Build the Product You Want to Sell

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Businessman and bestselling author Harvey Mackey wrote, “To me, job titles don’t matter. Everyone is in sales. It’s the only way we stay in business.”

I couldn’t agree more. But I would take it one step further and say that everyone needs to be in product development too because it’s the only way to have something worth selling.

Whether you’re an executive, marketer, service rep or salesperson, you’ve heard what customers think of your product – the good, the bad and the ugly. But if you’re powerless to change the bad and ugly, it’s hard to stay motivated. How do you sell a product that you believe is subpar and desperately in need of change?

The answer is you don’t. Instead, build the product you want to sell.

To do this, you create a process that brings feedback from the front lines to the designers and developers that can change the product. The key word here is “process.” If product development becomes hostage to the whims of 50 salespeople, they will drive your product team insane.

So first, determine how salespeople (and marketers, customer service reps, etc.) should communicate their feedback about the product. Here at EVENTup, I ask people to email product ideas and customer feedback to me. Tools like ZenDesk or Google Docs could be used to collect this feedback too. Either way, the aim is to prevent employees from distracting developers who already have an ambitious road map to follow. Someone, whether it be a CTO, product manager or CEO, must own the process.

Read the rest here.

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