After 4 years of interviewing and learning finally earned PM role!

I’ve been a customer service and sales director for most of my career. I’ve always approached sales from a product mindset and loved creating, building, and overall being curious more than sales.

After 6 interviews over the last 4 years, I finally got the role for a great company solving a huge problem in their category. They’ve been around for 7 years too. I’ve been following this subject for a while so thank you!

My question is: Any tips on things to avoid or prioritize first 90 days?

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Congratulations on making the jump! One of the things that is very different about product from sales (I’ve also done both - product for the last 8 years) is that you’re used to focusing on a smaller number of customers. As a PM, you’ll need to think in terms of the entire market, then segments, then personas, and then maybe a grouping of similar customers.

I highly recommend reading this 4 part series (paying close attention to law #2):

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Congrats! I moved from BD to PM as well can’t be happier. Its definitely as challenging and draining as sales can be but it seems much more intellectually stimulating!

My only advice would be to

  1. speak to as many people as you can
  2. get your 1:1s with the team and related stakeholders going
  3. read through documentation & research but don’t overdo it, there might be too much of it

One mistake that I did is I focused on delivery & execution more than strategy and business side which bit me in the end. Give it a healthy balance to understand where you are going and why.

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Though this is from the perspective of a “leader” and not an IC, I think much of the same holds true for ICs. M8ght not contribute to the process/strategy that early on, but I think everything else is pertinent regardless.

+Shreyas is one of the best thought leaders in PM as a whole.

Also,

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I’m confused, you’ve only had 6 interviews in the past 4 years??

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Wow! @AmyWalker, That’s a great resource. Thanks for sharing, I’ve started following @Shreyas on twitter.

Thank you @Natalie and @Lawrence for your insights and great advice.

@JuanAllo, 6 interviews for the PM role where it got beyond the initial screen. If I counted initial screen much higher but hard for companies to take that leap with sales background people. I hope you got it.

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Got it, thought you meant 6 interviews for this single role in 4 years. But you meant interviews for 6 different companies after the HR screening.

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I would avoid over loading your plate. Listen more and say “interesting, would love to think more on that before giving you my answer”… if you can.

Now I have a question :raising_hand_man:

What was your interview like? Remember any of the questions? Any advice?

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@MarcoSilva, Lasted about 4 weeks. 5 rounds. Met with head of product, director of product, 3 other PMs at one time, product marketing, and two engineers. There was an HR screen, but it wasn’t much.

Questions: -how do you build consensus -walk us thru when you made a bad decision -walk us thru your thought process on presenting a new feature idea to: each stakeholder in the interview process -what are your limitations? what will you do to make up for your limitations

  • It was a lot of scenarios given and then: scenario in past roles where you handled that scenario and how I’d handle it differently.

Overall, pretty enjoyable but I applied within an hour of the job posting so took longer than past roles

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Nice! Thanks for being so thorough.

Good luck on your new role and career path!

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I’ve always thought that the right kind of salesperson would make a great PM. The wrong kind would make a terrible one too, of course, but I think the right ones are more likely to self-select for it.

All your instincts and reflexes about relationship-building and story-telling will serve you well.

The thing I think an average salesperson is going to struggle with is saying no. There’s LOTS of literature on that if you google around. You’re going to have to disappoint people sometimes, that’s just reality.

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Congrats! My 2 cents: ask a lot of questions, regardless if you think it makes you seem stupid or uninformed. It’s better to get clarification than to guess at something you don’t understand.

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Congrats on your new role! For 90 day onboarding, exponent made a good blog post going over this link.

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@DamianMarshall, This post looks excellent for PM specifics.

I’d add that if you haven’t already, OP, check out The First 90 Days book. Seems like common sense, but everything in there is quite good nuts and bolts advice for a new leader. Congrats!

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Congratulations! Now you get to be on the other side of the fence where you have your sales team telling you that million-dollar deals depend on this one feature.

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Congrats! I moved from sales to Product, too! Welcome!

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Thanks @RisaButler! How’s it been?

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@ArnieSilvers, So much better. I was able to transition from a more hybrid role to official PM for the same product I was selling. Now I’ve moved onto one of the big guys and absolutely love it. I feel much better at the end of the day and there is so much more room for growth