Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Product Management: Synchronizing the team

It is very important to synchronize the focus across the entire organization.  One example of focus is perfecting a product pitch.  A good should include what the product does, how it is different from others, and why customers should use the product.  Imagine everyone in the organization being able to deliver the consistent pitch with their own voice and passion.  That will be very powerful, and unfortunately it is an untapped potential for the most organizations.

As a product manager, we think a lot about creating the perfect product pitch.  But if the perfected pitch is not echoed across the sales team and sales engineering team, no nicely tuned product pitch will do any good.  In order to realize the benefit, the product core team must ensure that the consistent message is used to pitch the product regardless who it is giving the pitch.

This is true for corporate value as well.  When the value is synchronized, the power of value statement gets multiplied by getting reinforced by everyone in the organization.  This is exactly the reason why Zappos was so successful with its laser-focus on customer satisfaction to make every shoppers into life-time customers.

Unlike synchronizing metronomes, in order to bring everyone in sync two things must be true.

1. Consistent communication across the board

2. Unrestricted and frequent feedback

If any one of them is missing, it's going to be impossible to get everyone to synchronize the team, whether it be corporate value or product pitch.  If it is something that everyone should imitate, make sure that everyone knows what it is, and reinforce them on every opportunity by providing feedback on how well or poorly they are doing.

Soon, the majority will take over and it will be difficult to reverse the synchronization.  But until the team reaches the point, you need to use every opportunity to reinforce the message.

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