Tag: Sales

  • Vendor Management and the Unattainable Goal

    Vendor Management and the Unattainable Goal

    It starts as a spreadsheet full of tickets. The customer feels that they’re not being heard, and they work with their sales team  to produce a record of everything they have ever asked for. This record of course falls victim to the problems described here: 4/5ths of the responses are some kind of redirection that […]

  • How to Present a Product Proposal Executive Deck

    How to Present a Product Proposal Executive Deck

    I’ve been writing and presenting my entire career, so this set of learnings was definitely puzzling to acquire. But it turns out that you need a different deck for executive presentations than you do for conferences, sales, or product updates. First, a general note for technical or academic people. There’s an attitude or tradition, perhaps […]

  • How to Run an Customer Roadmap Call

    How to Run an Customer Roadmap Call

    What is your goal? Depends on the stage of the company… you might be working with a five year roadmap of value extraction activities, but if so I can’t really help. I’ve always left companies when they hit that stage. What I’m much more used to is active value creation. That will translate to a […]

  • The regrettable features you have to do

    The regrettable features you have to do

    Sometimes as a product manager you get a feature request that’s fun and challenging and moves your company forward. Then there’s requests that just make you feel like a sad clown: stuff that doesn’t fit your plan at all. It’s hard work to ignore the nay-sayers and make a new thing. The product team and […]

  • Planning your Year

    Planning your Year

    The plan is maybe accurate, but probably not. The act of planning is a useful time to step back, evaluate strategic position and rethink investment. Using financial targets is a mechanism. If target is thirty percent growth, does the product org have a realistic answer for how that will happen? If that answer is couched […]

  • Using a Technical Edge in Products

    Using a Technical Edge in Products

    “Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.” — Howard Aiken Innovative technologies are different than what came before. Product buying patterns are based on what has come before. If you have an innovative technology you will need to bend your customer’s stated needs […]

  • The Mystical Art of Getting New Things Done

    The Mystical Art of Getting New Things Done

    The process isn’t actually mystical: it’s selling an idea to everyone who must work together to execute it. People who would use it. People who will fund it. People who will build it. People who will sell it. Eventually, people who will buy it. Tell people what you want to do. Lots of people. Product […]

  • A Simplistic View of Venture Capital

    A Simplistic View of Venture Capital

    I have a lot of conversations with people. 1:1’s, interviews, &c. When the opportunity arises, sometimes those who’ve done startups will talk about their experiences. There’s sometimes a flag in those conversations about startups that raises my hackles. It’s a description of the money raised as if that were a success metric. “I was at […]

  • Product Tempo versus Deal Tempo

    Product Tempo versus Deal Tempo

    Going from sales engineering to product management  was a jarring transition at first, because it represented a change in tempo. As a sales engineer, I lived by the fiscal quarter. While a given customer might be a multi-quarter job to convert, my sales partners and I had money to make and were judged on a […]

  • Conference Giveaways

    Conference Giveaways

    Remember going to conferences? When I was a young sales engineer and going to my first conferences, it was clear that an attempt to attract visitors with a freebie or a lottery for a big thing was a strategy. Maybe not a great strategy, but there it is. Notable factors: the thing should be something […]