Proficientz – Product Management University

Avoiding Reactive Product Decisions | Creating Your Product Vision | Three Ways to Sell More Existing Products

Proficientz – Product Management University

The B2B Product Manager Magazine September 2018 is now available. A product vision is just as valuable to product, marketing and sales teams as it is to customers because it keeps the focus on customer value.

Vision 141

Three Ways to Get Better At Selling Products You Have

Proficientz – Product Management University

It’s easier to sell products that don’t exist because they can do anything buyers want. Unfortunately, no one makes money selling products you don’t have. Here are three ways to get better at selling products you have and grow revenue faster.

Creating Your Product Vision: Two Parts Customer, One Part Product

Proficientz – Product Management University

Creating your product vision can be difficult when you focus too much on the product. Legendary Harvard Business School marketing professor Theodore Levitt famously said, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”

Vision 130

Sales Presentations: Calculating Your Buyer Relevance Quotient (BRQ)

Proficientz – Product Management University

Nothing accelerates the sales process more than a presentation that simply “nails it.” ” Here’s a quick test to determine the B uyer R elevance Q uotient (BRQ) of your sales presentations. The Playbook: Go find a sales presentation you’d consider to be one of the best.

The 5 Levels of Analytics Maturity

Basic dashboards used to be enough to thrill end users. But over time, modern capabilities have emerged—and bare-minimum features are no longer cutting it. How have analytics changed? And where do your BI offerings fall? Find out sophisticated ways to future-proof your application. Brought to you by Logi Analytics.

Product Management Priorities When Top Line Growth Hits a Wall

Proficientz – Product Management University

What should product management’s priorities be when your company’s growth hits the wall? Here are five key initiatives that product management should lead the charge on to generate more short-term revenue and drive more long-term growth.

Naming 130

Product Management Culture: Can You Measure It?

Proficientz – Product Management University

I’m considering jobs at several companies. How do I determine the importance of product management in a company’s culture? The product management culture in a company may be more evident outside the product management function. In your discovery process, look for clues in your conversations with marketing, sales, executives or product development to determine the extent to which those disciplines can speak eloquently on target markets, target-customer goals, industry trends, etc.

Naming 100

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

Portfolio Product Manager Responsibilities

Proficientz – Product Management University

To what extent should a product manager be concerned about the portfolio? Is there a portfolio product manager role? There are portfolio product manager roles, but all product managers share responsibilities for the portfolio. There are things you do to your products for purposes of customer retention and then there are things you do to your products in conjunction with other products to form solutions.

B2B 100

Reactive Product Decisions – Avoiding The #1 Culprit

Proficientz – Product Management University

The single biggest reason for reactive product decisions is the absence of a cohesive top-down strategy that articulates where you’re going, how you’ll get there and why you’ll succeed – articulated in terms of customer value. The Playbook: In many organizations, a strategy is nothing more than a set of goals like revenue, profitability, customer retention, etc., with a few accompanying objectives like “greater customer focus.”

The Value of a Product Marketing Roadmap: It’s Like Deep-Sea Fishing for Sales

Proficientz – Product Management University

A product marketing roadmap for sales is like a popular technique used in deep sea fishing. The captain turns on the sonar to locate schools of fish, you put the appropriate bait on your line, drop it and start reeling in fish. Has product marketing taken your salesforce deep sea fishing this year? Your product marketing roadmap is the equivalent to sonar on a fishing boat.

Monetizing Analytics Features: Why Data Visualizations Will Never Be Enough

Think your customers will pay more for data visualizations in your application? Five years ago they may have. But today, dashboards and visualizations have become table stakes. Discover which features will differentiate your application and maximize the ROI of your embedded analytics. Brought to you by Logi Analytics.

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.

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.”

How Product Marketing Roadmaps Drive Sales | Shifting Market, Shifting Strategy | Agile: We’ve Come Full Circle

Proficientz – Product Management University

The B2B Product Manager Magazine August 2018 is now available. This month we explore the value of a product marketing roadmap to sales. It’s not a staple in most B2B organizations but it’s just as important to your near-term revenue as a product roadmap is to your longer-term growth. We also look in the rear-view mirror at Agile and discuss what’s changed and what hasn’t along with tips for dealing with flat growth and shifting market conditions. Enjoy our August issue.

Curiosity: The Key to a Great Sales Discovery Meeting

Proficientz – Product Management University

Sometime is pays to just be curious. You’re about to go into a sales discovery meeting with a new prospect. Is your mindset more like salesperson with a quota, or someone that’s looking to create new relationships in your professional network? Results suggests that you’re better off playing the role of someone that’s looking to build his or her network. Most business people enjoy conversations where they get to talk about things that are important to their success.

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

5 Early Indicators Your Embedded Analytics Will Fail

Many application teams leave embedded analytics to languish until something—an unhappy customer, plummeting revenue, a spike in customer churn—demands change. But by then, it may be too late. In this White Paper, Logi Analytics has identified 5 tell-tale signs your project is moving from “nice to have” to “needed yesterday.". Brought to you by Logi Analytics.

Today’s Product Manager vs. 20 Years Ago | Great Sales Discovery | Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse Acquisitions

Proficientz – Product Management University

The B2B Product Manager Magazine July 2018 is now available. It’s July and that means the second half of the fiscal year is in full swing for many organizations. That usually equates to more focus on hitting your sales numbers. This month we tackle two critical phases of the sales process – discovery and demos – with tips for getting better results on both fronts.

The New Product Manager Persona

Proficientz – Product Management University

How has the product manager persona changed over the past 20 years? The short answer is that most product managers today come into their role from technical backgrounds. 20 years ago most product managers came from customer-facing roles. That shift means that today’s product managers need to work harder at three things to make sure they’re delivering value to the organization. Flip the switch from HOW to WHAT & WHY.

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

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.

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. Brought to you by Logi Analytics.

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.

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

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.

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. Brought to you by Logi Analytics.

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

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

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!

How Product Managers Can Learn to Love Reporting

Speaker: Eric Feinstein, Professional Services Manager, Looker

For a long time, Product Managers have found it challenging to design interfaces inside their products that users could use for reporting. It seems like PMs and engineers have grown to hate embedded reporting. Fortunately, there are new technical approaches that are making this a significantly different picture, although there are still lots of interesting design challenges. Eric Feinstein, Professional Services Manager at Looker, has done workshops with lots of product managers who are looking to add effective reporting. He will use the example of a product manager of a learning management software system and how she would go through the process of defining reporting for users of the product. He will discuss working through personas, data types, reporting needs analysis and ultimately how this comes together to form a roadmap for reporting functionality and interface.

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

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?

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.

How Product Managers Can Learn to Love Reporting

Speaker: Eric Feinstein, Professional Services Manager, Looker

For a long time, Product Managers have found it challenging to design interfaces inside their products that users could use for reporting. It seems like PMs and engineers have grown to hate embedded reporting. Fortunately, there are new technical approaches that are making this a significantly different picture, although there are still lots of interesting design challenges. Eric Feinstein, Professional Services Manager at Looker, has done workshops with lots of product managers who are looking to add effective reporting. He will use the example of a product manager of a learning management software system and how she would go through the process of defining reporting for users of the product. He will discuss working through personas, data types, reporting needs analysis and ultimately how this comes together to form a roadmap for reporting functionality and interface.

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.

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.

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

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.

Project Analytics: Visibility that Aids Risk Management

Speaker: Miles Robinson, Agile and Management Consultant, Motivational Speaker

Product Managers face changes that put delivery at risk. Just as you use data from the customer to inform your solutions, transparency during the building of those solutions is critical for making better risk mitigation decisions. Whether your solution has fixed scope, fixed scheduling, fixed resources or fixed level of quality, the earlier you can know when these are at risk (and how) the better. The more clear the picture, the better you can understand the impacts of changes, and the more effectively you can deliver the solution the customer needs, when they need it, at a reasonable cost. This session will focus on the use of a One-Dimensional Product Backlog from a risk management point of view. We will show how this tool can be used to monitor and evaluate how your solution is getting built, and a clear view of any cascading impacts risks have as they surface.