Today’s product managers no longer measure success by the number of features shipped. The best PMs are hyper-focused on delivering high-value experiences at every stage of the product journey. Through that, they partner with teams across the organization to put the product at the center of the business–leveraging it for everything from customer acquisition and onboarding to training and expansion efforts.
There’s a name for these companies that leverage the product to create a common language across every team: product led.
Becoming product led is an ongoing process that should involve every part of an organization. To that end, here are five key attributes that every product-led organization should embody.
This is an excerpt of “The Product-Led Organization: Drive Growth by Putting Product at the Center of Your Customer Experience,” released by Wiley in September 2020. Buy the book here.
1. Product has a voice
Product teams need to be more than just influential. They should have the formal authority to drive a company’s roadmap, shape its business strategy, and set future goals. An effective way to do this is by giving “product” a seat at the table. A chief product officer can ensure that creating a valuable product experience remains the central concern and advantage of your business.
Instinct and expertise were once all that product teams needed to rely on. But to become product led, companies must now get as close to their customers as possible. This means product teams should obsess over data. Moreover, you need to be willing to make changes based on data and to run experiments to collect data when it isn’t available.
Product-led organizations desire a deeper connection with their customer and user. They attempt to understand their problems, striving to anticipate what the customer wants.
A product-led strategy is not something that one person or team can take on. It’s an organization-wide effort powered by open communication and close collaboration. Across a company, teams should look for new opportunities to build bridges and contribute to the product. You should start by closely aligning your product and go-to-market teams, such as customer success, so that fewer barriers exist between what you’re building and what customers want.
5. Product is the customer experience
Product-led companies must come to an important realization: The product is no longer just one part of the customer experience; it is the experience. Everything your organization does should lead back to it. Sales, marketing, service, support, and education must now converge both at the surface of the product and deep within the user experience. The product should communicate its value, teach its users, provide assistance, and more. In other words, efforts like selling to and educating customers that used to happen outside of the product are now part of the user experience inside the product.
The customer experience should become indistinguishable from the product experience itself.
This was an excerpt of “The Product-Led Organization: Drive Growth by Putting Product at the Center of Your Customer Experience,” released by Wiley in September 2020. Buy the book here.
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