo (stop me when you see a feature you like) won’t energize your buyers or set you apart from the competition. The “selling” demo energizes your buyers with a vision because it’s more about their business than it is your products. The “Telling” Demo.

Hiring Agile Product Owners – Where to Find the Best Ones

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. What’s the ideal background for an Agile Product Owner and where should I look to find them? The Agile product owner is a hybrid role that’s part surrogate user and part product expert. The ideal product owner has strong expertise in the following areas: The job of the user — what they do, why they do it, how they do it and how they’re measured (on their performance review). How people use your products to do their job.

Product Training for Sales – More Buyer, Less Product!

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. Product training for sales is one of the more daunting tasks for product managers and marketers and one of the biggest product rollout challenges in high-tech companies. You’ve created textbook sales and marketing materials. You’ve spoon fed the information to the sales team on several occasions and in varying formats. You’ve accompanied them on sales calls.

Three Keys to a Successful Product Rollout

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. A product rollout is mostly tactical in nature and is focused primarily on internal readiness that prepares a company to market, sell, implement and support a new product, whereas a product launch is the execution of a marketing communications plan designed to call the markets attention to your value proposition. A successful rollout tees up a successful launch.

3 Dimensions of a B2B Product Portfolio Management Discipline

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. A product portfolio management discipline in B2B is more about your portfolio’s alignment to customer goals than it is to your own revenue and profitability goals. If you’re going to be a market-driven organization, everything needs to be aligned with the business goals of your target customers to ensure there’s a common focal point that’s meaningful across product, marketing and sales teams.

Product Priorities vs. Marketing Priorities: Two Simple Questions

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. Everyone has an opinion when it comes to product priorities and marketing priorities. Answers to two simple questions can make those priorities much easier to establish. Where will short term revenue (this year) come from? Where will longer term growth (after this year) come from? If the answers to these questions take you straight to product level discussions, STOP!

MRDs – How Much “Market” Is In Your Market Requirements Documents?

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. Most B2B organizations use a M arket R equirements D ocument (MRD) for driving new solutions to market. How much of the content in those MRDs should be pure market requirements versus product requirements? A good rule of thumb — 100% market and 0% product. If MRD’s are supposed to reflect the needs of the market, they should be market specific not product specific.

Product Management vs. Product Marketing – The Clearest Distinction

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. What’s the easiest way to distinguish product management from product marketing? This debate has been going on forever. Here’s the simplest way to distinguish the two functions. Product marketing (and sales) own this year’s revenue. Product management owns next year’s growth. That’s not to say that product marketing doesn’t contribute to, participate in, or even lead strategic planning efforts.

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Three Reasons to Shift From Horizontal Products to Industry Solutions

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. Making the shift from horizontal products to industry solutions boils down to differentiation…not just the marketing and messaging variety but adding product capabilities specific to key industry segments that deliver exponentially more value than generic one-size-fits-all products or services. In B2B, horizontal products and services address the needs of many markets in a generic fashion.

Can You Solve Big Problems With a Single Product?

High Octane Product Management

Wealth made simple: news and articles from IRC Wealth. Can a single product really solve big problems that are strategic to a customer? For 80% of B2B products and services, the answer is generally NO! Kudos to the 20% that can. What’s the Definition of a Really Big Problem? In the B2B space, I define a really big problem as something target customer CEOs care about directly or no more than one degree removed from something on a CEO’s A-list. For example, CEOs of large U.S.