How to Open Product Management to Your Sales Team

June 20, 2014

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Product Management sits at the intersection of customer, technology and business. The product manager’s role is a continual balancing act between each of these areas, which means involving the right people, in the right ways, at the right times.

In this post, we take you through how to open up product management to a sales team in the right way, using good processes and ProdPad tools.

Source valuable feedback from the field

Your sales or business development people are your commercial ears on the ground – they have daily conversations with prospects about what would encourage them to buy. Ideas and suggestions often come thick and fast from sales teams, so it’s important to be able to validate the ones of real value. ProdPad distinguishes user feedback from the ideas list so that every valuable piece of information can be captured while reserving the product backlog for specific suggestions and ideas. Sales teams can use tools that fit into their own daily jobs to share those suggestions, from email to Google Chrome.

Get commercial input to decisions

Collaboration doesn’t stop as soon as an idea is marked out as having potential. Defining user requirements and a business case for development can often rely heavily on the input of your commercial team. ProdPad’s in-tool communication allows your sales team to share comments on any idea canvas, and product managers can reach out for specific information directly through @mentions. A simple voting mechanism for idea canvases means that opinions for and against different features can be measured and business development teams can be assured their input is heard.

Help keep prospects and customers in the loop

Your sales team is not only a mouthpiece for customer opinion, but can be an important link back to users and prospects to keep them informed about upcoming product changes. ProdPad roadmaps focus on current, near-team and future developments, allowing you and your sales team to give safe projections for what’s in the pipeline. Cards can be made public or private to prepare your sales team with a roadmap that’s appropriate to share externally via PNG or PDF exports or even a live site embed.

Individual salespeople can follow ideas to remain updated on feature progress all the way through to implementation. And when ProdPad is integrated with project management tools, these updates are completely automated, meaning your sales team need to do nothing more than await the latest email notifications.

 

Catch up on how to involve executives in product management decisions here, and stay tuned for the next instalment where we take you through how to involve marketing in product planning.

If you’d like to see how ProdPad can help you to open up product management to Sales, you can sign up for a free 14 day trial here

Janna Bastow is co-founder of ProdPad, software that helps product managers plan and deliver better products. Janna also organizes ProductTank events around the world, including Mind The Product, a global community of product managers. She likes to inspire great product conversations by asking: “What problem are you trying to solve?”

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