Starting a new job as a product manager (PM) comes with its challenges. Even if you’re familiar with the product, you’re likely joining a company with limited knowledge of what’s currently in development, how the team operates, and what customers’ most pressing needs are. Factor in a remote work setting and this ramp up process can feel that much more disjointed.
Even with a robust employee onboarding program, there’s a lot of context that a product manager can only get by immersing themselves in their work, and diving in head-first.
In our latest webinar, Dan Dalton, a senior product manager who joined Pendo in June, shared his experience leaning on Pendo’s Feedback tool to help accelerate his learning curve. Here are five ways he recommends leveraging Feedback as a product manager who’s brand new to the team:
1. Learn what problems the team is trying to solve
One of the most common hurdles new product managers face is gaining insight into what work is currently being done and what’s been done in the past. Dan explained how when he joined Pendo, he used Feedback to get a full picture of what the team was planning and what was being built, all in the context of which issues the team was trying to solve.
This gave him a problem-focused view and helped him better understand key customer pain points–not to mention he didn’t have to rely on other team members to provide this information. Since the team linked to JIRA directly from Pendo, Dan could easily find more details on the work in development, and access the Releases page in Pendo to find release notes for past releases.
2. Get a clear picture of the future
In addition to learning the product team’s past and current work, new product managers need to know what the future looks like, and one of the best places to turn is the roadmap. While companies will often share a living version of the product roadmap throughout the organization, Dan found the Roadmaps feature in Pendo useful in providing this information instantly. Being able to see plans that stretch farther into the future than a single quarter helped paint a clearer picture of company priorities and, ultimately, customer needs.
3. Find customers to connect with
When joining a new company, product managers usually set up introductory calls with customers as soon as they can. This helps new PMs understand customer problems and also shapes their initial perceptions of the product. There are plenty of ways to find customers to connect with (looking in your CRM, word of mouth from team members, etc.), but Dan found it most valuable to leverage Pendo Feedback for this process.
He reached out to customers based on requests they had already submitted in Feedback, which not only provided structure and relevance to the call, but also made customers more likely to agree to chat.
4. Better understand customers’ needs
When Dan did connect with customers, he wanted to ensure he made the best use of their time. This meant doing his homework to see what’s important to the user based on requests they’ve submitted, any open support cases, and details about their company. He could see all of this information right in Pendo Feedback, both at the account and individual visitor level. This way, rather going into a customer call with a blank slate, he had plenty of context to guide the conversation and make sure it was productive and valuable for himself and the customer.
5. Build relationships throughout the company
Product management is an extremely cross-functional discipline, and building relationships with members of other teams doesn’t happen overnight. PMs often work closely with customer success, sales, and customer support, but when you’re new to the team, you don’t automatically know who to go to for certain questions or problems.
Rather than relying on his peers in product to point him in the right direction, Dan could look directly in Feedback to find the name of who to connect with. For example, if he was looking into a piece of feedback that a certain customer submitted, he’d see right there who the customer success manager for the account is, and know who to reach out to for more context about the customer’s use case.
To see how else the Pendo team uses our own Feedback product, check out the webinar recording here: