WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A GREAT PRODUCT MANAGER

A product manager plays an essential role in the success of a product launch. Product managers are the ambassadors of a product. They work on products right from the conceptualization, planning, to implementation/launch.

Product managers must comprehend the target markets of the product they are working on and their competitors. Product managers have the responsibility of creating and implementing a successful strategy.

This will make the product launch affordable and smooth through the research phase, development stage, manufacturing, launch, and dissemination. To be a successful product manager, there are some vital skills that you need to possess.

Below is a list of the top skills required to be a good product manager. 

Interpersonal skills

Product managers work across different teams and with the target niche; hence need to have some practical skills. This skill will help you communicate with other teams like the; sales personnel, marketing, design, and production team.

You have to learn the skill of communicating your vision effectively to every team in the company. A product manager has to be great at multitasking; this field requires that you know many departments and how they function.

This will significantly help with your ability to communicate effectively across the different groups. Even if you are not an engineer, you need to have sufficient technical knowledge to comprehend; product structure, manufacturing, and applications. 

Even if you are not a marketing expert, you need to analyze the market, all relevant data, branding, and product positioning. You also need to be a good accountant, great at cost estimates and managing a budget.

Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking starts with asking the right questions, studying the target markets, and competition and coming up with a road map for the product. The product manager must give a rough estimate of how much can be spent at each production phase.

This will enable the manager to evaluate the best time to launch their product, develop the best skills to regulate cost, and manage risks in the production map.

Read about all of the roles and responsibilities of a product manager outlined in this article by Digital Authority

Analytical Skills

Analytical skills come as the next critical skill you need after strategic thinking. These skills require researching and analyzing the appropriate data to develop the best product decisions. 

A product manager with strong analytical skills has a good mastery of when to use data to spike numbers and develop solutions to improve marketing campaigns, business strategies, product development, and possible pricing.

Marketing Skills

Marketing comprehends how to promote, convey, and give your customers the product and services they deserve.

Regularly mixed with advertising and sales, marketing is a broader field. Product managers generally control the advertising and sales of a product while focusing on the bigger picture. 

The smoothness of launching a product to your target market, and satisfying your customers before, during, and even after buying a product, depends on the marketing.

As part of the marketing plan, you will be in charge of supervising, coordinating, analyzing advertisement proposals, promotions, researching market trends, working under pressure to meet deadlines, managing time, and paying attention to detail.

As stated in this Forbes article, active listening and leadership skills are amongst the top skills you need to show when aiming for a product manager role.

Strong negotiation skills

Just like communication is an essential skill to your success as a product manager, so is negotiation. Versatile roles like product managers are the brains that develop a product. As a product manager, you are the one to develop strategies to perform better than your competitors. 

Product managers bargain all day with different co-workers to develop suitable strategies and develop the product map. Assisting team members to conclude on various opinions may need some form of negotiation. This is most relevant in scenarios where there is no mutual agreement. 

Remember, there are two forms of negotiation; the soft one where you pay attention to keeping relationships, not hurting anyone’s feelings, and hard negotiation where priorities beat feelings. 

Think about the necessary factors for your negotiation before proceeding. There are times when you need to compromise and other moments where you have to maintain your verdict. This is to ensure the product launch works out successfully with your team having uniformity. 

Great time management skills

Product management needs an excellent discipline of time management. Product managers can have some unplanned meetings or have many of them, making it vital for you to have a calendar you stick to. 

The agendas of product teams can change daily, and you have to answer all these sudden changes without affecting the overall product vision. This comes down to time management and being strategic at all times. 

Create time out of your busy schedule to attend to unplanned tasks or catch up with pending work. Avoid having meetings during such times. It is equally essential to keep some free spaces on your calendar so your team can meet up with you for any pressing needs.

Be great at delegating tasks.

There are several challenging tasks that a product manager cannot handle alone. That is why; a product manager has to learn to share lessons with others. This will help you create some free time for yourself and train your team to think independently while challenging themselves.

Instruct your team with well-defined tasks and responsibilities and let them act on them. Always ask for daily updates but make your team know you believe in them. This can be a pretty hard skill to master, particularly when your role needs you to be in charge of everything. 

Every product manager is different, and there is no way you can have all the mentioned skills. Time and experience help you to develop the relevant skills that will help you to become a good product manager. 

Do not be scared if you do not have all the skills required. You can always work on yourself to improve your skills and learn new tricks of the trade. Constant study and personal enhancement make the entire process smoother and less challenging.