145 episodes

This is a podcast for people interested in building or designing tech products.

At least once a week, I speak to product managers, product leaders, product marketers, UX professionals, and anyone else involved in product management and product delivery.

Come and listen to some great conversations and get inspired!

Listen on your favourite podcast app or on https://www.oneknightinproduct.com

One Knight in Product One Knight in Product

    • Business
    • 4.6 • 11 Ratings

This is a podcast for people interested in building or designing tech products.

At least once a week, I speak to product managers, product leaders, product marketers, UX professionals, and anyone else involved in product management and product delivery.

Come and listen to some great conversations and get inspired!

Listen on your favourite podcast app or on https://www.oneknightinproduct.com

    Beyond the Challenger Sale Part 2: Focus on Value & Make your Product Easy to Buy (with Brent Adamson, Author ”The Challenger Sale” & ”The Challenger Customer”)

    Beyond the Challenger Sale Part 2: Focus on Value & Make your Product Easy to Buy (with Brent Adamson, Author ”The Challenger Sale” & ”The Challenger Customer”)

    Brent Adamson is a former Harvard professor turned Wall Street Journal award-winning author and sales researcher. He co-authored "The Challenger Sale" and "The Challenger Customer" with my former guest Matt Dixon, and these days is challenging us to concentrate on making products easy to buy, not easy to sell.

    Here are some of the highlights of our discussion:

    1. The Challenger Sale shook up the world of sales, but The Challenger Customer was the inevitable follow up
    They did further research after the first book and identified a new protagonist, the "Mobilizer", who can be your best advocate within the company (but not a champion!)

    2. It takes 5.4 people within an organisation to make a purchase decision & the number's rising
    It's getting more & more complicated selling into organisations, and the buying journey has become like spaghetti. Finding the "economic buyer" is no longer enough to land the sale.

    3. There's a difference between emerging demand and established demand
    If you're going after established demand and known solutions you're going to get dragged into a price-based bake-off. Challengers find unknown pains, challenge the status quo & break the frame

    4. Some customers don't even know how to buy any solution, let alone your solution
    Buyer journeys are complex & some customers can be surprised when things get held up. But you're not, you've seen it all before! Give them the info they need to help close the sale from their side.

    5. It's not good enough to just be insightful anymore, The smartness arms race ended in a draw
    Being really insightful is table stakes. You need to be able to help your customers frame their decision and give them confidence in the decisions they're making for their company.

    .. And much more!

    Check out Matt's episode
    I interviewed Brent's co-author and co-conspirator Matt Dixon about his work and how customer indecision is a critical problem for B2B sales. Check out the episode here.

    Buy "The Challenger Sale"


    "The need to understand what top-performing reps are doing that their average performing colleagues are not drove Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson, and their colleagues at Corporate Executive Board to investigate the skills, behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes that matter most for high performance. And what they discovered may be the biggest shock to conventional sales wisdom in decades."
     
    Check it out on Amazon.

    Buy "The Challenger Customer"


    "In The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson overturned decades of conventional wisdom with a bold new approach to sales. Now they reveal something even more surprising: the highest-performing sales teams don't focus on friendly, attentive customers. Instead, they target challenger customers. Challenger customers are sceptical, less interested in meeting and ultimately indifferent as to who wins the deal. But they also have the credibility, persuasive skill and will to challenge the status quo that will get a deal to the finish line far more often than customers who are easier to connect with."
     

    Check it out on Amazon.

    Contact Brent
    You can hit Brent up on LinkedIn.

    • 43 min
    Beyond the Challenger Sale Part 1: JOLTING Customers out of ”No Decision” (with Matt Dixon, Author ”The Challenger Sale” & ”The JOLT Effect”)

    Beyond the Challenger Sale Part 1: JOLTING Customers out of ”No Decision” (with Matt Dixon, Author ”The Challenger Sale” & ”The JOLT Effect”)

    Matt Dixon is a Wall Street Journal award-winning author and renowned researcher in the world of sales and customer success. He co-authored "The Challenger Sale" in 2011 which turned the world of B2B sales on its head, and encouraged salespeople around the world to take control of the customer conversation. He's now back with "The JOLT Effect" which tells us that our biggest problem with closing sales isn't losing to a competitor but losing to no decision at all.

    Here are some of the highlights of our discussion:

    There was a big gap in data-based, factual research on sales and it needed filling
    There are great sales books out there, but many of them are based on opinion and "what worked for me". Matt and his team took an outsiders' data-based approach and uncovered the surprising truth

    The Challenger Sale divided the sales community but resonated with founders
    Matt is not a salesman. This led some people to doubt his findings, but the data speaks for itself. The Challenger approach specifically resonated with startup founders who are natural challengers!

    All our assumptions about what makes good salespeople are wrong
    Sales have traditionally been taught to be relationship builders but in today's world of information overload, it's not enough to have a cosy conversation. Buyers need to be challenged, debated & given insight

    Up to 60% of Sales are lost not to a competitor, but to "no decision" & traditional approaches make it worse
    It's not enough to defeat the status quo. Buyers can be afraid to make a decision whatever the status quo. Traditional sales approaches make the problem worse.

    Customers are stuck and we need to JOLT them into action
    There's a playbook to defeat customer indecision that helps to take risk off the table & make buyers understand they're making a great decision. Product teams are crucial partners in helping sales teams do this.

    Buy "The JOLT Effect"


    "In sales, the worst thing you can hear from a customer isn’t “no.” It’s “I need to think about it.” When this happens, deeply entrenched business advice says to double down on your efforts to sell a buyer on all the ways they might win by choosing you and your business. But this approach backfires dramatically. Why? Because it completely gets wrong the primary driver behind purchasing decision-making: once purchase intent is established, customers no longer care about succeeding. What they really care about is not failing."
     
    Check it out on Amazon.

    You can also check out the book website.

    Buy "The Challenger Sale"


    "The need to understand what top-performing reps are doing that their average performing colleagues are not drove Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson, and their colleagues at Corporate Executive Board to investigate the skills, behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes that matter most for high performance. And what they discovered may be the biggest shock to conventional sales wisdom in decades."
     
    Check it out on Amazon.

    Make sure you check out "The Challenger Customer" and "The Effortless Experience" too!

    Contact Matt
    You can hit Matt up on LinkedIn.

    • 43 min
    Survive the Feature Factory by Applying Product Thinking to Product Thinking (with John Cutler, Product Evangelist & Coach @ Amplitude)

    Survive the Feature Factory by Applying Product Thinking to Product Thinking (with John Cutler, Product Evangelist & Coach @ Amplitude)

    John Cutler is a product evangelist for Amplitude, and a leading voice in the product management community. As a systems overthinker and "on second thoughts" leader, he's an anomaly in this world of quick-fire bubblegum takes. John's hypothesis is simple - product management is messy and he loves nothing more than thinking about it and drawing lots of complicated diagrams to explain it.

    Here are some of John's weighty thoughts:

    There's a lot of variety in product content out there and that's good
    John can get pretty in-depth, but there's plenty of room for targeted, optimised, "just do this" takes out there. As long as they're reducing the gatekeeping around product management not increasing it.

    Working in the "ideal" product way isn't the be-all and end-all
    There are lots of great teams out there not working as per the books. There are also great Big Tech-style practitioners who can only thrive in certain environments and would flounder anywhere else.

    We should all be thinking in systems
    Systems thinking is important for product managers trying to make sense of their product or organisation. Nothing is linear, everything is composed of self-reinforcing loops. Think you're a change agent? You're part of the system too!

    Product people need to be able to translate their thinking
    Systems thinking or otherwise, product people can have complicated messages that could sound esoteric or theoretical to non-product folks. It's important to find a way to land your message with your target audience.

    He coined the term "Feature Factory" as a joke and his thinking has evolved
    Sometimes you're going to have to build a feature & it might even be the best move! Work with your CEO, not against them, when they ask for a feature & make sure you know what game you're playing.

    Surviving a feature factory is possible with this 5-step plan
    John has an actionable 5-step plan (containing 6 steps) which enables you to work out what you want, what your colleagues want, demonstrate the value of product practices and, if all else fails, when to leave.

    Contact John
    You can hit John up on Twitter, or sign up to his mailing list The Beautiful Mess.

    • 57 min
    Data-Informed Decision Making and the Three Cs of Product Management (with Roger Snyder, VP of Products & Services @ 280 Group)

    Data-Informed Decision Making and the Three Cs of Product Management (with Roger Snyder, VP of Products & Services @ 280 Group)

    Roger Snyder is the VP of Products & Services at the 280 Group, a leading training & consultancy firm in Silicon Valley. He's passionate about product management and wants to help you get better at the craft and put some data into your decision making.

    Here are some of Roger's insights:

    Product management frameworks & methodologies are good starting points
    But you can't be a slave to them. Use these frameworks as a baseline to help you ask the right questions about your business, then use what you need for the situation you're in.

    Training isn't going to make you an amazing PM on your own
    Even the best training can't do it all, but it can be an accelerant. Training, certificates & certifications all have their place as part of your journey but you need to get rear-ended a couple of times.

    Don't be data-driven, be data-informed
    There's so much data out there that can help you make great decisions but don't just consume it blindly! You need to make sense of it to have the greatest impact, work out what metrics really matter & work out when "what matters" changes

    More teams are data-informed than ever but there are still challenges
    Many teams are still unable to make data-informed decisions due to lack of access, lack of tooling or stakeholder gatekeeping. Learn to tell stories about why it's important and ensure you explain the WIFM.

    Use data to inform your product vision
    It's important to set up a fact base for your product vision and populate it with the three Cs of product management: Company, Competitors and (of course!) Customers. You can then use all of that data to inform a compelling vision.

    Listen to the episode for this and more!

     
    Contact Roger
    You can reach out to Roger by email, or check out the 280 Group website.

    • 37 min
    The Role of Product Management on Truly Agile Development Teams (with Allen Holub, Software Architect, Consultant & Outspoken Twitter Agilist)

    The Role of Product Management on Truly Agile Development Teams (with Allen Holub, Software Architect, Consultant & Outspoken Twitter Agilist)

    Allen Holub is a software development and agile consultant who wants to help you build better software and build software better. He's also not shy when it comes to telling the world what he thinks about product development via Twitter.

    Here are some of Allen's spicy takes:

    Making true organisational change requires C-level buy-in
    It's easy to get hired by the engineering team to help them learn how to make sausages better but the better goal is to work out if you want to make sausages, and you need top-level buy in for this

    There are too many people walking on eggshells on Twitter
    You should be able to share your version of the truth in an open, direct way. If people don't like it, they can listen to someone else! Context is important, but it's not ivory tower thinking to try to change a system.

    Empowering people to be agile doesn't mean leaving them to it
    Removing organisational blockers and waterfall thinking is important, but you can't just leave them to it and not support them. They need support to become a learning organisation.

    Scrum is, at best, mostly harmless, but only in good teams
    You don't need backlogs, you don't need scrum masters, you don't need Sprints. You don't need any of it. Scrum was just a way to make agile acceptable to bureaucratic micromanagers. But all frameworks fly against agile thinking.

    Product managers do essential work that developers won't do if left to their own devices, but..
    It's important that they're part of the development team, that they're not a silo, they aren't the boss or decision maker for the team & they aren't a replacement for the customer

    JIRA is actively contributing to poor development behaviours
    We don't need big long complicated specs, we don't need backlogs, estimates, story points or velocity charts. We'd be better off with index cards stuck to a wall (or Miro!)

    Listen to the episode for this and more!

     
    Follow the progress of Allen's book:
    Allen is writing a book! Check out the progress of the book here.

    Go to Allen's User Story workshop
    If you want to go to Allen's upcoming class on User Stories, check out the details here.

    Contact Allen
    You can reach out to Allen on Twitter, or book a chat with him.

    • 51 min
    Banishing Cynicism and Empowering Yourself as a Product Leader (with Claire Vo, CPO @ Color & Impending TikTok Influencer)

    Banishing Cynicism and Empowering Yourself as a Product Leader (with Claire Vo, CPO @ Color & Impending TikTok Influencer)

    Claire Vo is a product & technology executive leader, startup founder and future Queen of TechTok, who believes that cynicism and a negative mindset is product and career-limiting, and that people need to stop asking permission to do their jobs.

    Here are some of Claire's insights about her career and approach to work:

    A worthy mission is attractive, but an exceptional team is important
    Claire moved to HealthTech because the opportunity was right. It's great to join a worthy company but you need a team you can work with, a problem you can contribute to & a company that needs your skills.

    CPTOs can work well in the right context
    There are a lot of benefits of having clear, joined up leadership between tech & product but it has to work for your organisation & you need a strong leader that ultimately supports the business and not one or other of the functions.

    Frameworks alone aren't going to build a great product
    Use frameworks as conversation starters and mechanisms to help you along but you still need to do the hard work of product management to actually make a difference in the world. Frameworks won't help you win on their own.

    You can bring your whole self to the table & still be credible
    It's possible for leaders to be credible & professional and have a sense of humour. It's important to bring your full self to work & to social media as long as you are respectful to your colleagues and customers.

    Optimism trumps cynicism every time
    Just because work can be hard doesn't mean you should have a negative mindset. It's important to be realistic & critical but mix this with a sense of optimism, "how might we" attitude and empower yourself as a product manager or leader.

    There's still a lot to do to get proper inclusion at work
    There continues to be bias against women & mothers at work. Women have to live up to expectations that men don't. Claire beat the system by refusing to ask for permission to do her job, and you should too.

    Listen to the episode for this and more!

    Contact Claire
    You can reach out to Claire on Twitter, find her on LinkedIn, or most importantly on TikTok!

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

Arlie K ,

Your Product Knight in Shining Armor!

One Knight in Product is a newfound favorite! ⚔️ Excellent content, delivered in an easy to consume format... no matter the topic, I gain something from every episode! Thanks so much for the awesome insights, Jason - keep up the great work!

Dan Balcauski ,

Highly recommended

Jason is an excellent interviewer who gets valuable information/key points while still keeping things conversational. Each episode's filled with real insights and actionable advice. Highly recommend that you subscribe and listen to this show!

aakashg ,

Improve as a Product Person by Listening to This!

Marty Cagan, Jackie Bavaro… and then a year of amazing insights. Jason is crushing the game with this podcast. Listen to grow faster in your career.

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