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Who Am I Working With? Alexandra Bialek


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Who Am I Working With? Alexandra Bialek

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Understanding the drivers and motivations of the teams you work most closely with: Development, Marketing, Sales, Manufacturing, Service and Support, Professional Services, Legal.

Each of these teams has their own goals and are measured by distinct metrics. It makes sense to better understand what those are to have an easier time influencing them.

Understanding the drivers and motivations of the teams you work most closely with: Development, Marketing, Sales, Manufacturing, Service and Support, Professional Services, Legal.

Each of these teams has their own goals and are measured by distinct metrics. It makes sense to better understand what those are to have an easier time influencing them.


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Who Am I Working With? Alexandra Bialek

  2. 2. WHO AM I WORKING WITH? T H E C H A L L E N G E O F I N F L U E N C I N G T E A M S W I T H D I V E R G I N G G O A L S ALEXANDRA G BIALEK A G B I A L E K @ G M A I L . C O M JULY 25TH T E D R O G E R S S C H O O L O F M A N A G E M E N T , R Y E R S O N U N I V E R S I T Y ProductCamp 2015
  3. 3. The big picture PLM Develop- ment Manu- facturing Sales Service & Support Prof. Services Marketing Legal
  4. 4. PLM Make the product successful by  Defining product goals, strategy, and tactics together with Development, Marketing, Sales, and all other affected teams  Doing competitive analysis of the market, often together with Marketing  Enabling Sales, Technical Sales, Service and Support, Professional Services, and Manufacturing according to their needs  Owning announcements and launches  Following up on market results/sales and revenue numbers, together with Sales and Marketing
  5. 5. Development Develop product by  Incorporating new technologies into product  Filing patents  Correcting major issues  Documenting new features and capabilities  Documenting technical changes in product
  6. 6. Marketing Market product by  Creating interest  Defining target market  Creating collateral according to audience  Creating Go-To-Market strategy  Leading buyer’s journey for product  Positioning, sales strategy/enablement, market research
  7. 7. Sales Sell product to  Existing customers  Former/lost customers  New customers By  Showing business value  Demonstrating technical merit
  8. 8. Manufacturing Manufacture product while  Keeping cost low  Adhering to quality requirements Support customers using the product by  Explaining correct use  Documenting and resolving product issues  Escalating to development and/or manufacturing as needed Service and Support
  9. 9. Professional Services Enhance the customer experience by  Customizing the product  Offering enhanced services Make sure all legally binding documents leaving the company are favoring the company Legal

Editor's Notes

  • We will look at two sets of teams a product manager works with: the main contacts
    and what I call the extended contacts
    manufacturing – if there is a physical product
    service and support
    professional services – if there is a chance to sell customized product related services
    If you have further suggestions for the extended contacts I am more than happy to discuss those with you.

  • Product goals:
    Market share
    Revenue target
    Technology leadership
    Product strategy:
    Long term
    Define ways to reach product goals, like
    Feature sets
    Quality requirements
    Target markets
    Ideal price point
    Product tactics:
    Short to mid term
    Define ways to reach product goals
    See at strategies
    Timing of product release
    Partial release
    Open vs closed early access
    Can counteract long term strategies if not chosen carefully

    Competitive Analysis – where is my competition and what do they do?
    Should include market analysis (customer sets, business cases) and technical analysis (technologies, feature sets)

    Enablement is making sure everyone has the information and understanding needed to do their job; sales enablement might be done together with Marketing.

    New product announcements are to be coordinated between Development, Marketing, and Legal to make sure content and phrasing adhere to the defined goals, strategy, and tactics.
    End of life announcements are to be coordinated between Service and Support, Marketing, and Legal to make sure content and phrasing adhere to the defined goals, strategy, and tactics.

    Follow up on market results is checking if goals were reached and how the market is developing.
    Sales and revenue numbers are important to make future investment decisions.

  • Development typically creates at least one fully functional prototype of the product and defines and documents all components used, potential suppliers, and how to assemble the final product.
    In case of software development creates the actual product and there might be no manufacturing or only for documentation.

    The main interest for Development is to work on latest technologies and find new ways to do things => which leads to patents for the company

    Correcting major issues and documentation are normally not preferred activities in development, but accepted as necessary evil.
  • Interest = buzz = make others talk about your product
    Should be done by using different channels: classic announcement, press conference, press release, ads in all media, product related conferences, industry conferences, trade shows, fairs, internet pages, social media, etc.

    Target market should be defined in cooperation with PLM and Sales, Development might be included as well. This is part of the definition of the product goals for which Product management is responsible in the end.

    Collateral includes any written document that has a connection to your product and is intended for the general public with exception of announcements.
    The audience can be seen by function:
    Decision maker,
    And/or by industry. Depending on the audience different business cases with different level of technical detail might be presented in the collateral. Collateral might as well discuss specific features or capabilities of the product in depth. Collateral can be a book, an article in a print publication, an article in an online-publication, a video, a blog entry, a combination of tweets, and whole lot more.
    There is sometimes discussion if product documentation is part of collateral and therefore in the responsibility of Marketing or part of the product and therefore in the responsibility of Development. Be aware of this pitfall.

    The GTM strategy includes all efforts that lead up to and include the product launch. They should include everything mentioned above @ interest=buzz.
    It should include an early access or beta program to test the product with select customers and/or partners.

    Leading buyer’s journey is all about how to get a potential customer from cursory interest to real interest to request of quote to order and sign the contract.

    Positioning, sales strategy and enablement are shared responsibilities with PLM.
    Market research is the specialty of Marketing, but so deeply technological aspect might be done by development and PLM

  • Sales happen on at least two levels: political and technical.
    As consequence you often find at least two distinct sales roles in an organization:
    Sales executives who concentrate on the political aspect with the decision makers
    Technical sales who concentrate on the technical and technological aspect with the operations/technical team/users
    Influencers exist on both levels.

    At the customer the technical level can shoot down proposals as not meeting technical requirements.
    The political level can push through proposals as necessary for the business.
    The technical level very often can get informal information about decision making, real requirements vs official requirements vs wish list requirements.
    Technical people tend to gossip as much as everybody else, therefore it is possible with a good relationship to get informally a heads up about future projects before the political level makes a decision regarding those projects.

    Sales knows often why a deal did or did not go through. It is good practice to regularly check up on this cache of information regarding product needs.
  • Manufacturing

    To keep costs low work with manufacturing and procurement
    Make sure you get resources at best price in a timely manner
    Make sure manufacturing process produces least amount of scrapage
    To adhere to quality requirements make sure that development hands over all needed information, especially test scenarios to test for quality.

    Service and Support

    1st defense after customer has actual exposure to product
    To support customer with all product related issues – make sure there is a distinction between service and support and prof. services
    Customer issues can be but are not limited to:
    Misunderstood user interface
    Technical product issue
    Usage issue
    Technical maintenance of product
    Replacement of faulty parts

    Depending on gravity of issue escalation to development and/or manufacturing might be needed.
    Service and Support see typically only the unhappy customers, but have deep insight into the cause of their unhappiness. They are invaluable to properly asses customer satisfaction with the product.
  • Professional services

    Come in when product allows extensive customization which requires deep product knowledge
    Are often coupled with consulting services regarding the product
    Can be regular maintenance of mechanical parts of the product


    Often seen as the major pain in the behind is there to cover the same for you and the company.