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Product Manager

Customer relationship management (CRM) enables a company to manage their interaction with both current and potential customers. CRM software provides valuable information to a company including each customer’s history with the company. CRM software is ideal for increasing customer retention and thus improving sales.

As CRM software continues to grow, the role of a product manager becomes invaluable to each company. Product managers can be fit into various levels within an organization. For example, some companies place product managers under sales, but this is not always the case. In fact, product managers who fall under the sales department spend the majority of their time performing product demos for the sales reps. More emerging companies – such as Google and Uber – place their product managers on their own, under a Chief Product Office (CPO). Understanding the product manager definition makes this organization make sense. In keeping with the product management definition, a product manager leads the strategic side of a product, which means they are involved from the development up to the product launch.

Product management is a growing field thanks in part to the increase in the software market. Product managers can use CRM software to boost communication with potential customers, prepare for a product deployment, and enhance product development. When it comes to product development, product managers can use data from the CRM to validate features on a product – answering the question what potential customers need.

Product Manager Job Description

The product manager’s role may vary slightly from company to company, but in general, product managers share a common product manager job description. Hiring managers look for the most common elements in a product manager, which may include:

  • Prior experience with product management
  • People management skills
  • Product development experience
  • Requirements analysis skills
  • The ability to analyze pricing, planning, perform competitive analysis
  • The ability to conduct financial planning and strategy

Below is a technical product manager job description example:

Product Manager Objectives and Responsibilities:

A product manager develops products after identifying the demand/need for potential products; conducts the necessary market research; generates all of the product requirements; determines product specifications, including the production timetables and pricing guidelines; develops (or assists in developing) marketing strategies.

Note: hiring managers may adapt the job description depending on what type of product manager is needed. For instance an enterprise software product manager job description may have specific requirements when compared to a physical product project manager job description or a website product manager job description. In regards to agile software development, product management is about shaping a product through multiple versions. This means that a product manager roles and responsibilities in agile are very important when it comes to the success of a new product.

Product Manager Salary

A successful product manager plays an important role in the growth of a company, and they are compensated for their pivotal work. Determining the average product manager salary depends on a few key factors, including the seniority (i.e., senior product manager salary versus entry level product manager salary), the location of the position (i.e., product manager salary UK versus product manager salary San Francisco). Product manager salary Google averages range from the low 100’s to the high 100’s. For example, Glassdoor estimates that the average product manager salary in New York City is $106,587 per year. In San Francisco, the average software product manager salary jumps up to $129,387 per year. In London, however, the average salary is £55,051 – which is about $77,500 depending on the current exchange rate. The director product manager salary average in San Francisco is even higher: $174,902 per year. A quick product manager salary Facebook search confirms once again that this is a lucrative position whether you’re entry level or senior level.

Regardless of the salary, product managers receive plenty of other benefits too. Benefits can include:

  • Health insurance, including vision and dental
  • Life insurance
  • Vacation time plus personal paid time off (PTO) days
  • Equity in the software company in the form of stock options
  • Office perks including stocked office fridges, casual Fridays, summer hours, dog-friendly offices and more
  • Flexible hours

Product Manager Jobs

Individuals who possess the necessary skills and desired qualifications may pursue a career as a product manager. Job seekers may initiate the job search by running a few searches on job boards such as Indeed or ZipRecruiter. Job searchers can narrow down their ideal job by searching for specific phrases. For example, searching for “remote product manager jobs” (or even “product manager jobs remote”) may help refine the search for individuals interested in working from home. On the other hand, job seekers can specific a specific city or state with searches like “product manager jobs nyc” or “product manager jobs California.”  Job seekers can also create specific searches that specify the location and level: “entry level product manager jobs nyc.” 

When evaluating a job opportunity, job hunters should:

  • Confirm the legitimacy of the advertisement or posting before providing sensitive information
  • Include a cover letter and resume with all applications
  • Confirm that the location of the job or the commute is doable before continuing with the application and interview process
  • Confirm the desired level e.g., entry level or associate product manager jobs

A product manager job can be listed on:

  • Employment marketplaces e.g., Indeed, ZipRecruiter, etc.
  • Professional recruiting agencies
  • Social network job listings e.g., LinkedIn
  • Product manager jobs Google search results pages

When determining the legitimacy of a job listing, job seekers can:

  • Research the company
  • Check company reviews and references

In general, a real job listing will never require payment, will not make “get rich quick” promises, and will never offer senior salaries for entry level positions. However, job seekers should not discount startsups. There are numerous product manager jobs in startups.

Product Manager Skills

The majority of product manager job postings list the necessary skills of successful product managers. A product manager must have the ability to humbly seek and accept – and leverage — feedback. Product managers must also possess many different types of skills. Below is a product manager skills matrix:

  • Interpersonal skills, which include active listening, strong leadership skills, strong verbal and written communication, strong presentation and public speaking abilities, high emotional intelligence, strong interviewing skills, and the ability to manage partner relationships.
  • Strategic thinking, which include strong marketing skills, ability to stay goal oriented, ability to forecast sales, ability to perform customer analysis, ability to think in terms of product life cycle, and strong project management skills
  • Analytic skills, which include beta testing, deductive reasoning, entrepreneurship, ability to perform and analyze market research, risk management, and the ability to synthesis data
  • Marketing skills, which includes customer service, creativity, coordination, and the ability to develop pricing frameworks, strategies for product launches, and value propositions

When job hunting, job seekers can run a Google search for “product manager skill LinkedIn” to determine the most sought-after skills. Senior product marketing skills and entry level product marketing skills overlap. An individual holding either of these positions should have a close attention to detail, think critically, possess excellent time management, use and implement CRM features, and be able to measure product functionality and user acceptance.  These are also suitable ecommerce product manager skills and associate product manager skills. 

In addition to skills, the ideal candidate may also demonstrate product manager accomplishments such as successfully holding a product manager position in the past.

Product Manager Qualifications

In addition to the necessary skillset, the ideal product manager must also possess certain qualifications. Job seeks can Google product manager qualifications, but it is often unnecessary. Most job listings include the desired qualifications.

Most software companies are looking for a candidate with the following qualifications:

  • A minimum of three years of experience leading product development in a supervisory capacity
  • Strong knowledge of the both the market and the industry
  • Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in either Engineering or Marketing required
  • MBA, preferred
  • Exceptional networking skills, with a particular focus on distribution channels as well as social media
  • Willingness to travel, at least up to 25 percent
  • Solid motivational skills
  • Prior leadership experience

Remember, job seekers can also search for specific qualifications for their state or country. For example, try searching “product manager qualifications uk” for more detailed responses.

Note: if job seekers do not meet all of these qualifications, there are ways to up level their resume. For instance, job seekers can:

  • Enroll in school to earn their Bachelor’s Degree
  • Volunteer and participate in product development groups
  • Work with a mentor to improve their knowledge of the industry
  • Accept entry level product manager position as a way to gain valuable experience and work towards a senior-level position
  • Earn a product manager certificate

For more information on earning a product manager certificate, continue reading more in the next section.

Product Manager Certification

In addition to the qualifications discussed above, some companies may seek a candidate that already possesses product manager certification. Earning a certificate can be an invaluable way for job seekers to to sharpen their skillset and make themselves more attractive to potential employers. Because over one thousand software products are launched annually, product managers hold a key position in the tech industry, and hiring managers often vie to hire the most talented product manager – and certification can boost the odds of landing a job. During the product manager certification process, students will:

  • Explore the scope of product management
  • Learn how to define (and quantify!) a market
  • Learn how to design a product
  • Explore techniques for working with data science, marketing, and production teams
  • Learn how to build a viable financial plan

During the process, student will gain valuable experience by designing and launching fictitious products. Courses are available through many continuing education programs and universities. Typically, courses are held during the evenings and last about nine months. The average cost for earning a certificate is $4,000.

To be eligible for a certificate program, applicants should have some (at least three) experience working within the software industry. Experience can be in the engineering, sales, or marketing teams. Applicants should also have at least two years of college experience and a general working-knowledge of Excel.

  • At least three years of work experience in any aspect of the software field or in a related field such as engineering, marketing or sales in a technical environment
  • Completion of at least two years of college
  • Experience and comfort working with cross-functional teams
  • Ability to create and manipulate Excel spreadsheets, which is a key prerequisite for the business-modeling aspects of the course

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