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Brush up these skills if you aim to be a product manager

Product managers occupy critical positions in organizations, and the sky is the limit for those with experience.

product reviews office meeting
Image: Unsplash

For a career in product management, you need to know the current and future demand for product managers and whether it will be the right profession for you.

There has been a whopping 32% increase in the number of roles for product managers between 2017 and 2019, according to Productboard. Middle-level management roles have grown 26%, and senior-level management roles have grown 51% in this industry.

Let’s find out where the product management industry is headed in 2020.

Latest Trends in Product Management

It is essential to understand the latest trends in the product management industry if you are considering a career in it.

Here are the latest trends:

Strategic Leaders

There is more clarity when it comes to the role of the product manager in 2020. At the entry-level, the average Technical product manager salary is $63,200.

Senior Managers in Demand

Senior management positions in product management have seen the most significant surge in demand. A lot of companies are offering Product manager internship to ensure that people like you have the necessary skills before they are taken on board.

Chief Product Officers

From product vision to creating a product organization, you will be the single point of contact as a chief product officer.

Growth Product Managers

The 21st century belongs to growth product managers. As a growth product manager, you will focus primarily on product usage.

Involvement of Stakeholders

The product’s success is dependent on the involvement of both internal and external stakeholders of an organization.

Technologically up-to-date

You will have to communicate your requirements clearly to the software vendor who would include your product strategy, ways to get better insights into the user and incorporate a shared vision for the product.

Skills Required to Be an Effective Product Manager

These are some skills which you need to develop to be an adequate product manager. With the right kind of effort, these skills can be mastered.

Ask the Right Questions

You need excellent communication skills to be a product manager. It would be best if you were tactful while asking the higher authority, and you should come across as curious, not threatening.

Decisions of higher authority could be based on information that is not available to you. By expressing interest through curiosity, you get the information you need amicably. Understanding group dynamics is also essential.

A one-to-one sitting might be preferred by some managers.

Learn to Delegate

You need to understand your role and specific responsibilities. You must be aware of others’ duties if you want to delegate certain aspects of your work. Identifying your support system in the organization is vital to be a successful product manager.

While delegating responsibilities, you need to be clear, avoid trying to double-check the work entrusted, and keep track of the progress. Provide advice where things didn’t go as planned.

Know Your Business

When you know your business as a product manager, you will know the right questions to ask and the right sources for data. You will also understand how the product is positioned in the context of the overall business strategy.

You need to upgrade yourself by learning about revenues and costs as it relates to new customer acquisition.

Inspire Groups

Your success as a product manager depends not only on your understanding of your business but your ability to inspire others in the organization. You will have to communicate the bigger picture when discussing the product function.

To inspire others, you need to have the answers to specific questions related to what the end-user wants.

Be a Multi-vert

An effective product manager must be a combination of an introvert and an extrovert, or a multi-vert! You should be able to process information and make presentations where introverts have an edge. You will have to display the skills of an extrovert when it comes to interacting with the different departments of the organization.

Networking Ace

You won’t find the perfect fit for your next manager unless you are excellent at networking. You need to network with both your internal and external stakeholders.

Get in touch with the customer through surveys, social media posts, focus groups, or conversations on a 1:1 basis. Customer feedback is your biggest asset.

You need to implement their feedback to stay ahead of the game. You should be prompt in acknowledging their feedback and responding to their posts.

Time Management

You might be the go-to person when it comes to a lot of activities in the organization. You need to prioritize and either say no or delegate some responsibilities if you want to succeed as a product manager.

Understanding Trade-offs

You must be an excellent strategist as a product manager and measure the pros and cons of every decision to ensure that organizational goals are met. Being patient and informed are vital qualities.

Core Competence

These are the necessary skills that you should possess as a product manager. They can either be learned in a classroom or from experience, mentors, and great role models. You should have the ability to interview customers, track success metrics, and perform market assessments.

Emotional Quotient

This quality is required to understand and interpret customer feedback better and translate that into product improvements.

Emotional quotient comprises relationship management, self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness.

An effective product manager has excellent skills in relationship management. It would be best if you formed a great bond with both the internal and external stakeholders.

If you are not self-aware, you run the risk of paying too much attention to your preferred feature in a product and ignoring the customers’ feedback. This would be counterproductive and should be avoided at all costs.

Striking the right balance and knowing your priorities are essential. You should be in charge of your emotions.

You need to be socially aware. You must not only understand the emotions of the customer, but you should also empathize with the different departments responsible for creating the product.

Excellent Communication Skills

Knowing how to use words effectively will give you an edge as a product manager. Your writing should have the desired impact on the different stakeholders, company leadership, and partners when it comes to influencing a particular decision.

Be the Game Changer As a Product Manager

Product managers occupy critical positions in organizations, and the sky is the limit for those with experience. If you are looking at a career as a product manager, hone your skills, get the required training, and watch your career soar!

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