The term ‘requirements’ too often evokes thoughts of detailed product requirements in any type of product or technology company. But a different perspective reveals layers of requirements that can be used to transfer knowledge to the front lines of the organization to improve the proficiency of sales, marketing, client services and tech support and ultimately drive more revenue and higher customer success rates.
The key to extending requirements into knowledge transfer vehicles lies in the context and format in which they’re created. And it all begins in Product Management.
Consider the following:
1. Market and business requirements become high level value propositions.
Market and business requirements provide valuable content for sales and marketing positioning that create a storyline and answer the “why does anyone care” question in a meaningful context.
Here’s a simple example.
- Market Trend – Smart phones are fast becoming the new personal computer.
- Business Requirement – Corporate downsizing means heavier workloads for frequent travelers and they’re craving more productivity tools on their PDAs that allow them to perform a wider variety of tasks anytime, anywhere.
- Product Features as Proof Points – Acme’s mobile applications will improve productivity of frequent travelers by allowing them to… (description of new features/apps).
2. Business requirements and user stories create the script for product presentations.
Business requirements and use cases/user stories articulate problem scenarios from a buyer’s perspective before showcasing features that form the solutions, making the perfect script for product presentations and demonstrations.
Continuing the example from above (using the same business requirement)
- Use Case/User Story – Let’s say you’re boarding a plane and need to …Typically, this task would require a PC connected to the internet which means a delay until you’re connected in the air or back on the ground. The result could be a lost sale or at a minimum, a longer work day. Acme’s ABC app makes this task quick and simple on your PDA by allowing you to…
3. User stories, functional specs and technical specs improve customer success rates.
Use cases and user stories are all about “how” users perform tasks and require a further level of detail than business requirements. Functional and technical specifications describe “how” products support user tasks in yet more detail.
When these documents are thoroughly written in the proper context, the payoff is higher customer success rates because the content becomes your training materials, user guides, knowledge base articles, how-to-guides and anything else required to make your training, client services and technical support teams more proficient.
The bottom line: the less efficient your organization is at transferring knowledge to the front lines of the organization, the less effective your product management and development teams are because they’re too consumed supporting everyone on the front lines. Over time, this results in less competitive products, less revenue and fewer successful customers.
If your requirements aren’t being developed in a manner that’s conducive to knowledge transfer, contact Proficientz and learn how our Framework and a common set of processes and tools can have a greater impact on your revenue and the success of your customers.