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?
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):
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.
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.
@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
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.
@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