Here’s what makes solutions-driven product management such a challenge. The vast majority of product companies are a mishmash of products brought together through mergers and/or acquisitions. Each one throws another silo into the fire that further fragments strategies, product plans, R&D, marketing and sales. The $64,000 question is, “how do you transform multiple disparate products into business solutions to achieve a whole that’s more valuable than the sum of the parts?” The Playbook:

Here are 5 steps that will get you going in the right direction.

  1. Analyze the Markets & Educate
    Assess the vertical market segments that represent the majority of customers for each product line and determine the segments with the most overlap across products. These market segments represent your portfolio strengths. Start here and determine how much runway is remaining in each market and create a marketing and sales plan to maximize your revenue.
  2. Define the Value Theme
    Define your top level value theme in the form of a customer goal. What’s the one strategic goal your target customers in these segments want to achieve, and what are the biggest obstacles standing in their way? Define the obstacles each product can eliminate and position, market and sell them under one umbrella – the customer goal.
  3. Integrate Products
    You’re no longer in the business of products.  Integrated solutions are the name of the new game. Your product planning and development priorities should be heavily weighted toward helping customers integrate disparate business functions with your products.
  4. Integrate People & Processes
    Get yourself into a predictable regimen of delivering solutions by using a consistent process across all product lines.  It’s analogous to a factory – limited production capacity, machines that perform specific tasks and interdependencies between machines.  Consider the ebb and flow of the entire factory and plan realistically, including emergencies and unplanned downtime.
  5. Think Solutions Instead of Products
    Data security solutions for banks…customer service solutions for telecom…document management solutions for healthcare…you get the picture.  What are your equivalents?  Keep the value message to third grade vocabulary and emphasize “why” more than “how.”  It will be easier for the market to understand and easier for the sales team to sell.

Proficientz has the one and only product management, product marketing and sales enablement framework and training programs that support a solutions-driven product management model. Contact us today to learn how our framework can help you grow faster with less effort.