Speakers: Tom Banta | Greg Alexander, SBI
SVP of Product Management and Development demonstrates how to use the product roadmap to paint a picture of happy customers well into the future.

Tom Banta Podcast

 

Today we’re going to demonstrate how to use the product roadmap to paint a picture of happy customers well into the future. As a guide to the discussion, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Product Strategy section and flip to the Product Roadmap phase on pages 138 – 142 of the PDF.

 

Joining us today is Tom Banta, Senior Vice-President of Product Management and Development for vXchnge, a co-location facility provider. vXchnge’s Micro Data Centers provide businesses with a Data Center-as-a-Service solution. Tom is uniquely qualified to demonstrate how to use the product roadmap to paint a picture of happy customers well into the future.

 

Listen as Tom and I discuss prioritizing product features and the concept of role based themes as a customer-centric approach. Most product development teams prioritize by themes. Tom contributes a unique insight with the concept of role-based themes. He explains his approach to identifying impact areas: “Focus on individual roles that would have what we would think as a big impact. At the end of the day, we’re trying to get our products to be something that people couldn’t imagine living without.” 

 

Most of you are CEO’s or B2B sales and marketers. The reason why we enjoy talking to product leaders like Tom is because you can optimize marketing and sales all you want. If the product isn’t very good or competitive, you’re not going to be an effective sales and marketing organization.

 

Why this topic? Future revenue growth sits in the product road map, use cases and requirements backlogs. Today’s revenue-producing products become tomorrow’s commodities as the competition quickens its development cycle. Building blockbuster products requires moving from legacy market listening techniques to advanced feedback systems. Long lead times starting with robust requirements have been replaced with short lead times starting with use case iterations based on real-time product feedback and analysis.

 

You must hear Tom’s answer to my question about the golden feature: Sales people are always looking for that “golden feature”, the single most important feature around which we build our products and features and the thing that leap off the shelves and kind of sell itself. How do you define a golden feature and does such a thing exist?’  

 

Tom’s answer to this question provides the three basic elements that must be comprised in a successful product roadmap. Major Features, Enhancements which are improvements on existing features, and improvements on usability. Listen to the full exchange to hear Tom’s point of view, including this quote: “We look at impact based and what is something that we think really will set us apart competitively in the market. Some of these require what’s called some seed planting way in advance.”

 

If you would like to spend time with me on this topic, come see me in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. Bring your executive team, particularly your product, marketing and sales leadership in for a workshop. Sessions at The Studio are experiential and are designed around the principles of interactive exercises, hands-on innovation, and peer-to-peer collaboration. The Studio is a safe-haven for learning and after just a few days clients leave with confidence and clarity on how your product roadmap can help you grow more revenue.

 

The Studio

 

To access a framework for assessing your product roadmap, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Product Strategy section and flip to the Product Roadmap phase on pages 138 – 142 of the PDF.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Greg Alexander

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by getting the product team, the marketing department, and the sales organization into strategic alignment.

Greg is the host of The SBI Podcast, the most listened to sales and marketing podcast on the internet.

 

He is the host of SBI TV, a monthly television program broadcast on the internet featuring top B2B sales and marketing leader sharing their strategies to grow revenues.

 

Greg is the Editor-in-Chief of The SBI Magazine, the leading B2B publication focused on sales and marketing effectiveness.

 

He is the author of two critically acclaimed books Topgrading for Sales and Making the Number.

 

Greg has authored over 100 articles on SBI’s award winning blog, The SBI Blog.

 

He graduated from The University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BA in English and received his MBA from Georgia Tech.

 

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