The Secret Product Manager Handbook
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Category Archives for Product Management

The Secrets of Highly Successful Sales People: Objection Handling

How to use better stories to overcome sales objections During the sales process, the prospect may – and usually does – mention obstacles to getting the deal done. Reasons they might not want to do the deal. They might say “It’s too expensive,” or “your competitor has feature X that you don’t have, and we Read More

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The Secrets of Highly Successful Products: The Sales Discovery Call

When the sales team has the right product knowledge, they will be much more successful. Which means they sell a lot more of your product. This starts from the first call with the prospect. If a sales person asks the wrong questions during that first call… … then even a good prospect can turn into Read More

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Improving lead quality - sales enablement

What Successful Companies Do To Get Better Leads

(This is the second post in my series about using product knowledge to create better sales enablement and jumpstart a repeatable sales process. Read the first post, on the overall topic.) “I Need Better Leads!” Does your salesforce complain “We don’t get enough leads from Marketing, and the leads we get aren’t any good?” I’ve Read More

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Sales Team Missing Quota? It’s Not Their Fault

Successful customers, quality product, but bad sales When I started as the Director of Product Management at my last company, they had a lot of successful and enthusiastic customers for our project management solution. The product worked well – although it was a bit long in the tooth – and we had a good lead Read More

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Get People Talking! How To Use Open-Ended Questions For Market Discovery

In my last post I talked about the importance of “talking to customers.” In that post I focused especially on what you do with the market discovery knowledge you get from customers once you found it. (The “product management system of record,” I called it.) In this post I’ll be more to the point: How Read More

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It's very difficult to find the signal - market problems - in the noise - our conversations with customers and prospects.

Visiting Customers? What?

Nothing Important Happens In The Office We product managers are always told that we need to spend a lot of time with customers, and with the market, to create successful products. This advice, while good, is not actionable. It’s vague and aspirational. And, indeed, you might even ask “why is this good advice?” In fact, Read More

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How To Say “No” To A Feature Request

Sometimes No Is The Right Answer Can you talk to me about a time when you had to say no to a customer? Why did you have to say no? How did you handle it? Customers often make feature requests that seem obvious on the surface, but which in fact are misguided or a bad Read More

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How Are You Going to Fix Onboarding?

You have a team of engineers and a three month runway – how are you going to fix onboarding? That’s a question I actually got in a product management job interview a while ago. My answer was, “that’s a really good question but I have no way of answering yet.” This is the same question Read More

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This Framework Gives You Product Management Super Powers

Breakthrough! The Secret Product Management Framework Finally writing down the Secret Product Management Framework was a revelation for me. It put all the activities I do as a product manager into perspective. We find and validate market problems for which customers will pay for a solution. We then guide the creation of solutions to the Read More

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A New Focus On Product Management Opportunity

A long work in progress This blog has been going for a long long time. It started as a site to share ideas and lessons I’ve learned in my career as a product manager for enterprise software products. Recently a bigger theme has started to emerge and coalesce. It’s more ambitious than my initial (lack Read More

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