• SiriusDecisions Summit 2018 will showcase a presentation that dives into the product management infrastructure technology stack
  • Product management specific tools can be divided into four major categories – concept testing; planning, prioritization and roadmapping; pricing optimization and management; and product engagement
  • Thirty percent of product managers use product management-specific tools

Over the last several years, marketing and sales technology have been getting a lot of headlines for innovation, investment and perceived value.  It is virtually impossible to have a discussion about anything marketing – and to a only slightly lesser extent sales—without the topic of tech stacks, digitization or automation coming up.  However, the third pillar of a B2B organization’s revenue engine – product management – hasn’t traditionally gotten as much attention, though we are seeing significant changes in the market for technology designed specifically for product management.

Our 2017 SiriusDecisions Product Management Tools and Technology Study took a closer look at this trend and found many key points. One very positive sign in the market is that adoption of product management specific tools rose from 13 percent to 30 percent compared to our 2015 study.  Additionally, for product management tools not currently using these tools, 59 percent of organizations had plans to evaluate one or more within the next six months. Despite these growing trends, the go-to arsenal of product managers still remains general business applications such as spreadsheets, presentation software and project management tools.

creativeteamworkinginaloftThis May at SiriusDecisions Summit 2018, I’ll be discussing the various technologies available to product management professionals in my presentation “Product Management Infrastructure: The Stack that Drives Growth.”  (Register now and use the code PMGMT_100OFF for an additional $100 off!*)  Broadly speaking, the tools available for product managers can be categorized into four major groups: user research and concept testing; planning, prioritization and roadmapping; pricing optimization and management; and product engagement.

  • User research and concept testing. Concept testing tools help get buyer and user feedback on product and enhancement ideas before they go into development. They can help product teams get feedback more quickly, efficiently and regularly, leading to reduced investment in bad ideas and improvements to products that result in better market acceptance. Applications in this category include functionality to conduct concept tests remotely, both moderated (with a participant interacting live with a human moderator) and unmoderated (with a participant participating independently, using a defined “script” provided). Clients of our Product Management research service can learn more in our research brief “User Research and Concept Testing Technology: A Sirius Perspective.”
  • Planning, prioritization and roadmapping.  These tools help product managers with developing product plans, prioritizing features and enhancements, and maintaining and communicating product roadmaps. Additionally, they assist product managers with strategic and planning activities (e.g. collecting feedback, prioritizing features) before a new feature, enhancement or product is built. While current product planning, prioritization and roadmapping solutions already offer substantial value to B2B product managers, there is significant variability across vendor offerings. We covered this category in our SiriusView “Product Planning, Prioritization and Roadmapping 2017.” Clients of the SiriusDecisions Product Management advisory service can access the full report through our client portal and also schedule time to speak with an analyst to discuss it in more detail. We have also made a version of this report available to non-clients – click here to download it.
  • Price optimization and management. Price optimization and management software leverages data and business rules to develop optimized pricing. This pricing information is then delivered to sales representatives so they can quote prices that maximize revenue and profitability within an ever-changing business environment. Additionally, these solutions provide price management and administration tools, as well as pricing analytics to identify areas of profit vulnerability. Clients of our Product Management research service can learn more in our research brief “Pricing Management and Optimization Technology: A Sirius Perspective.” 
  • Product engagement.  Product engagement tools monitor in-product customer activity and allow product managers to create and display contextual interventions (e.g. announcements) to users who meet specific criteria to improve customer engagement. They also can be leveraged to gather customer insights for product training and customer marketing purposes. Clients of our Product Management research service can learn more in our research brief “Product Engagement Technology: A Sirius Perspective.”

Marketing and sales have transformed so that it is now an expectation that purpose-built technologies are part of the overall strategy for improving performance. While product management is not as far along in this area, we expect the recent trends to continue, meaning product management leaders will need to have a better understanding of the available technologies and a strategy for implementing the right ones to align with their functional priorities.

We’ve seen significant changes in the landscape for product management technology. I hope you’ll join us this May at SiriusDecisions Summit 2018 to learn more about the product management technology infrastructure stack that will be key to driving growth.