High Octane Product Management

The Next Big Leap for B2B Product Management: From Market Problems to Customer Goals

High Octane Product Management

The next big leap for the B2B product management profession will be a complete shift away from “market problems” to a focus on “customer goals.” This will be the turning point that finally takes B2B product management to the level of influence and leadership it has always aspired to in the organization. Here are the three biggest reasons. 1. Customer Value is All But Guaranteed.

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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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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.

Five Steps to Solutions-Driven Product Management

High Octane Product Management

Here’s what makes solutions-driven product management such a challenge. The vast majority of product companies are a mishmash of products brought together through mergers and/or acquisitions. Each one throws another silo into the fire that further fragments strategies, product plans, R&D, marketing and sales. The $64,000 question is, “how do you transform multiple disparate products into business solutions to achieve a whole that’s more valuable than the sum of the parts?”

Mixing Qualitative & Quantitative Data with Storyboarding

Speaker: Tristan Kromer, Lean Agile Coach, Kromatic

Qualitative vs. Quantitative is a silly argument. Qualitative data from UXers should not compete against the quantitative data product owners need for their business model. Both are necessary to have a complete understanding of where the desirability of the product meets the viability of the business.

Requirements, Roadmaps & Rollouts: The B2B Product Manager Magazine, February 2017

High Octane Product Management

The February Issue of The B2B Product Manager is now available. In this issue we cover everything from requirements to roadmaps to rollouts. We also throw in a few tips for hiring the best Agile Product Owners, and a universal product management framework that’s been sitting right under our nose. And for the first time in five years, Proficientz is offering a public training workshop – How to Create a Strategic Portfolio Roadmap, March 28th in Atlanta. Click here for details.

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.

Creating the "Right" Product Roadmap With Data

Speaker: Sunil Parekh, Head of Product Management, SimplyInsured

Data can be qualitative or quantitative, and comes from multiple sources: customer interviews, product usage & funnel analytics, company financial performance, and internal stakeholders. How do you use that data to create a product roadmap that is aligned with your organization’s business needs?

Re-Routing Your Growth Strategy: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There!

High Octane Product Management

Most B2B organizations get started the same way. They identify a niche problem and develop a solution. Then they do it again, and again. This formula might work for years. But eventually products commoditize, markets shift and the law of diminishing returns kicks in. The ideal time to re-route your growth strategy is before your growth starts to taper off. Here are seven things to consider to keep your growth in high gear. 1. Go Vertical .

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User Engagement: The Window to Your Customer Retention Soul

High Octane Product Management

If your products consistently make people better at their job in a way that’s valuable to the customer organization, you’ll have those customers for life. In a world of SaaS and recurring revenue models, customer retention is the single biggest testament to the value of your products and services. Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of telltale signs that customers are likely to renew or defect until it actually happens. A strong pulse on your user engagement offers the clearest insights.

Imagine What a Rock Star Product Manager Could Do With Healthcare Reform

High Octane Product Management

Put all your political leanings aside. This is about pure, practical, common-sense, good old-fashioned problem solving skills and how they lead to great solutions! The famous words of Charles Kettering, “a problem well stated is half solved” have never rang truer!

Product Demos: Selling Value in Spite of Product Deficiencies

High Octane Product Management

Sales revenue would come easier if your products had every capability that prospects thought they needed during the buying cycle. Unfortunately, it will never be reality. Your products will always be deficient in someone’s opinion. Don’t sweat it. Here’s how to respond to product deficiencies while still selling value.

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Learning Product Management Skills vs. Training: Big Difference!

High Octane Product Management

There’s a significant difference between learning product management skills and going through a product management training course. Learning is where things get far more interesting. From the time I was a teenager, I aspired to be a decent golfer – just good enough to beat my friends at the time and not embarrass myself later on in life when playing with colleagues or clients.

Connecting Analytics to Strategy - Keeping Your Corporate Objective In Sight

Speaker: Tom Evans, Senior Principal Consultant and Trainer, 280 Group

Data analytics has transformed the way many product managers approach product enhancements, creating strong demand for product managers with skills and expertise in defining and analyzing product metrics to make more valuable product decisions. But there is one essential element that is often left out of the conversation, and that is strategy. How does my product decisions support the overall strategy of the business, and am I tracking the right metrics based upon that strategy?

Product Management – Three Tactics for Exerting Stronger Influence & Leadership

High Octane Product Management

What are some things product management can do to exert more influence and demonstrate stronger leadership? Most product management professionals readily admit they spend too much time in the weeds on tasks that, at the end of the day, don’t contribute much to the overall mission of the organization.

User Engagement, Customer Goals and a Sustainable Growth Strategy

High Octane Product Management

The B2B Product Manager Magazine August 2017 is now available. This month we focus on user engagement as a leading indicator of customer value and the subsequent impact on retention and recurring revenue. We also look at the shift from a “market problem” focus to a “customer goal” focus and its impact on growth. Last but not least, check out our brand new lineup of training programs and flat rate fee structure.

Market Problems — Blinders. Customer Goals — Wide-Angle Market Lens.

High Octane Product Management

If you’re in a product management, product marketing or sales enablement role, consider replacing the phrase market problems with customer goals. It will open your eyes to a whole new narrative, and it will help you deliver, market and sell solutions with more strategic customer value. The Playbook: Here’s how it works.

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.

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.

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Dominating Your Market, Agile Role Clarification and The Price of One-Off Features

High Octane Product Management

The B2B Product Manager Magazine June 2017 is now available. This month we look at the customer value chain from start to finish using the relay race analogy and how your organization can consistently win that race and dominate the market. We also share a few tips and tricks for clarifying the product manager and product owner roles, plus the price you’re ultimately paying for one-off custom features. View the June/July 2017 Issue. In This Issue: Blog: High-Octane Product Management.

Creating Business Cases With Stronger Legs

High Octane Product Management

Markets are unpredictable, which makes the task of creating business cases questionable at some level. But there are three elements that can give your business cases stronger legs and improve the odds of getting new initiatives funded, especially when multiple business cases are vying for the same resources. Focus on Market Needs With High Strategic Impact.

Building Stronger Relationships Between Product Management and Engineering

High Octane Product Management

What are some things we can do to build stronger product management and engineering relationships? Here are three simple practices you can adopt to strengthen your product management and engineering relationships so they work together more harmoniously. Educate educate each other. Product Management should take the lead and provide regular forums for Engineering on topics such as emerging market trends and target customer challenges, new business practices, and current customer successes.In

One-Off Features: The Price of Committing Too Often

High Octane Product Management

If you’re a software company, committing to one-off features just to win a single deal has been a long-standing business practice. Making a habit of it, and worse yet, getting good at it, is the equivalent of throwing your company into a death spiral then perfecting your spin. Here’s why.

Win the “Customer Value” Relay Race and Dominate Your Market

High Octane Product Management

If you’re going to dominate your market, you have to make the customer organization measurably better at their business, from the top down. Products and services are the means to the end, but every customer-facing function in your organization plays a role in delivering customer value. It’s like relay race. Everyone understands their role, knows where the baton is at all times, and knows exactly what to do when they run their leg of the race.

Are Agile Frameworks Dominating the Software Product Management Landscape?

High Octane Product Management

Some days it feels like Agile frameworks are dictating how product management is done. At a minimum, they seem to be dominating the product management narrative in the software industry. If that’s true, it’s not good for your products and it’s not good for your organization. On the other hand, when product management and Agile are 100% complementary, the end result is solutions that make customers better at whatever they do. .

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.