Proficientz – Product Management University

Solutions Marketing vs. Product Marketing: One Big Difference

Proficientz – Product Management University

A lot of people think solutions marketing is just a fancy term for product marketing, especially since the term solution has been so overused. But there is one huge difference in real-world practice. In a product marketing model, products are the star. Problems, features and benefits are co-stars.

Hiring a Product Manager – The Million Dollar Dilemma

Proficientz – Product Management University

You’re hiring a product manager. Do you hire an experienced product manager who can acquire domain expertise or a domain expert that can learn how to be a product manager? It’s a dilemma for many hiring managers.

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Customer Advisory Boards: Three Best Practices and the Jaw-Dropping Moments

Proficientz – Product Management University

Customer advisory boards can deliver tremendous strategic value to your organization if you organize them with the appropriate customer roles and have business conversations.

Product Management Executive Roundtable Highlights

Proficientz – Product Management University

I began organizing this Product Management Executive Roundtable couple of years ago at the request of a few clients. They brought to my attention the fact that there aren’t any networking forums specifically for product management VPs, SVPs and CPOs.

API Analytics: The Ultimate Guide to Grow Your Platform Business

API product and platform owners have their own unique challenges. Learn how to leverage data to convert, understand, and support your customers better.

The Three Stages of Product Management Maturity

Proficientz – Product Management University

Consider the following three stages of product management maturity and the skills your team needs to become proficient in each stage. The faster your maturation process, the more success you’ll see across engineering, marketing, sales, and customer success teams.

Strategic Product Marketing: One Small Move, Three Big Benefits

Proficientz – Product Management University

A strategic product marketing function can be created with one simple move that pays three big dividends to the organization. Many product marketing professionals in B2B have long felt like the sales tools on-demand department and rightfully so.

Product Positioning: Overcoming Seven Obstacles to a Great Value Story

Proficientz – Product Management University

Here’s an example of product positioning at its finest. If you’re a car enthusiast, go read the marketing copy for your dream car. The product marketers do a masterful job of getting you to envision exactly how awesome you’d look and feel behind the wheel of that car.

Three Techniques for Uncovering Root Cause Customer Needs

Proficientz – Product Management University

When it comes to uncovering customer needs, it’s easy to get caught in the trap reacting and developing products and features that they ask for without first understanding the real business need and its value.

Product Positioning Tip 7 of 7: Making Product Deficiencies No So Deficient

Proficientz – Product Management University

Remember the last time you bought a car? You bought the car that did the best overall job of meeting your needs. There were other cars that had a better GPS, a faster engine, a nicer interior, etc.

More Effective Agile Leadership

Speaker: Steve McConnell, CEO, Construx Software

In this talk, Steve McConnell, CEO of Construx Software, distills hundreds of companies’-worth of real-world experience into the proven Agile leadership practices that work best. Steve will seamlessly thread together traditional approaches, early Agile approaches, modern Agile approaches, and the principles and context that underlie them all—creating an invaluable resource for Agile leaders, their teams, and their organizations.

Product Positioning Tip 6 of 7: Structuring a Positioning Presentation

Proficientz – Product Management University

You’ve surely experienced this scenario. You’re inquire about a product or service. A salesperson contacts you. The first thing they talk about are the benefits of doing business with their company. Your primary interest on the other hand is to discuss your own situation first.

Product Positioning Tip 5 of 7: Include Emotion

Proficientz – Product Management University

Take a minute and go read a few of your product web pages or a piece of product literature. They’re well-worded, proper and grammatically correct, which also means they probably lack emotion.

Product Positioning Tip 3 of 7: Verbalizing a Product Overview in 30 Seconds

Proficientz – Product Management University

Someone walks into your booth at a tradeshow and asks you for an overview of Product X. It’s a tough question to answer and pique someone’s interest in the first 30 seconds.

Product Positioning Tip 2 of 7: Creating Headlines That Hook

Proficientz – Product Management University

Web pages, literature, booth signage, presentations, email campaigns and the list goes on. They all need great headlines to hook your target audience.

Win the Digital Transformation Game with the Product Mindset

Speaker: David DeWolf, Founder and CEO, 3Pillar Global

No matter what your idea is, no matter how good it is, and no matter how well you know your market, 3 out of 4 digital initiatives do not succeed. To better understand how to win, we should first understand why we’re failing. In this webinar, David DeWolf will share his experiences and lessons learned to help you succeed in playing the “product” game, instead of the “IT” game.

Product vs Solution – The Key Difference

Proficientz – Product Management University

How would you characterize the difference between product vs solution? Product vs solution is the simple difference between what you do and what your customers do. You build products and features. Your customers admit patients, do legal research, run payroll, design clothing, take customer orders, inventory a warehouse, etc.

Portfolio Product Management: The Up Side You Didn’t Consider (Video)

Proficientz – Product Management University

Portfolio product management defies conventional product management wisdom. It’s true that if every product is successful, your company will be successful. In B2B though, what’s best for every product may not be the best or most valuable thing for the customer organization or yours.

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Value-Based Product Roadmaps: They Should Mirror a Customer Org Chart (Video)

Proficientz – Product Management University

Value based product roadmaps should be structured like a customer org chart so that the business value of your product investment priorities is clear to executives, senior managers and users.

Do It For the Portfolio Instead of Every Product: Five B2B Product Management Best Practices

Proficientz – Product Management University

The Portfolio vs. Every Product! Here are five B2B product management best practices that’ll give product management teams the coveted “strategic” moniker among executives, marketing, sales, engineering and customer success teams.

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BI Buyers Guide: Embedding Analytics in Your Software

The business intelligence market has exploded. And as the number of vendors grows, it gets harder to make sense of it all. Learn how to decide what features you need and get an evaluation framework for every technical and non-technical requirement you could imagine.

Three Product Demo Mechanics That Keep Buyers Engaged

Proficientz – Product Management University

Here are three product demo mechanics that will engage buyers into the conversation and produce more favorable outcomes. In sales situations, the goal of every product demo is to create an urgency to buy!

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B2B Product Manager Magazine April 2019

Proficientz – Product Management University

The B2B Product Manager Magazine April 2019 is now available. If your perception of portfolio management is that it’s more advanced or involved than traditional product management, it may be time to reconsider.

Transition Into Product Management From a Technical Role

Proficientz – Product Management University

The transition into product management from a technical role is one of the most difficult. Of all roles that touch the product, technical roles are the furthest removed from the market and the customers. It can be done successfully however, as many engineers have already proven.

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B2B Product Manager Magazine June 2019

Proficientz – Product Management University

The B2B Product Manager Magazine June 2019 is now available. Every product company wants successful products. This month we contrast the differences between structuring your product management function for product success vs. customer success.

A New Segmentation Model for Customer Onboarding

A great customer onboarding program is a proactive and meaningful way to make a lasting impact on customer engagement, retention, and expansion. In this eBook, Skilljar will show you a new framework for building a customer onboarding program, including how to segment users and drive long-term value and retention through education.

The Killer Product Overview: How to Nail It, Verbal or Written!

Proficientz – Product Management University

Here’s the secret to a killer product overview. It’s more about what someone can do with the product than it is about what the product actually does. About 10 or 12 years ago, I was the victim of a killer product overview! I wasn’t even planning to buy anything, yet I spent way more money than I ever imagined and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s the story. I took my garment bag to a specialty luggage store to be repaired. While I’m the store, I decide to browse for a new laptop bag.

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Are Product Managers Becoming Too Technical?

Proficientz – Product Management University

Product managers with technical backgrounds have steadily increased over the years. Is this good or bad for the product management professions? It begs a lot of questions in which a yes or a no answer is entirely appropriate. Here are a few that come to mind.

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.

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Product Revenue and Profitability Goals – Are They Counterproductive?

Proficientz – Product Management University

Are product revenue and profitability goals a good metric or are they counterproductive? If the target markets for each product are mutually exclusive, product revenue and profitability goals don’t present any issues in B2B. The trouble starts when you have multiple products that target the same exact markets and customers. Here’s why.

Architect Your Organization for Effectiveness, Productivity, and Joy

Speaker: Ron Lichty, Consultant: Interim VP Engineering, Ron Lichty Consulting, Inc.

As a senior software leader, you likely spend more time working on the architecture of your systems than the architecture of your organization. Yet, structuring our teams and organizations is a critical factor for success. In fact, the impact of software architecture parallels the impact of organizational structure. We are excited to welcome Ron Lichty, co-author of a seminal book on managing software teams and a well-known speaker, he’ll speak to organizing for effectiveness, productivity and joy.

How Product Management & Product Marketing Lead From a Position of Strength

Proficientz – Product Management University

Think back to a meeting you were in with 10 or 12 people, maybe more. There was one person in that meeting that, whenever they spoke, everyone latched on to their comments like a magnet to steel. That person was credible, confident and spoke with remarkable conviction. People with this level of knowledge and confidence have a certain presence. We trust them. We learn from them. We’re willing to follow their lead. They can make us better at whatever we do.

Structuring Product Management for Customer Success vs. Product Success (Video)

Proficientz – Product Management University

Structuring product management for customer success versus product success boils down to one key difference.

Sales Presentation Techniques That Improve Discovery

Proficientz – Product Management University

There are many cases where salespeople are forced into giving presentations before adequate discovery has been completed. Here are a few sales presentation techniques that will yield valuable buyer motivations without formal discovery meetings.

Business Requirements vs. Value Propositions: Is There Any Difference?

Proficientz – Product Management University

Business requirements and value propositions are one and the same. What’s different is the purpose for which they’re written. Business requirements are written to communicate the WHO, WHAT & WHY value that’s required to justify building new products and features.

The Essential Guide to Building Analytic Applications

Embedding dashboards, reports, and analytics in an existing application presents some unique opportunities—and poses unique challenges—to software teams. Download this eBook to hear 16 product experts share insights on business intelligence, UI/UX, security, and everything that goes into building a successful application with analytics at its core.

Pursuing a Product Management Career: The #1 Skill

Proficientz – Product Management University

There are many skills that are important for success in a product management career, but there’s one that stands head and shoulders above all the rest. Apply a little deductive reasoning to get there. Let’s start with the ultimate goal of a product manager.

Powerful Product Positioning: Follow These Three Rules

Proficientz – Product Management University

Powerful product positioning usually boils down to the best story, which is not always the best product. Adhere to these three guidelines and marketing and selling value will be a lot easier. The Playbook: Make It More About the Buyer – Way More!

Product Manager Writing Skills to Grow Your Influence

Proficientz – Product Management University

How important are good writing skills for product managers? The short answer is, really, really important. You’ve written an MRD that (in your own mind) is a masterpiece, but no one’s reading it! You have to explain the gist of it in every meeting. There are two primary reasons.

Product Positioning Tip 4 of 7: “Net It Out” Value Themes for Greater Simplicity

Proficientz – Product Management University

Imagine that your positioning is so clear and so simple that it doesn’t require anyone to think. They just get it! It’s rare but you know it when you see it, and it’s the simplicity that stands out. Great salespeople are masters at doing it verbally. The Playbook : Your first step to the positioning promised land is creating “net it out” value themes, simple umbrella phrases that mirror the aspirations of your target customers.

An Adult Conversation About Estimates

Speaker: Beekey Cheung, Software Consultant, Professor Beekums, LLC

Estimates are a contentious topic in software development. Most of our development teams hate providing estimates and many managers are starting to view them as unnecessary. As senior software leaders, how can we determine whether estimates are helpful or harmful to our teams? We are excited to be joined by Beekey Cheung, a software consultant and blogger known as Professor Beekums, who has helped many leaders and teams go from fearing estimates to using them appropriately. He'll walk us through the value of estimates, how to overcome the hesitancy many have in giving them, and how to provide better estimates.