A lot of new product managers reached this position after spending a few years in other areas of business. Usually, people shift to this role after realizing that they are passionate about creating something new. But, we all know that passion isn’t the only determining factor for success in any field. So, now that you have landed your first position in product management, the question is, how can you become effective and successful in your new role?
While signing up for a product management training course is a great way to prepare yourself for a very challenging and fast-paced career change, this is certainly not enough to guarantee success. You can gain knowledge from trainings and books, but real life experiences are key in acquiring the skills needed to thrive in product management.
Here are some tips to help you succeed in your product management career:
Learn Your Company’s Goals
The bottomline will always be about you well you are able to meet your company’s goals and objectives. Start by getting a solid grasp of your boss’ goals, as well as the person who directly mentors you. Make sure that you are all aligned and that your work leads to the attainment of their set goals.
Talk to at Least Five Customers
The best way to understand the value of your product is by regularly engaging with your customers. This will allow you to get unadulterated feedback directly from your end users, so you know what they like or hate about your product. The information you get from these customers will be very useful in decision-making and trade-offs as you set your product roadmap.
Shadow a Sales Engineer
Sales engineers are constantly engaging with customers, and they have good knowledge of the market landscape. They are technical experts of your product, which makes shadowing them a worthwhile activity that will you allow you to gain a deeper level of insight and appreciation for your product and also learn how your customers use your product in their day-to-day lives.
Use Your Product
It is always best to get a hands-on experience of your product. If you are working with consumer products, make sure that you start using your product on a regular basis to really have a better understanding of what’s good and what needs to be changed or improved. If you are in the business of developing applications, request for access to a demo or staging environment so you can test the product yourself.
Listen to at Least 10 Customer Support Calls
Calls to your customer support team would comprise of questions and issues from customers, so listening to at least ten of these calls will give you great insight as to what works and doesn’t work with the product. You will also be able to understand the customers’ needs better, which would be helpful when planning for product improvements or the creation of new products.
So, there you have it – five things you can do to kickstart your career in product management the right way and become effective and successful in your new role. Remember, gaining knowledge is a good start, but experience will make you great at what you do.
Michelle Rubio has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on product management training such as those offered by ProductSchool.com.