All Topics

Empathy -Inbound Outbound- All Around

January 17, 2019

I heard the word “Empathy” about 8 years ago at a Product Conference in the Valley. For those not in the Product Management circles here’s the Webster definition below. Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Over the past 8 years Empathy has become one of the key attributes highlighted and […]

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The hidden secret of B2B SaaS – Solve a real business problem

January 13, 2019

One of the most common mantras in the startup business is “solve a real world problem.” In other words base your business on something that people need or want. And are willing to pay for. Its kinda obvious to state that B2B SaaS needs to solve a real business problem.  Business problems can be a complex […]

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PM Job Seeker’s Checklist

January 12, 2019

I’ve been helping a lot of techies and accidental PMs to understand the scope of Product Management. So many times that I was able to put most FAQs and basics in this short course. So while this covers the basics, people do come up with more questions on the role, some real challenges they are facing […]

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Evolving A Sprint Process That Everyone Loves

January 11, 2019

What is fun for a team of 10, quickly turns in to a nightmare for a team of 25, and a disaster for a team of 50. Every time I see a startup scale up, I find them running in to and complaining about quality issues, communication break-down, stressful work environment, demotivated teams, and chaos. Typically, […]

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Minimum Viable Book Review: Zero To One by Peter Thiel

January 10, 2019

It’s a book that is considered mandatory reading by many of the top minds of the startup world, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t partly drawn to it due to Thiel’s vehement support for Donald Trump. I was intrigued both by the book’s almost mythical status and also by the underlying rationales […]

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Buy 1 Get 1 Free Or 1/2 Off – Which is better for SaaS Products??

January 8, 2019

I have been interested in Masterclass e-learning courses for few months, since they added celebrity chefs like Thomas Keller and Gordon Ramsay. The latest targeted ads by google made me aware of the “Buy 1 Gift 1” promotion they were running this week . I thought $180 (annual all-inclusive pass, currently the only pricing tier available) […]

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UX research roundup — 2018

January 8, 2019

2018 was a long year. Thinking back to January 2018 makes my brain feel like I am trying to remember something from five years ago. However long, 2018 brought a lot of interesting learnings and thoughts in user research. As the years go by, user research evolves and grows in ways I never thought possible […]

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Enterprise Content Marketing Is A Different Ball Game Altogether

January 7, 2019

You have heard this a thousand times already, but content marketing is riding the high wave and will continue to do so for as long as the consumer market wants to make informed purchases – instead of ones they just end up making for keeping up with trends. But having worked in the B2B industry […]

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35 B2B SaaS Tips and Gentle Reminders for 2019

January 7, 2019

The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise — Tacitus The second mouse gets the cheese! — Terry Pratchett It’s a listicle kind of night. And the topic is B2B Saas! The broader the product, and the more pains it promises to address, the “easier” it will be to sell. It’s like casting a larger net, […]

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Measuring SaaS Health

January 7, 2019

Healthy SaaS businesses show a consistent ability to upsell their current customers every year, increasing the value of each customer cohort over time. ZScaler, a SaaS business which recently went public, shows a wonderful example of this in their public filing. Their cohort chart below shows the initial value of each annual cohort of customers as well […]

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The Top 5 Customer Imperatives for 2019

January 7, 2019

With half my career in management consulting and the other half in consumer tech and B2B SaaS, one theme has been a constant. While buyers and users increasingly expect hyper targeted brand experiences, personalized services and more fluid product interactions, customer centricity – managing your strategy and your customer’s experience across every touchpoint – continues […]

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Is It 2.0 For Indian IT?

December 20, 2018

“In Biggest IT Deal, HCL Tech To Buy $1.8 Billion of IBM Software” screamed the headlines. While the size of the font in the headlines was because of the dollar figure, one wishes it was more because a leading Indian IT Services company was investing in products. There is reason to be skeptical, though. This […]

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Should Product Managers Listen To Salespeople?

November 27, 2018

The newly minted Product Manager did a terrific job in his first presentation to the 20 Sales Heads of the technology products’ company. He started with the description of the market, the actual problem that we are seeking to solve, the current features of our product that partially address the problem, and the future planned […]

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5 Books to Read for a Young Product Owner

November 27, 2018

Immediately after I wrote the article “5 Books to Read for a Young ScrumMaster” people started to ask me “And what about a young Product Owner, Anton?”. So I think it’s time to answer this question too. Please fasten your seatbelt and let’s go! 0. The Scrum Guide #0 will not surprise people who saw my […]

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Product Management and those pesky Sales People (or why Rich Mironov isn’t always right)

November 27, 2018

Disclaimer I – I have led my own startup- after about 14 months we hadn’t made any sales so we folded. This experience taught me – that sales are important, nay critical, to commercial survival. I’m not sure this is always obvious to some product managers who are busy over-seeing customer value maps, innovation workshops […]

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Why product research is as important as it gets

November 25, 2018

Put away your white lab coats, whiteboards, and microscopes – the process of conducting product testing is becoming more and more interactive and provides rapid results.   There was a time when product research meant a laboratory-like setting with months of prep time. In the fast-paced technology and product landscape of the 21st century, that […]

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Managing Internal Stakeholders as a Product Manager

November 25, 2018

If you are a Product Manager and have worked at least at one startup, then I’m certain you are familiar with the concept of resource constraints, and the simple fact that there’s never enough time or resources (engineers, designers, testers, etc.) to get everything done on time. In my experience, this is also an exponential […]

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Scrum

November 24, 2018

For the Scrum Master:  ✔ Facilitate the product owner to maintain and prioritize the Product Backlog and own the business decisions;  ✔ Help the team members to come up with most realistic estimations they can;  ✔ Help the team members to make right technology decision;  ✔ Inspire the team members to pull and own the […]

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5 reasons that stop you from becoming a brilliant Product Owner

November 24, 2018

From time to time people ask me, what skills a person needs to become a good Product Owner (PO)? To be a mediocre or even a good Product Owner should be achievable to most of the people who are willing to try out this hat, though, to be a brilliant Product Owner is hard. What […]

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Do you need a Data Science Product Manager in your team?

November 24, 2018

I mentioned in a debrief from the latest Data Leaders Summit, the rise of the Product Manager role within Data Science teams. This was one of a couple of themes that took me by surprise. Over recent years I’ve become used to hearing about the need for more Data Engineers or Analysts to complement Data Scientists. But the focus on […]

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How to get into Product Management?

November 24, 2018

Very few Product Managers started out as Product Managers. Most transitioned to the role from a tangentially related role – maybe software development or project management, maybe marketing and business development, maybe design and customer service. This advice is for people wanting to transition into Product Management, but could easily apply to any career transition. […]

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Chief Product Officer Or Chief Product Everything

November 23, 2018

The title of leader is universally enticing to a particular type of person. And while most appreciate that the practice of leadership is difficult, that doesn’t diminish the appeal of status and power. The role of Chief Product Officer is viewed by many in Product Management as the top of the Product job hierarchy. And it’s […]

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Product Management Dynamics in a Start-up (Part 2)

November 10, 2018

As any start-up evolves, it goes through different stages such as validating an idea or establishing product-market fit or scaling up. Whether you are a founder or a Product Manager, you need to understand the dynamics of product management as your start-up goes through different stages. Today my guest is a serial entrepreneur, Subinder Khurana. […]

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Product Management Dynamics in a Start-up (Part 1)

October 10, 2018

As any start-up evolves, it goes through different stages such as validating an idea or establishing product-market fit or scaling up. Whether you are a founder or a Product Manager, you need to understand the dynamics of product management as your start-up goes through different stages. Today my guest is a serial entrepreneur, Subinder Khurana. […]

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Top 5 things for High Impact Product Management

October 10, 2018

Product Managers engage in varied activities in their day to day jobs. PMs may lose sight of their top product goals and OKRs while performing hundreds of activities they are supposed to handle. How should PMs pick and choose among numerous activities and cut down noise to simplify their work? And how those chosen activities and tasks […]

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Practical Tips for Aspiring Product Entrepreneurs

October 10, 2018

Are you daydreaming about your product idea? Know the unknown, before you take the plunge. My Guest is a recent SAAS product entrepreneur, Puneet Kataria Founder of Customer Success Box. He recently raised funding of 1 million dollars for his start-up. In this episode, I talk with Puneet about his start-up journey around getting an […]

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Becoming a More Strategic Product Manager

October 10, 2018

Product management, by design, is hands-on. Product Managers dive into the details, get their hands dirty, be part of the daily push and pull. PM jobs are by nature very tactical. However, tactical work smothers the more strategic parts, limiting the impact. Customers never see our breakthrough products. Competitors never quite feel our punch. Our […]

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Recipe of Software Product Marketing

October 10, 2018

David Daniels is a Product Marketing Guru has observed that Product Marketing is largely misunderstood by organizations and professionals. He talks about his secret recipe applicable for creating Product Marketing framework in any tech company. He highlights the basic differences between product management, product marketing, and sales enablement. Varun MittalI am the Chief Editor of […]

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Big Fish, Small Fish. What they can learn from each other

October 10, 2018

Product Managers working at start-ups or large companies have their own challenges pertaining to the size of their company or product business. Do Product Management approach, principles and practices change depending on company size? As in physics, size/ mass can manifest the momentum, large and small devise their own methods to succeed. Hans-Bernd Kittlaus, a […]

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AI Based Marketing Trends in 2018

September 18, 2018

AI taking revenue growth to the next level Open any website and the chatbot is ready to serve you. Bots are not new, but an increasing number of marketers are now using the services of chatbot to engage visitors during the conversion process. It is estimated that by 2020, 85% of the customer relationship will be managed […]

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10 Indian Product Managers Who Are Sharing Their Wisdom On Twitter

May 23, 2018

Twitter and product management do not always go hand-in-hand in the Indian context, but amongst Twitter’s 330 million active users, there are some gems one should not miss. We’ve compiled a list of 10 Indian product managers whose roles are as diverse as their field of work and are influencing businesses all across. From topics […]

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Saasy Business, On-Premise Companies can’t ignore! (With Muthu Ranganathan)

May 9, 2018

Varun: Why should on-premise software companies transition to Saas business in 2018? Muthu: If not in 2018, which is already too late, it’s going to be never. Any software company that has an established on-premise software have to transition as customers are getting to it. Many IT departments in companies have started looking at more […]

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The marketing content your sales team would love !!

April 18, 2018

I have been bouncing off the topic with some very accomplished professionals with varied skill and experience set; mainly in search of a best practices framework that can be put together as a generic solution. I am a B2B sales expert, and my client organization range from selling Geospatial solutions to ERP, from power grids […]

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Product Owner and/or Product Manager – Don’t Debate the Wrong Issue

April 5, 2018

Recently I was called into a mid-size software organization – and got right in the middle of a heated debate that had obviously been going on for some time. Development wanted to move to a Scrum-like agile model and put pressure on the established Software Product Management (SPM) department to change their name to Product […]

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Uncover Myths of Product Management & Marketing in 2018

April 1, 2018

Methodology Vs Idea based Product Management Approach I recently read an article by Gabriel Steinhardt on the current state and future of product management. He describes the Dichotomous future of Product Management where he foresees the evolution of two approaches to Product Management – Idea based and Methodology based.   The Generalization, Business, and Technology […]

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[Infographic] Product Management & Marketing Salaries in India

March 3, 2018

  Varun MittalI am the Chief Editor of Saastras media site. I love to write and talk about product management, marketing, and digital sales aspects related to Enterprise Software and B2B SAAS products

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Product Management Frameworks you should know as a Product Manager!

January 27, 2018

AIPMM Product Management Framework Source Another Version Source BlackBlot Product Management Tool kit (PMTK) Action Team Model Source ISPMA Product Management Framework Source   Pragmatic Marketing Framework Source PRODUCT FOCUS Product Activities Framework Source Proficientz B2B Product Management Framework Source Sequent Learning NETWORKS Product Management Framework Source Spice Catalyst Agile Product Management Framework Source 280 […]

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Ideas to MVP with Bhavya (Founder, zipboard)

January 17, 2018

Varun: There are Product Managers out there who are working to bring their ideas into Products. Would you recommend any set process outline for building an MVP? Bhavya: Before diving into the process laid out, it is necessary to understand that building a product is not a math formula. There aren’t a fixed number of […]

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B2B SAAS Vs Consumer Internet Product Management with Todd Birzer

October 26, 2017

What are the top problems product management teams face? Todd: Product managers, especially those new to their jobs, get buried in the tactical and underinvest in the strategic areas of their work.  They often spend too much time on sales support, technical support or program management, and spend far too little time on market, customer […]

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AA-ISP Gurgaon Chapter won the best International Chapter of the Year Award

October 13, 2017

A great moment for our Local India Chapter when we won AA-ISP International Chapter of the Year Award. We participated in the AA-ISP Leadership Summit 2017 in Chicago. It was a great experience to learn about the money making sales technology and best digital sales practices. Here is the event snapshot for you. Award Reception […]

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BPO Talent To Be Groomed For Inside Sales In SaaS India

December 27, 2016

Published at Product Nation With ongoing expeditious advancements in communication, social media, cloud, mobility and related technologies – sales is on a continuous path for digital transformation. This is going to place inside sales teams at a strategic position in sales and marketing process, in terms of significance. A shift is being observed from field sales […]

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Scale B2B SAAS Business: 1 million USD ARR to 5/10 million USD ARR

December 27, 2016

Scaling up – what does it mean? To begin with, what does a question- “When you want to Scale up your sales” really mean? Scaling up sales means to achieve Predictable Revenue with targeted ARR/MRR numbers. The Sales and Marketing works efficiently to generate sustained demand and Customer Success is able to manage such demand […]

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How to get Email ids of any person you want to contact?

July 24, 2016

What you are going to learn here, may open doors to unlimited opportunities if practiced in a constructive manner. There is no purpose to write a cold email if your offer doesn’t have any realistic value for the Receiver. A. Manual approach with 5-8 minutes work per contact Try to find domain name of the company […]

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Product Management in B2B SAAS Vs B2C SAAS

July 23, 2016

I am a Product Manager of B2B SAAS (Enterprise/ SMB) Product since last few years and have fair enough idea on the same. I talked to numerous Product Managers in B2C SAAS space. Here is the list of differences/ similarities in roles and challenges which PMs face on the 2 sides. Lets assume, Flight Booking Website […]

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How is a Product Manager responsible for User Growth and User Retention?

July 23, 2016

User Growth and User Retention Journey Lets assume, Flight Booking Website or App as B2C SAAS Product and Cloud CRM as B2B SAAS Product. Acquisition (Marketing) and Activation are the aspects of User Growth. Product Management for Flight Booking App involves marketing aspect as well. However, this is not directly applicable in case of CRM. […]

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Step by Step Approach for Product Roadmap

July 22, 2016

We all as Product Managers must have a Roadmap. Why?  It defines your Product Journey. Its better to acknowledge the same and work to create effective roadmaps for a predictable product journey vis-a-vis your product goals and initiatives. Step 1: First of All, you need to define your Product Goals. The Product Goals can be your Product, Sales, Marketing or any […]

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Looking for Interview Calls? Apply the Science of Self Sales.

July 12, 2016

Ask any sales guy, How important are the leads for him? He may talk for hours on the same. In fact within sales teams, one major area of conflict is leads’ ownership. Who owns that lead? Every sales guy wants leads since it’s the starting point of sales lifecycle in any type of business in the […]

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Insights From AA-ISP Roundtable On Social Selling

July 10, 2016

Originally published here AA-ISP (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals) Gurgaon and Noida Chapter held its first quarterly meeting for the year 2016 on 19th March that revolved around the buzzing topic of Social Selling. The event was a huge success and witnessed a diverse audience from Marketing, Sales and Inside Sales domain. This time […]

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Takeaways from AA-ISP International Insidesales Day

July 10, 2016

It was a great evening at AA-ISP International Inside Sales Day on 4th December. This was a virtual event which happened globally at all the chapters of AA-ISP in US, Brazil, Europe, Asia and Australia. We conducted the event at our local Gurgaon chapter as well at Insidesales Box Office. Being the Chapter President, I have […]

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AA-ISP Gurgaon Chapter Launch – How to show love to your Inbound Leads?

July 10, 2016

Puneet Kataria, VP Sales, Kayako gave an awesome session on Insidesales in B2B SAAS Business Location – Kayako, Gurgaon Office Varun MittalI am the Chief Editor of Saastras media site. I love to write and talk about product management, marketing, and digital sales aspects related to Enterprise Software and B2B SAAS products

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Product Management Principles for Life

July 5, 2016

An organization defines the ultimate goal called Vision it wants to achieve and hence everyone in the organization at personal and team level work towards that vision. The mission comes from vision as what would an organization do to achieve the vision. Similarly, an individual should also define a vision and mission statement for self as a […]

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Why Product Professionals need to know Self Selling?

June 22, 2016

Personal Selling as we all know is done by a sales professional to persuade another person (representing Buyer) to buy the products/ services. Personal Selling practices are known to Sales professionals in Businesses since its the part of their job. Is there any significance of personal selling in your professional or personal life? How is Personal Selling applicable in […]

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How to create an opportunity from Linkedin Endorsement?

June 21, 2016

Do you know if your network like you on Linkedin? One way you would get to know that is when any of your contacts endorse you for the skill you have mentioned on your page. What’s next?  Its good to have endorsement lying on your page to show the recruiters or your business prospects that people acknowledge […]

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7 ways to build domain expertise for Product Managers

March 20, 2016

In the last blog, I talked about Domain expertise – Does it really matter to a product manager? Question is how to build domain expertise. I would like to tell 7 ways to do that – In-house Training – First things begin at home. Talk to your current product management team. Request for a training session on […]

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Domain expertise – Does it really matter to a product manager?

March 12, 2016

A week ago as I was going on a trip with my family, my sister-in-law announced that she is recently given the role of a Product Manager. She was all excited about it and asked me what should be the first thing for her to work on. She started her career with a global pure-play product engineering services firm as […]

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Evolving Software Products Market in India

June 16, 2014

Moving up the value chain – From body shopping to offshore development to consulting Indian IT industry started making its initial footprint in the international market in 1980s when the core business value proposition was cost arbitrage which is still today an important driver for the growth of the industry. As the Indian IT firms […]

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5 Must Haves for Product Entrepreneurs!

May 20, 2013

There has been a rise in technology entrepreneurship as a movement since last 10 years in India before which new technology businesses were essentially due to business expansion by corporate and business communities in India. Now, we are witnessing the rise entrepreneurial community at grass root level comprising of technocrats driven by innovation and passion […]

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