Put Forth a Great Product
Putting forth an amazing product is a big job. There’s a lot that goes into it, and much of the process has little to do with the actual nuts and bolts of the product itself.
What’s just as important as the product is the process by which you bring it to life. We spoke with Greg Coonley, VP of Sales at Centerfield Media, and got some great insights into the lesser-known components that make up great product delivery.
Internal Communication and Relationships Are The Foundation of Success
Even before client conversations on project goals begin, it’s essential to have effective communication among internal staff.
Bringing great products to market requires cross-functional support across teams and departments; no product is brought to life in a silo. Leaders should have channels in place to facilitate support throughout the process and maintain strong communication among groups.
Keep Processes Organized Throughout the Day
Naturally, organization is crucial.
Excellent organization must prioritize the importance of each criterion in the production process. An organized process helps teams understand which tasks are most critical to maintain in the face of emergencies. Think of it as the backbone of decision-making across all products.
This applies to how teams get work done. Ideally, workers will tie up loose ends each day and be ready to tackle a new day’s work with a fresh mind. If work is left unfinished, it takes mental energy to pick up where workers left off. Efficiency is the best way to keep work on track.
Leaders Must Understand the Different Roles Within the Company
Marketing innovators like Apple have demonstrated that great products are a result of leaders at the top who invest in their teams and maintain quality controls across all aspects of delivery.
Leaders are responsible for decisions, insights, and coordinating how the products come to market. They drive organizational strategy and work across functions, sort of like being “control towers” for goals. When it comes to developing great products, it’s hard to overstate how important it is to have leaders who are proud to share their knowledge and help their teams develop.
Leaders must know when to take charge and when to let go of the reins. Good leaders trust that their teams can deliver and don’t stress over elements not under their direct control. Executives must find a balance between management and delegation so they can retain control while they allow their teams to work on their own terms.
Stay Confident in the Face of Setbacks or Rejection
Process optimization is a little bit like sales in that it’s often a numbers game. A production leader must experience failure enough times to understand how to improve, all while maintaining confidence in him or herself and the process.
For product delivery, this comes down to understanding the metrics that build your business and guide your decisions. If a challenge appears, use your metrics as a guiding star and keep things on track. It’s about building processes through measurable data and trusting in those processes to carry you through the hard times.
Understand Your Audience Through Personal Connections
Most companies know that putting forth great products requires a deep understanding of their target audience, but what’s less commonly discussed is the way you gather these insights.
Don’t underestimate the power of one-on-one meetings outside the office. If possible, executives should strive to connect with stakeholders in person and away from conference rooms or Zoom calls. The classic golf course, for example, can create a better atmosphere for opening up and getting to know a client. As a bonus, you’ll have more time to feel things out and discuss needs than you typically would during a time-strapped video call.
It’s also good practice to research your prospects ahead of time and look for common ground. Tools like LinkedIn are great for this. Zero in on one or two key points about your client so you can build rapport and create more memorable interactions. Overall, it’s about tailoring your interactions to each prospect. Then try to create relationships that will be mutually beneficial through all stages of the project.
Be Diligent With CRM Management
Many companies have a love/hate relationship with customer relationship management (CRM), but it remains one of the most important tools for product delivery. Stay diligent, take notes, and add details to key accounts. Know how to use the tools at your disposal and be able to turn input data into actionable outputs that help you drive strategy.
CRM is a get-out-what-you-put-in process. But note that going overboard with customizations can create challenges. Inputs may not fit into pre-defined categories, and reporting becomes more complicated as a matter of course.
Going back to internal communication, collaboration among teams can help solve many of these issues. One team member may have a brilliant workaround to a problem that others were stuck on. Try to stay flexible and remember that targets will change over time. It’s important to build adaptable CRM processes that can grow alongside your company and help you reach your goals, both with product delivery and beyond.
Email [email protected] or contact Greg via LinkedIn to get more insights on the finer points of product delivery!