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Monday, October 25, 2010

Traits as learned @ pcampblr

India Product Management Association organized P-Camp at Bangalore recently. This event was hosted by Yahoo India and attained by over 100 enthusiasts from Product background and few stalwarts of the functional domain from reputed brands like Honeywell and Yahoo. This event will be remembered for long as it was first of its kind in India and was organized to perfection. Well done folks.

This is an well received attempt to build an ecosystem and facilitate exchange of ideas and promote entrepreneurship. About 12 tracks (topics) were covered by speakers from varied experience and skills. Group of product managers from yahoo ran through few key traits of a Product Management professional and here is a brief of what I could capture;

Traits of a Product Manager

1. Passionate of what they do

2. Business acumen

3. Understand product business

4. Understand customer (getting into customer shoe)

5. Good communication skill (verbal, written)

6. Decision making ability

7. Curiosity – always curios to know and learn more

8. IQ

9. Leadership qualities

10. Do what it takes to deliver (Attitude)

Good learning and networking opportunity.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Product Success: Invoke the Salesman in Engineers

It talks two to close a sales deal, a salesperson and an engineer. Sales folks are front end who would typically meet the customer and demonstrate the product to customers, whereas engineers work in back end and are responsible for design and develop a product that exceeds the customer expectation.

Let’s consider this medical simile. Salesperson’s role is like that of a needle, who knows how to get into the nerves to inject the medicine, or push the medicine in the nerves. The rest boils down to the quality of medicine, flowing thrown the nerves to reach the right pain points and being effective in solving these pain points. The quality of medicine here can be equated with quality of the software product. Deal once signed is job half done. Your software should flow through the customer business process and customer habit to solve the pain point for which customer pays you the money. This makes software a success and completes the sales cycle. Fitting into customer’s business process is possible only when your software design is flexible and robust, while the user friendliness of the software will help your product stay in customer habit for long. The needle alone is of no good use unless the medicine knows where to flow and what to solve. It’s only then the customer values your product and your product gets to see life beyond beta cycle. The second part of sales is owned by engineering folks.

Trust me, selling a product is tough, be it washing powder or sophisticated software. And if you have an engineer who believes that selling is ‘talking sweet’ then push him in street with your salesperson for few weeks to realize that selling at times is tougher than solving. They would realize that customer today is smart to judge the product best fitted to their needs. Engineers who have done this (been on street) appreciate the need to have quality medicine in your injecting process and they are those who develops success products.