Proficientz – Product Management University

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 109

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

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 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.

Build vs. Buy: Implementing the Right Experimentation Solution

Choosing Whether to Build or Buy. To build and deliver products that customers love, product teams at leading enterprises such as Uber, Netflix and Airbnb are focusing on experimentation as a critical business process. These teams are empowered to A/B test each new feature and gain valuable insights before rolling it out widely. After seeing what these companies accomplish with experimentation, you may be considering whether to build your own testing framework, integrate an open source solution, or invest in a commercial experimentation platform like Optimizely Full Stack. Download this whitepaper to discover: The key questions product teams must ask before choosing to build or buy. The most common requirements that enterprise teams have for experimentation. How to avoid key mistakes and plan for success when building an internal system.

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 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

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.

Getting Started with Product Experimentation

How Product Development Teams Reduce Guesswork and Innovate Faster. Product development teams are embracing iterative release processes such as agile and continuous delivery to mitigate risk and adapt to evolving customer requirements. This trend is enabling teams to be more productive and increase product quality. But how do you know if you are building the right product or feature? Experimentation can help your team prove whether you are building the right product and eliminate uncertainty and guesswork from your software development process. Download this whitepaper to learn: How experimentation fits in with the agile development process. Best practices for integrating experimentation into your release process. Key considerations when buying an experimentation solution. Ways to optimize performance and ensure security and compliance.

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

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.

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 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.

Drive Quality and Velocity with Feature Flags

Drive Quality and Velocity with Feature Flags. Launching a new feature is a risky proposition. Even the most well designed and researched features can have unforeseen consequences for your application performance and business metrics. Rolling back a poor performing feature can be time consuming and costly. However, it doesn’t have to be. Implement feature management and experimentation in your development lifecycle to reduce risk and prove impact when launching features. Download this whitepaper to learn: How to ship products faster with higher quality. The best way to launch features with less risk and more control. How to prove the impact of every feature release with experimentation.

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.

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

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

A Guide to Designing Delightful Dashboards

Speaker: Daniel O'Sullivan, Product Designer, nCino and Jeff Hudock, Senior Product Manager, nCino

We’ve all seen the increasing industry trend of artificial intelligence and big data analytics. In a world of information overload, it's more important than ever to have a dashboard that provides data that's not only interesting but actually relevant and timely. Dashboards assist decision makers facilitate new ideas and business opportunities, increase customer approval rates, and analyze current business process. All of these activities play a vital role in providing the superior experience your customers demand.

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.

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 .

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.

Turning Metrics into Dollars: How to Turn Your Analytics Data into a Real Financial Model for your Startup

Speaker: Tristan Kromer, Lean Agile Coach, Kromatic

Some teams struggle to constantly optimize conversion rates without understanding the financial impact of those conversion rates. Sometimes that 0.1% increase isn't worth the engineering time we're spending! Early stage startups in particular may not need a four year business plan, but they need to start building out a model which will show how they can someday be profitable. At the very least, they need to be able to see the impact of a change in retention rates to their user growth.

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

Proficientz – Product Management University

Demo 100

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

Demonstrating Solutions vs. Products

Proficientz – Product Management University

In many cases, the product silos that exist internally become transparent to your buyers during the sales cycle, creating the perception you’ve got a bunch of fragmented products instead of integrated solutions. Longer and more difficult sales cycles lie ahead if this is the case. The Playbook: Three tactics that will help you sell a high-value business solution instead of a bunch of tactical products. Create a Strategic Value Theme for Each Prospect.

Demo 100

Demonstrating Solutions vs. Products

Proficientz – Product Management University

In many cases, the product silos that exist internally become transparent to your buyers during the sales cycle, creating the perception you’ve got a bunch of fragmented products instead of integrated solutions. Longer and more difficult sales cycles lie ahead if this is the case. The Playbook: Three tactics that will help you sell a high-value business solution instead of a bunch of tactical products. Create a Strategic Value Theme for Each Prospect.

Demo 100

The Top 5 Most Common Rapid Prototyping Mistakes

Speaker: Teresa Torres, Product Discovery Coach, Product Talk

When you think of "rapid prototyping", what comes to mind? If you work in digital products, you might think wireframes and mockups as a quick way to get user feedback on our designs. Rapid prototyping is quickly becoming ubiquitous, and with good reason. It is a powerful tool for thinking through different aspects of your product and answering questions to all sorts of design questions. They're also a great way to externalize what lessons you learn about your product along the way.

Product Usability & Its Impact on Revenue

Proficientz – Product Management University

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

Learning Product Management Skills vs. Training: The Big Difference!

Proficientz – Product Management University

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.

B2B 100

Learning Product Management Skills vs. Training: Big Difference!

Proficientz – Product Management University

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.

Maybe We Should Be Problem Managers Instead

Speaker: Steve Johnson, Founder and CEO, Under10 Playbook

Yet many product managers and most product owners are too busy with tactical issues that they never come close to addressing these issues. Is product management primarily supporting the tactics of other departments? Or is it a strategic role that is grounded in market facts? Personal experience with customers is the source of product management insights. Product managers need to look beyond UX to the entire customer experience through every step of the product life cycle.

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

Proficientz – Product Management University

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.

B2B 100

Product Management – Three Tactics for Exerting Stronger Influence & Leadership

Proficientz – Product Management University

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

Proficientz – Product Management University

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.

B2B 100

Product Management – Three Tactics for Exerting Stronger Influence & Leadership

Proficientz – Product Management University

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.

Interpreting your Qualitative & Quantitative Data through Storyboarding

Speaker: Tristan Kromer, Lean Coach, Kromatic

Storyboarding is a simple way to integrate Qualitative and Quantitative perspectives into a complete picture of how the user experience impacts the business model. Qualitative vs. Quantitative is an argument that shouldn't happen. Both are necessary to have a complete understanding of where the desirability of the product meets the viability of the business.