A discussion group leader asked this question:
If you with 3 bullets/points had to describe the most important tasks/activities for a product manager – what would they be?
Brian has this right, but one thing needs to be added: Marketing and sales channel optimization. Product managers I have worked with have marketing responsibility, and often pull their hair out trying to get attention in the sales channel. As Brian suggests, you need to have products that meet customer needs, but you also have to understand how customers buy, and alter the engagement process to meet those needs. This is especially important when the new product is actually a different category of product, say when a sales force is used to selling disposable items, and suddenly has a capital product to sell, or when a company adds the sales of software tools to its base business of selling online access to information. Typically, the change means that the sales process, which may have worked well up to now, is not set up to handle the new category of product. This kind of product manager will have his or her hands full, especially if, as Brian suggests, he or she has P&L responsibility.
To see the whole discussion on LinkedIn, go here.