Creating a product strategy isn’t easy for product managers. It’s difficult to flip the switch when most of your time is spent in the weeds taking care of the day-to-day product needs, launches, sales support, etc. Furthermore, executives rarely think that enhancements to a product are strategic, meaning they won’t drive significant revenue.
Make the exercise of creating a product strategy more about customer outcomes than product success and it becomes a pretty simple exercise. Plus the value will be unquestionable.
Here’s an example of how you’d communicate your product strategy from the customer’s perspective.
In the next 12 months, we’re going to help our target customers accomplish two things.
- Combine requisitions for the same items to a single P.O. to get volume discounts on each order.
- Get additional discount accelerators by meeting cumulative volumes purchased over the length of a vendor contract.
These savings represent hard, out-of-pocket costs that customers will reinvest to fund expansion into new markets.
When you articulate your product strategy from the customer’s perspective and tie the value to something that’s strategic to them, it leaves no question on your direction. And it raises a lot fewer questions on the features required to deliver the solutions.
Nothing bad comes from doing your job through the eyes of the customer. Plus, executives can easily understand the value to the market when explained as such.
Here’s another tip for creating a product strategy. Partner with your fellow product managers and come up with a strategy that solves problems beyond the users of each product and the value to the market will be even more apparent.
Using customer insights to drive your product strategy is invaluable in every sense of the word. Make it a routine business practice and product strategies and plans will be a (relative) cinch to get funded.