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Is Win/Loss Analysis Too Sensitive To Share?

After a month of interviews, analysis, data slicing, and late nights, your win/loss analysis is ready for release. You send it out with a solemn hope that your keen insights have shaped a report worth reading - but within three hours harsh words...

Dear Alan: 15 minute interview guide for Win/Loss Analysis?

I recently had a request asking for help to design a win/loss analysis interview. As this topic has general applicability across industries, I thought I'd share some of that exchange with you, dear readers.

The Main Thing is Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing, Part 2

A good friend and colleague of mine, Michael Papanek, once implored me to "keep the main thing". In fact,

How can Win/Loss Analysis help you find untapped markets?

This week had a very smart CEO pose a great question to me:

What are we missing in terms of opportunities where we aren’t even considered? Frankly I worry (like all paranoid startup CEOs) that this may be the biggest opportunity for growth. Do...

Leaders don't make excuses: Crossing the Rubicon of Product Leadership

This week some titillating stories were published about Apple's internal culture. Among the news: Apple has hired a pair of ivy-league biz profs to codify its internal processes, leadership, and management culture. The case studies will be used...

Win/Loss Analysis MUST include wins (success stories don't count)

If you want to improve your win rates in the market, it is important that you study wins, and not just losses.

A Tale of Differentiation: The Discounter vs. The Price Leader

On Monday I met with two companies with very different approaches to price and margin. One company's sales team said:

"one of our strengths is that we are so flexible on price."

They view it as a differentiator that they are willing to get the...

Unsticking the stuck deal

By Alan Armstrong

Have you ever heard this story before?

10,000 Hours of Product Management

Have you read Outliers by Malcom Gladwell? It takes a lot of thinking about success and turns the thinking upside down. It's a quick and easy read, but I found it quite thought provoking and it's full of great stories.

Forethought or Afterthought? Use Design to Increase Differentiation

“Design” has the ability to differentiate your company and your product, yet few of you are investing in real design. If I were starting a software company, I would start there – with design first, then marketing. (Last year I interviewed a...

Rules and Laws Product Managers Should Understand (part 2)

Continuing from Part 1, here are more Rules and Laws to help Product Managers in their jobs.

Rules and Laws Product Managers Should Understand (part 1)

First, let me say this post was inspired by a tweet from the CrankyPM asking the following question.

WWANPD (What would a normal person do?)

I was walking with my friend Michael last week in the Oakland hills, and he came out with the most hilarious question: What would a normal person do?

Guest Post: To Kill a Product: Why, When and How, Part 2/3

Note: This is the 2nd of a 3 part series of articles by guest blogger Chris Brown. If you feel inspired to write a guest post of your own, click here to find out how to submit it to us.

Guest Post: To Kill a Product: Why, When and How, Part 1/3

Note: This is the 1st of a 3 part series of articles by guest blogger Chris Brown. If you feel inspired to write a guest post of your own, click here to find out how to submit it to us.

Guest Post: There's no such thing as MEDIUM

NOTE: The following is a guest post by Tzvika Barenholz, a Product Manager living and working in Israel. If you feel inspired to write a guest post of your own, click here to find out how to submit it to us.

Games Management Plays: Guess What's in the Envelope

Some of you will be too young to remember Johnny Carson playing Carnac the Magnificent. But I am guessing you've seen this game before. On the Carson show, Johnny would hold an envelope to his head, pretend to intuit a phrase, then open the...

Your CV is a sales document, not a feature sheet

Last weekend my nephew Josh asked me to take a look at his résumé. He's only 17 years old, so how hard could it be? Provide his name, address, phone number, and job history, right?

The Main Thing is Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

A mentor of mine used to repeat this line fairly often to me: The main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing. The quote comes originally from Stephen Covey.

Who's in charge of price? (Buyer Conversations.)

Eigenworks is shopping for a product. Over the last few months I've been looking to license some software from a vendor. The price is not astronomical, but it's a significant chunk for a company of our size. If we license the product, the vendor...

How to get a lost account to speak with you

One of the most difficult things in Win/Loss Analysis is getting someone from a lost account to speak with you. Why would they spend the time, and why would they reveal anything to you? Once an evaluator rules you out, they have absolutely no...

Competitive intelligence using lost deals

Another idea for PMs who lack permission to do win/loss analysis

Contacting lost accounts

Customers will normally schedule time to speak with you, but it's not easy to get ahold of lost accounts. My hit ratio is about 50%, meaning that if I want to speak with 10 accounts, I need to target 20.

Primary product requirements

Some products seem to fail at their primary requirements. What is the primary requirement of your product? Here are a couple of examples from everyday life. I hope these examples help you reflect on the primary use case of your product and how...

Product Managers: Do the opposite!

If the product management surveys are to be believed, most product managers spend very little time doing the things we know that we should be doing, and instead spend all our time managing logistics, and doing detailed work in marketing,...

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