Posts Tagged ‘Diagnose sales problems’

Product Management vs Product Marketing Activities

Comments Off on Product Management vs Product Marketing Activities
February 22, 2014 · by Ray · Business Solutions, Marketing, Sales Model

Titles really are a mess. What one company calls a product manager, another calls a product marketing manager. It is best to be aware of this and to focus on the activities required. Also where these people do not exist in an organisation other departments fill the void. So the activities may be performed (poorly) by technical, sales, operations or marketing communications.

Typically the title “product manager” is used to signify people who listen to the market and articulate the market problems in the form of requirements. And the title “product marketing manager” is usually assigned to those who take the resulting product to the market by defining a product marketing strategy.

In Crossing the Chasm, Geoff Moore defines (and recommends) two separate positions:

A Product Manager (PM) listens to the market

PM“A product manager is a member of either the marketing organization or the development organization who is responsible for ensuring that a product gets created, tested, and shipped on schedule and meets specifications. It is a highly internally focused job, bridging the marketing and development organizations, and requiring a high degree of technical competence and project management experience.”

 

A Product Marketing Manager (PMM) talks to the market

PMM“A product marketing manager is always a member of the marketing organization, never of the development group, and is responsible for bringing the product to the marketplace and to the distribution organization… it is a highly externally focused job.”

 

In reality, there is a blurring of activities and the captions used (talking and listening) are used for simplicity, clarity and guidance rather than laws. The activities performed by the roles are as follows:

Product Management Activities

  • Define Market Opportunity,
  • Define User Personas for individual products.
  • Create Product Requirements & Use Scenarios,
  • Analyse Competitive Landscape,
  • Define Product Differentiation & Position Product,
  • Create Business Case, Acquire Funding,
  • Create Product Roadmap, Develop Product,
  • Launch Product, Manage Product Lifecycle.

Product Marketing Management Activities

  • Articulate Product Objectives,
  • Articulate Product detail ( differentiation, positioning, applications, pricing and USP), Understand Market (needs, problems,& segmentation, priority, size, customer profiles and purchase processes),
  • Understand Competition,
  • Build Go to Market plan ( value proposition, sales process, select/create sales channels and objectives, message map, demand generation strategy, promotion strategy, sales guide, sales support & collateral, sales training, pipeline management, metrics, systems, budget, schedule),
  • Execute Plan ( launch event, launch team).
  • Conduct Win/Loss analysis.

 Director, Product Strategy Activities

In organisations where a Director, Product Strategy exists then they may take on more of  the strategic and less tactical activities.

  • Discover and validate market problems (both existing and future customers)
  • Seek new market opportunities by leveraging the company’s distinctive competence
  • Define and size market segments
  • Conduct win/loss analysis
  • Determine the optimum distribution strategy
  • Provide oversight of strategy, technical, and marketing aspects of all products in the portfolio
  • Analyze product profitability and sales success
  • Create and maintain the business plan including pricing
  • Determine buy/build/partner decisions
  • Position the product for all markets and all buyer types
  • Document the typical buying process
  • Approve final marketing and go-to-market plans

Sales Problems may point to poor Product Management & Product Marketing

Comments Off on Sales Problems may point to poor Product Management & Product Marketing
February 21, 2014 · by Ray · Business Solutions, High Performance Sales Team, Marketing

Sales problems are very visible.

 

Targets are not met. Customers are not acquired. Pipelines are not healthy. Forecasts are not met.

Often the immediate reaction is to blame the sales personnel. Typical questions are: Are they working hard enough. Are they working smart enough? Do they  have the right relationships. Are they looking in the wrong places. Do they understand customer problems?  Do they understand the product value? Can they present the value of the product effectively?

Diagnose, Create & Deliver

Diagnose, Create, Deliver

While sales personnel can always up their game, in many cases the root problems can be elsewhere. If Product Management and Product Marketing processes been ignored, or not done correctly then the following problems may be diagnosed

 

Diagnosis

  • Do product differentiators exist and are they understood?
  • Is product positioning clear and understood?
  • Have the correct target market segments been identified?
  • Is the product fully developed and bug free?
  • Does the product provide the whole solution for the customer or are partner products required?
  • Is the product perceived as too expensive?
  • Is the value of the product understood and presented well enough?
  • Are the value messages available for all of the key players in the customer organisation?
  • Do suitable message vehicles exist? Do sales tools exist?
  • Are there reference customers available that are acceptable to target customers?

Create & Deliver Solution

A solution must then be created and delivered. Depending on the organisation this may be done by Product Management and Product Marketing.

Product management is inward focussed and product marketing is outward focussed.

  • Utilise Differentiators – Articulate product differentiators, and combine with customer profiling and competitive analysis to position products correctly and to drive messaging.
  • Prioritise Target Customers – Utilise market analysis and product positioning to prioritise demand generation and sales activities
  • Finalise Development – Create project plan and obtain high level management sponsorship  to finalise development.
  • Create Whole Solution – The construction of the solution may be done directly or via a third party such as an integrator. In Early markets the customer will normally provide this function either directly or via a third party.
  • Execute Pricing Review – Ensure that value is demonstrated clearly by better presentation or if required a pricing reduction or re-organization.
  • Create Better Value Presentation – Include all the value elements and simplify presentation in line with the customer financial modelling. Include as a standard sales tool.
  • Acquire Reference Customers – Provide sufficient support to sales personnel to target and acquire reference customers.

Project management methodologies and tools can be used  as appropriate to deliver solutions efficiently and effectively.