The solutions manager role in its purest form mirrors one or more customer business functions. It feeds product management, product marketing, sales and customer success teams, and has no intended alignment to any products. Its mission is to deliver pure, unbiased customer business requirements to all customer-facing functions, especially product management, product marketing and sales.
Think of the solutions manager role as the chief business requirements gatherer. It provides the richest possible voice of the customer to product management, product marketing, sales and customer success teams so that your organization is aligned to a common set of customer business priorities and success metrics.
Here’s perhaps the most important part of the job. The solutions manager is gathering customer business requirements as if your company and its products didn’t exist, albeit with a focus on business functions that are most relevant to your solutions. Pure customer!
If your solutions target the HR department, you’d have solutions managers for personnel, talent management, etc. If your solutions target the IT department, you’d have solutions managers for help desk, application support, etc.
REALLY IMPORTANT POINT HERE! You don’t need one solution manager for each customer function…and other roles still have to/need to talk to customers. The solution manager role isn’t making decisions for anyone. It’s giving other disciplines a customer-value target for making smarter business decisions.
The solution manager role delivers pure, unbiased, unfiltered customer business requirements that shape the priorities across every part of your organization, especially products, and puts your organization in the best possible position to make customers quantifiably better at their business.
Consider what those customer outcomes would do for your growth and profitability!
Contact us if you want to learn how to incorporate solutions managers into your strategy, product management, or product marketing function.