Rise of the SaaS Product Manager


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The Rise of the SaaS Product Manager, Why Product Management is More Important than Ever with Tom Evans, moderated by Cindy F. Solomon

As the Software as a Service (SaaS) market continues to grow and change the landscape of IT products, some people are saying that the software product manager is an irrelevant and dying breed. While SaaS has changed some aspects for the Product Manager, such as the pace of new releases, the opportunity for increased influence of the user community and the ability to collect more useful data, these changes do not make the SaaS product manager irrelevant, but they do require the SaaS Product Manager to learn new skills and to use new tools in order for them to be effective and valuable in the world of SaaS.

In this webinar, we’ll demonstrate how the principles of product management continue to apply to SaaS companies and then present a survey of effective product management practices currently being used by SaaS Product Managers.

3 Day San Francisco Product Leader Special Package Price: $1797.00
2 day intensive training followed by 1 day conference & meetup includes lunch all 3 days

Product Innovation Leadership Training http://www.aipmm.com/html/certification/strategic-innovation.php
February 5 & 6, 2013 / 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
includes the 2 Day Intensive Training ($1697 value), Certified Innovation Leader (CIL®) certification exam fee ($395 value), and a 1 year premium AIPMM membership ($175 value). This course also offers 16 PDUs for PMI® certified Project Management Professionals (PMP®).


Startup Product Summit startupproduct.com
February 7, 2013 / 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
1-Day Conference: Discover how to work together to develop amazing products.
Join the first conference ($349 value) bringing together everyone who touches product at a company to talk frankly about what product is and our shared role in making them a success with a healthy mix of product managers, engineers, marketers and designers speaking from their experiences about products from every angle, including prototyping, roadmapping and marketing. The conference will offer additional PDUs.


Startup Product Talks February 7, 2013 6:30 PM sfproducttalks.com
San Francisco meetup networking event ($10+ value includes food and drinks)
Subscribe AIPMM Product Management News and Views:
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/aipmm

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  • The Certified Innovation Leader body of knowledge and credential is aligned with The Association of International Product Marketing and Management. AIPMM was founded in 1998. It provides professional development, training, and certification to those involved in product management, such as product managers and developers, marketing managers, brand managers, project managers, and many more. The certified innovation leader credential is one of four certifications provided by AIPMM. The others include: certified product manager, certified product marketing manager, and agile certified product manager.
  • So what you do is you take the specifications from the customers and you bring them down to the software engineers?That, that's right.Well, then I gotta ask, then why can't the customers just take the specifications directly to the software people, huh?Well, uh, uh, uh, because, uh, engineers are not good at dealing with customers.
  • 87 Implements / 141 Functions» More ImagesItem No:16999 Weight:2 Pounds Size:8.75"Color:Red Price:$2149.95
  • Rise of the SaaS Product Manager

    1. 1. AIPMM Webinar Series http://www.aipmm.com© AIPMM 2013
    2. 2. © AIPMM 2013 http://www.aipmm.com
    3. 3. Founded 1998 Largest Product Management professional group Provides professional development and certification • Certified Product Manager • Certified Product Marketing Manager • Agile Certified Product Manager • Certified Innovation Leader© AIPMM 2013
    4. 4. Today’s Speakers Moderator: Cindy F. Solomon, CPM, CPMM Founder, Global Product Management Talk http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/ProdMgmtTalk Twitter: @ProdMgmtTalk @startupproduct @cindyfsolomon Presenter: Tom Evans Principal at Lûcrum Marketing http://www.lucrum-marketing.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/compellingpm© AIPMM 2013 @AIPMM #prodmgmt http://www.aipmm.com
    5. 5. Stay on To Win! Keep your Chat box open Use the Questions box to ask questions for the Q&A session following the presentation Participants will be entered into drawing to win a free ticket to Startup Product Summit© AIPMM 2013 @AIPMM #prodmgmt http://www.aipmm.com
    6. 6. 3-Day San Francisco Product Innovation Leader Package February 5, 6, 7, 2013 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM Special Package Price: $1797.00 Product Innovation Leadership Training February 5 & 6, 2013 / 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM The course includes 2 Day Intensive Training ($1697 value), Certified Innovation Leader (CIL®) certification exam fee ($395 value), and a 1 year premium AIPMM membership ($175 value). This course also offers 16 PDUs for PMI® certified Project Management Professionals (PMP®). Startup Product Summit February 7, 2013 / 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM 1-Day Conference: Discover how to work together to develop amazing products. ($349 value) bringing together everyone who touches product at a company to talk frankly about what product is and our shared role in making them a success with a healthy mix of product managers, engineers, marketers and designers speaking from their experiences about products from every angle, including prototyping, roadmapping and marketing. Additional PDUs available. Startup Product Talks February 7, 2013 6:30 PM – 10 PM San Francisco meetup networking event included as part of Developer Week ($10+ value includes food and drinks)© AIPMM 2013 @AIPMM #prodmgmt http://www.aipmm.com
    7. 7. FEATURED PRESENTATION© AIPMM 2013 http://www.aipmm.com
    8. 8. The Rise of the SaaS Product ManagerWhy Product Management Is More Important Than Ever! Tom Evans @compellingpm www.compellingpm.com
    9. 9. About Tom Evans • Principal – Lûcrum Marketing (Partner with 280 Group) • 15+ Years - Product Management / Product Marketing Experience • Domain Expertise: Document Management, Call Center Technologies, Financial Services, Process Automation, Aerospace & Defense, Small & Large Company, Domestic & International • Functional Expertise: Business Case, Soliciting Market Needs, Product Mgmt Process & Documentation, Messaging, Sales Enablement, Agile, Product Strategy, Market Strategy, SaaS • AIPMM Certifications: Certified Product Manager, Certified Product Marketing Manager, Agile Certified Product Manager • Publications: Contributor – 42 Rules of Product Management, 42 Rules of Product Marketing • Former Board Member/Sessions Chair – ProductCamp Austin 9
    10. 10. Discussion Agenda• Spark of the SaaS Product Management Controversy• What Product Management Isn’t• What Is Product Management?• Product Management Practices in Saas Companies
    11. 11. Sources of SaaS PM Controversy The Death of Traditional Software Product Management • In SaaS, the concept of traditional product management must be retired and replaced by community management. • Silly Agility: The Myth of the Agile Product Manager
    12. 12. This Isn’t Product Management Office Space – Tom Smykowski & The Bobs http://www.luminomagazine.com/mw/storyimages/1021_wide.jpg
    13. 13. NOT Product Management• PM sits in office and determines what they think the customer wants.• PM creates thick requirements document and expects that engineering has all of the information they need.• PM collects all requirements and gets cross-functional team to prioritize.• PM only writes technical specs and tries to tell engineering how to do their job.
    14. 14. What is Product Management? “Product Management ensures the company delivers products that are valuable for the customer, company and partners throughout the entire product lifecycle” Adapted from Greg Geracie
    15. 15. Managing Throughout the Product Lifecycle
    16. 16. What Does Product Management Do?• Conduct market & competitive research• Solicit, validate and clarify requirements from stakeholders• Develop business case for major product investments• Create product strategy and communicate requirements• Define and defend the product positioning• Prioritize requirements (User Stories)• Validate resulting product with market• Support marketing, sales team, channel (sales tools)• Communicate clear & consistent market messages.• Help achieve key business metrics
    17. 17. Most Important Aspect of Product Management The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself. Peter Drucker Discover Market Needs That are Worthy of Solving!
    18. 18. Discovering Market User Needs• User communities / • Win/Loss analysis user groups • Social media• Usage analytics • Competitive analysis• A/B testing • Support issues• Feature requests • Industry analysts• Product advisory • Potential customers committees • RFPs• Customer calls/visits • Etc.
    19. 19. Balance Needs of Multiple Constituents The role of a product manager is to serve as a communications "hub" for a publishers software, coordinating the different and frequently conflicting wishes, needs and priorities of development, sales, marketing and customers. – Merrill R. (Rick) Chapman (2004) http://www.amazon.com/review/R3SJS38JIQMU8L
    20. 20. Create a Profitable Product Strategy!
    21. 21. No Product Strategy = http://www.wengerna.com/giant-knife-16999
    22. 22. Product Management Practices for SaaS• Define and improve key product metrics• Create dynamic interactions with customer community• Align customer feedback with product strategy• Represent customers with development• Apply usage analytics appropriately• Create buzz around new capabilities
    23. 23. Improve Key Product Metrics• Metrics that drive your business model (e.g.) – Conversion ratios/times – Usage statistics – Net Promoter Score® – Support issues – Implementation time – Time to usage – Cost of Acquisition – Etc. Net Promoter, NPS, and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.
    24. 24. Dynamic Interactions with Community• Participate in the conversation• Actively solicit feedback• Present new ideas for feedback• Develop consensus• Identify customers for working groups• Build buzz about new features, capabilities, etc.
    25. 25. Represent Customers with Development• User Stories are a start of a conversation around a need to be met. – Elaborate via a grooming process – Engage customer working groups to elaborate requirements• Regularly demonstrate working software to customer working groups (after each iteration)• Give customer working group first access to final version
    26. 26. Align Customer Feedback with Strategy• Case Study - Mint.com• Many users requesting Quicken/MS Money type features.• Not their value proposition, not their target market• Clearly understood their key user persona & thus their product strategy.• What if they had responded to customer requests (not their target market, would have changed their positioning, etc.)
    27. 27. Apply Usage Analytics• Application of analytics depends on user interaction – How often and how complex of interaction• Simple workflows – Analytics provide valuable insight – Easy to do A/B testing• Complex interactions – Analytics is an important indicator, but in and of itself is not usually sufficient – Must understand context via customer discovery
    28. 28. Create Buzz Around New Capabilities• Challenge: no major launch events to build buzz• Active participation in online community and other online/social media• Plan schedule of new capabilities to create bundles that synergistically increase customer value• Make major announcements around bundle of new capabilities
    29. 29. Characteristics of a Successful Product Manager• Passionate about understanding market needs• Engages well with customers & non-customers at all levels• Provides leadership (vision, strategy) for their products• Works well with and develops respect with all parts of the organization• Understands how their product supports corporate strategy, goals, objectives• Delivers requirements to development supported by market evidence
    30. 30. Acknowledgements• Tom Hale, Chief Product Office, HomeAway• Erik Huddleston, Executive VP, Products and CTO, Dachis Group• Audrey Montgomery, Senior PM – SaaS Products, Blackbaud (Convio)• Denny Lecompte, VP – Products, SolarWinds
    31. 31. Product Management Training Dates• Optimal Product Management & Product Marketing – Jan 28 to 30 – April 1 to 3• How to Be a Phenomenal Product Manager – Jan 31 – April 4• AIPMM Certification Prep & Exam (CPM, CPMM, Agile) – Feb 18 to 22• Additional Dates & Locations www.280group.com
    32. 32. Q&A Tom Evans Lûcrum Marketing tevans@lucrum-marketing.com +1.512.961.5267 @compellingpm www.compellingpm.com www.linkedin.com/in/compellingpm/ Copyright 2012 - LÛCRUM MARKETING
    33. 33. Please Join Us Again! Global Product Management Talk: Monday Jan 14 How Ideas Become Products: Managing Innovation Follow http://www.blogtalkradio.com/prodmgmttalk AIPMM Webinar Series: Friday Jan 18 Project Portfolio Management http://aipmm.com/aipmm_webinars/ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 3 days of Startup Innovation Training, Certification Credential & Conference San Francisco, CA PRODUCT INNOVATION LEADER STARTUP PRODUCT SUMMIT http://bit.ly/SEAZGA startupproduct.com February 5 & 6, 2013 February 7, 2013 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Stay Informed! Newsletter: http://www.aipmm.com/subscribe LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/aipmm Membership: http://www.aipmm.com/join.php Certification: http://aipmm.com/html/certification/© AIPMM 2013 @AIPMM http://www.aipmm.com