Every CEO will start their year with a well-defined strategic plan. A critical component of this plan is a sound Product Strategy. Make sure your Corporate and Product Strategies are in tune with each other.It’s difficult to grow revenue faster than your industry’s growth rate and faster than your competitors. Leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access a revenue growth methodology to hit your number quarter after quarter, and year after year.

 

What is a Corporate Strategy?

 

If you dig into most corporate strategies you will find that while they provide lots of value to most CEOs, the reality is they fall short on delivering revenue growth. Corporate strategies are exclusively focused on strategy, as they should be.

 

But strategy without execution results in average to below average revenue performance. To “make your number” every month, quarter and year, consistently, requires the perfect blend of strategy and execution. This is what the top growth executives do differently than their peers – blend strategy and execution.

 

And the way they blend strategy and execution is by implementing an emerging best practice, called the Revenue Growth Methodology.  This approach includes a Product Strategy.

 

What is a Product Strategy?

 

Next to your corporate strategy, it’s the most critical piece of your strategic plan.  Your Product Strategy is an operating plan for your Product team. It dictates how to invest and enable the development and launch of your products.

 

What will the Product Strategy Produce?

 

It will launch the solutions your target market segments will find valuable.  Your buyers will purchase and use your product to solve their market problems.  A proper strategy will give you an edge over your competition.

 

What Does the Right Product Leader Look Like?

 

Having the right Product leader will have a ripple effect throughout your organization. This is due to Product’s relatively high place in your strategic hierarchy. Identify the right leader on these four guiding principles.

 

Start with the Market Problems. Your Product leader must always obtain direct feedback from your customers. This means picking up the phone and actually interviewing key customers.  They must understand every challenge these customers face. Once a quarter, you should be briefed on the latest key insights. Market leadership starts with understanding your customers.

 

Be Focused. Your corporate strategy will outline your target markets, accounts, and buyer.  It will also define your key differentiators.  A world-class Product leader will innovate within these focused areas.  Innovation without focus can become a costly distraction.

 

Build Outcomes. Solutions build on emerging best practices are designed to fulfill the outcomes your customers want. As such, your Product team should avoid developing “feature sets.”  They should develop outcomes.  The features will take care of themselves as a means to an end.

 

Partner with Sales. An effective go-to-market plan relies on Sales and Marketing. But traditionally, Product and Sales don’t always get along. So remove the tension and get them to work together. By doing this, you will achieve two things.  First, Product will have direct access to customer insights through Sales. This will positively influence how your solutions are developed. Second, Sales will completely understand how to position your solutions to the Buyers. As the “last mile” of your go-to-market plan, Sales must deliver the best message.

 

 

Get Started

 

Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you can make your number? Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate yourself against SBI’s sales and marketing strategy to find out if:

  • Your revenue goal is realistic
  • You will earn your bonus
  • You will keep your job

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Bernoske

Go-to Market Innovator

Prior to SBI, Dan held business development, sales, and product management leadership positions at several start-up companies, developing Apple iOS platforms and E-Commerce-based social networks. Most notably, Dan was co-founder of Video Lantern, an online video advertising sales and operations firm. He is Six Sigma certified from GE.

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