Proficientz – Product Management University

Shifting Markets, Shifting Strategy: Three Considerations

Proficientz – Product Management University

Shifting markets usually constitute a shift in product strategy for most organizations. For some, the current market climate presents a world of opportunity and for others it’s an exercise in survival. In either case, there are three key aspects of product strategy that matter most.

Agile Software Development: We’ve Come Full Circle

Proficientz – Product Management University

Remember when the internet was going to eliminate the middle man? How’d that turn out? When Agile software development took the software world by storm, it was like many other paradigm shifts before it. Agile promised to be the next panacea for whatever ailed software companies. And just like the internet, we didn’t know what we didn’t know, but now we’re in a much better place.

How Buyers Sell Themselves, Product Usability & Revenue, and Two Types of Demos

Proficientz – Product Management University

The B2B Product Manager Magazine October 2017 is now available. In this issue we discuss the value of listening as one of the most overlooked sales skills, and the value of business conversations. We also examine product usability and its impact on revenue, plus sales demo tips. Be sure to check out our brand new lineup of advanced training programs. Learn how to accelerate your growth by delivering, marketing and selling solutions that make customers measurably better at what they do.

Demo 200

Product Presentations & Demos: How Credibility Boosts Your Win Rate

Proficientz – Product Management University

Product presentations and demos can be the determining factor in winning or losing a sale. In many cases, it comes down to the credibility of the presenter more than the capabilities of the product. From a buyer’s perspective, the psychology goes something like this: “If you can articulate my issues in the exact manner I do, your product must be great at handling them.”

Why “Build or Buy?” Is the Wrong Question for Analytics

Every time an application team gets caught up in the “build vs buy” debate, it stalls projects and delays time to revenue. There is a third option. Partnering with an analytics development platform gives you the freedom to customize a solution without the risks and long-term costs of building your own. Learn when and why it makes sense to build, buy, or take a combined approach to embedded BI.

Writing Customer Success Stories Before You Build the Solution

Proficientz – Product Management University

The greatest athletes in every sport have one thing in common – the innate ability to see plays before they happen. If you’re a product manager, imagine how great it would be to envision the ultimate customer success stories before you build the product. If you aspire to be the Michael Jordan, Serena Williams or Wayne Gretzky of product managers, you just have to step outside the metaphorical product box and see the game through the eyes of the customer.

B2B 116

Do Some Tactical Product Management Before Your Next Strategic Acquisition

Proficientz – Product Management University

If your organization is making acquisitions to deliver more strategic value to the customer, some tactical product management might be in order before your next purchase. Acquiring a company can be a lot like buying your next electronic gadget. There’s the anticipation and excitement of “new” and the promise of many benefits.

Stress-Out Your Buyers (a little) For More Effective Product Positioning

Proficientz – Product Management University

Effective product positioning comes in many forms. But there’s only one outcome you’re looking for: An emotional reaction. Do it consistently and your pipeline will be chock full of qualified leads. Reminding your buyers of their biggest stressors before serving up the solutions is one way to evoke the emotional reaction that ultimately engages your salespeople with decision-makers.

Stop Looking For Customer Problems

Proficientz – Product Management University

There’s an old saying in sports – winning cures everything. The same could be said for B2B organizations that consistently meet their strategic goals. When organizations are winning, many of their so-called problems fade into the background. Which brings me to an important point that every product management team should consider: If your organization is on a crusade to find and solve customer problems, STOP! Instead, just focus on helping them “win” more.

B2B 109

New Study: 2018 State of Embedded Analytics Report

Why do some embedded analytics projects succeed while others fail? We surveyed 500+ application teams embedding analytics to find out which analytics features actually move the needle. Read the 6th annual State of Embedded Analytics Report to discover new best practices.

Product Launch: Reducing the Product Manager’s Workload

Proficientz – Product Management University

When do most Product Managers start thinking about the product launch? Many wait until the development process is nearing the end before bringing other departments into the fold. Sure, you copy them on project updates and milestone progress (which they probably never read). But you’re too busy writing requirements, tracking development progress, reviewing designs and answering questions.

The Ultimate Product Vision, Feature ROI, Product vs. Sprint Backlog, and The Problem is the Problem

Proficientz – Product Management University

The B2B Product Manager Magazine May 2018 is now available. The mantra of every product, marketing and sales professional starts and ends with finding and solving customer problems. But identifying the problems that are most critical to your target customers is like finding a needle in a haystack. Our feature article this month focuses on an easier way to identify what’s most important to your target customers. Problems aren’t the headline. Enjoy our May issue.

Vision 100

Aspirational Selling, Requirements Spaghetti, Be the Customer, and Selling Stuff You Don’t Have

Proficientz – Product Management University

The B2B Product Manager Magazine April 2018 is now available. We kick off our April issue by looking at the correlation between your sales methodology and your product management philosophy. We also discuss the ultimate customer experience, a requirements food analogy and why it’s easier to sell products you don’t have. Enjoy our April issue. In This Issue: Blog: High-Octane Product Management. Solution Selling vs. Aspirational Selling: Mirror Image of Product Management?

Product Success vs. Customer Success: Is It Time For a Lifestyle Change?

Proficientz – Product Management University

Here’s a scenario many people can identify with. A routine visit to the doctor reveals that you weigh more than you should, your blood pressure and blood sugar are high, your cholesterol is nearing the danger zone and your heart isn’t functioning as well as it should. Though you’re not suffering any ill effects from these issues today, your doctor tells you that it’s time to make some lifestyle changes in order to avoid serious health issues later.

B2B 116

Creating the Ultimate Customer Experience Starts With Being a Customer

Proficientz – Product Management University

It’s the little things that matter most when it comes to raising the customer experience from good to great. Sometimes there’s no substitute for just being “the customer” yourself. As a bona fide road warrior, I spend more than my fair share of time in hotels. I have to say, the hotel industry has done so many things over the years to create a better experience for the business traveler.

Travel 109

The Product Cloud: An Integrated Toolchain Transforming Product Management

Explore how this integrated tool chain will transform modern product management. Authored by leaders in each category, this eBook offers definitive insight and advice on the key workflows integral to the success of modern product teams.

Product Backlog vs. Sprint Backlog

Proficientz – Product Management University

What’s the difference between a product backlog and a sprint backlog? There are two key differences between a product backlog and a sprint backlog. A sprint backlog typically covers a few sprints whereas a product backlog covers a much longer timeframe like one or two quarters. The second difference is the content and context within each document.

Four Steps to Product Feature ROI

Proficientz – Product Management University

Senior executives often request a product feature ROI prior to approving plans for product development. It’s a mind numbing exercise for product managers and developers and in most cases a fool’s errand. Most products and features are usually interrelated at some level and target the same markets and customers, so how is it possible to predict revenue and cost estimates on a feature by feature basis? The short answer is, you can’t, It’s all guesswork!

The Best of Both Worlds: Vertical Marketing and Horizontal Products

Proficientz – Product Management University

If you’re a dog owner and your clothing is routinely covered with pet hair, do you reach for the generic lint roller or do you buy the “pet hair pick up,” a product that’s basically a lint roller with a picture of a dog on the label? Most dog owners will choose the pet hair pick-up because it speaks to their specific need.

The Most Basic Rule of Marketing Is So Easy to Forget

Proficientz – Product Management University

The most basic rule of marketing is so easy to forget. You’ve just purchased some new clothes or shoes online. As part of the transaction, you hand over your email address or mobile number knowing full well that three things are going to happen. You’ll get a receipt via email/text. You’ll get shipping notifications and tracking information via email/text. Before, during and after #2, you get flooded with promotions. Not good!

B2C 109

How to Package and Price Embedded Analytics

Just by embedding analytics, application owners can charge 24% more for their product. How much value could you add? This framework explains how application enhancements can extend your product offerings.

Solution Selling vs. Aspirational Selling: Is It a Mirror Image of Product Management?

Proficientz – Product Management University

Solution selling is like vanilla ice cream. Everyone knows what it is – it’s simple and meets the most basic criteria for a dessert. Here’s the thing: if you and all of your competitors are using the vanilla ice cream approach to selling, you’re missing an opportunity to showcase your unique value and improve win rates. Is it time for a more interesting and unique flavor of selling – or is it time for a more tantalizing flavor of product management to differentiate the way you sell?

Strategic and Tactical Requirements: Spaghetti or Layer Cake?

Proficientz – Product Management University

When you combine strategic and tactical requirements, you can end up with a bowl of spaghetti or a layer cake. The layer cake approach makes the relationship between strategic and tactical requirements simple for everyone to understand and, believe it or not, a more appetizing dish for the masses.

Product Success Metrics, Demo Value Themes & The Definition of Successful Product Management

Proficientz – Product Management University

The B2B Product Manager Magazine January 2018 is now available. We’re kicking off 2018 with a discussion on product success metrics and a viewpoint that there’s only one critical metric that’s important over the long term. If you routinely hit that one, all the others will take care of themselves. We also look at the benefit of using customer value themes to drive your sales demos and how they can improve win rates. And lastly, the definition of successful product management.

Marketing Basics, A Product Lifestyle Change and the Definition of Market-Driven

Proficientz – Product Management University

The B2B Product Manager Magazine March 2018 is now available. We headline our March issue by going back to one of those marketing basics that’s all too easy to forget. We also draw the analogy between a lifestyle change and the shift from a product success culture to a customer success culture. Enjoy our March issue. In This Issue: Blog: High-Octane Product Management. The Most Basic Rule of Marketing is so Easy to Forget.

The State of Product Leadership

Insights from 300 Technology Product Management Executives and Managers.

Measuring Product Success – The Only Thing That Matters

Proficientz – Product Management University

How can you gauge whether your product is hitting the mark? We’re not talking just good. We’re talking great, nailed it, hit it out of the park. Measuring product success ultimately comes down to one thing, and it’s the best barometer for what sales, customer retention, user engagement, wallet share and other success metrics should be.

Market-Driven Products vs. Market-Driven Product Companies

Proficientz – Product Management University

If you have market driven products then don’t you have a market driven company? There are three key differences between market driven products and a market driven product company. Market-driven products, if taken literally, could result in multiple product silos with competing goals and contention over resource allocation.

Segmenting Markets and Quantifying New Product Ideas

Proficientz – Product Management University

Segmenting markets is the most important thing your organization can do because it answers the question, WHO are our target customers? In other words, your market segments are the basis for all critical decisions because they form the common bulls-eye that focuses all product, marketing and sales activities to common customer needs and goals.

Product Manager vs Product Owner: The Simple Distinction

Proficientz – Product Management University

In the world of agile software development, the product manager vs product owner confusion is hardly new. This problem has existed as long as software and product managers have been around. It merely has a new name. If you define their responsibilities in a way that mirrors the business of the customer, the confusion is gone. Basics on the Product Owner and Product Manager Roles.

Agile 130

The Data-driven Product Manager's Handbook

Using insight and guidance to deliver exceptional product experiences.

What Defines Successful Product Management?

Proficientz – Product Management University

There are a lot of opinions on the definition of successful in product management. Is there one simple way to characterize the role of product management and what it takes to be successful? There are a thousand ways to characterize successful product management, but they all lead to one thing. When it’s all said and done, your products have to make the people who use them measurably better at what they do. In B2B, it goes one step further.

B2B 100

Using Product Demo Themes to Improve Your Sales Win Rate

Proficientz – Product Management University

Product demo themes can improve your sales win rate. The key? They have to be crafted in the customer’s vocabulary and mirror their business goals. Here are three guidelines for creating and using demo themes to improve your sales win rate. 1. Connect the Strategic and Tactical Dots.

Demo 100

Prospects Will Sell Themselves. You Just Have to Let Them!

Proficientz – Product Management University

The more you’re talking the less you’re selling. Listening just might be the most underrated and overlooked sales skill of all. If you let buyers talk long enough, they’ll eventually talk themselves into buying whatever you’re selling. Try these three tactics with your next prospect and the odds of a desirable outcome go up exponentially. 1. Ask Insightful Questions. In the early part of the sales process, stay away from questions that are aimed at determining the product fit.

Product Usability & Its Impact on Revenue

Proficientz – Product Management University

How can product usability drive more revenue? The holy grail of product usability is attained when your product offers such a compelling experience users feel obligated to recommend it to others. It works wonders on your top line. Make the following three things part of your product design culture and more revenue will follow. Intent.

Iterate Your Way to a Top Analytics Product Experience

Speaker: Richard Cheng, Associate Product Manager, Mark43

Mark43 is on a mission to bring public safety data management into the 21st century. To fix traditionally paper-heavy and error-prone processes, they needed a secure and easy-to-use product experience that simplified and unified crime data collection and management. Tune in to this webinar to hear how Mark43 Product Manager Richard Cheng went about researching, prototyping, and iterating to deliver analytics and business intelligence tools to police departments, emergency call centers, and other public safety agencies, bringing Mark43 users a positive and effective product experience. Haarthi Sadasivam, Technical Product Marketing Manager at Looker will join the conversation on best practices.

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

Proficientz – Product Management University

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.

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

Proficientz – Product Management University

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 .

Product Feature Prioritization – A Three-Step Technique

Proficientz – Product Management University

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.

B2B 130

Overcoming Product Demo Objections

Proficientz – Product Management University

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.

Demo 116

Products for Product People: Best Practices in Analytics

Speaker: Andrew Wynn, Senior Product Manager, Looker

Who builds products for the product people? As a product manager, you know how helpful custom tailored data solutions can be to doing your job well. But proper data analytics solutions take work to deliver - it's not as simple as just building a dashboard. Learn product analytics best practices from Andrew Wynn, Product Manager at Looker. He will give the "meta" perspective from a practitioner who is building products that anybody, including product managers, can use to access, analyze, and act on data to make important decisions.