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Tips For Managing Your Product Portfolio
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by John Mansour | 09.26.2012

When you're a one product company, a product strategy is valuable because the product and the company are one and the same. But when you have 5 or 20 or 50 products, individual product strategies may not be the best approach for driving the organization's growth.

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by John Mansour | 08.09.2012

“I need a constant stream of new features and solutions to stay ahead of our competitors.”  “Slow down! I can’t learn all the new functionality that fast.”  “Can you accelerate the delivery of feature X?  The competition is killing us on that one.” 

What’s the appropriate cadence of agile releases that would satisfy marketing and sales?

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by John Mansour | 07.13.2012

You can immediately improve sales effectiveness in the following three areas of a B2B sales cycle with a few key contributions from product management.

  1. Discovery & Qualification
  2. Presentations & Product Demonstrations
  3. Negotiations
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by John Mansour | 06.18.2012

Many of the day-to-day challenges executing product, marketing and sales initiatives are directly related to the approach organizations use to form their product strategies.  A simple change in the approach to product strategy yields significant improvements in the day-to-day execution of product, marketing and sales activities. 

To reap the benefits of improved execution there are two fundamental elements of strategy to consider.  One requires a downsized approach while the other requires a supersized definition.

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by John Mansour | 05.22.2012

Products are certainly the most important element of delivering the roadmap, but they’re the least important part of the story when it comes to creating and communicating a strategic roadmap that generates excitement across disciplines and drives consensus.

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by John Mansour | 04.27.2012

The words “strategy” and “strategic” are draped all over most B2B product management job descriptions like a cheap suit.  But many organizations don’t realize the consequences of hiring product managers with skills, talents and experience to be strategic, setting expectations accordingly, and then placing them in situations that require nearly 100% focus on execution.  It’s a reality for many product managers and it’s as counterproductive for organizations as it is for the individuals.

On the bright side, the fix is relatively simple.  The key is to recognize the difference between hiring a team of “strategic product managers” and structuring a product management team that’s a strategic asset to the organization.

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by John Mansour | 03.22.2012

The most powerful value propositions in sales and marketing are derived from clear and concise business requirements in product management.  If organizations employ business practices that establish a direct connection between the two, they’ll receive exponentially greater benefits by first solving bigger problems than the competition, and then making it easier for marketing and sales teams to articulate that value in a language anyone can understand.  Growth awaits!

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by John Mansour | 02.18.2012

If you want your product team to be the top advisor to senior executives, you have to think like an executive.  Consider the various situations executives find themselves in and the types of information that make them stronger executives.  Then make it a routine practice to brief your executives accordingly.  Do it well and watch your product team’s influence skyrocket.

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by John Mansour | 01.24.2012

There is a gaping hole that exists between corporate financial goals and the constantly growing slate of product initiatives.  When that gap exists, every market opportunity and every product idea seems like a good one.  It’s a path of distraction that’s stifling the growth of many organizations.

Product management and product marketing teams collectively own the responsibility for closing the “strategy gap.” Through no fault of their own, few teams are structured to do so.  It’s time for a new class of product manager, a new structure for product teams and a new gauge for measuring success.  Traditional Product Management is growing up!

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by John Mansour | 12.19.2011

Most B2B companies want their sales people calling higher in the organization because direct access to executives can wire deals in their favor and shorten sales cycles.  But why do many companies find it so difficult to get executive access?  It has a lot more to do with your value propositions than you think, and the remedy starts with Product Marketing.

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