Product Manager
🏁

Product Manager

Workstream
Product

We’re very excited you’re considering a role at Visor on our marketing team. This guide will provide information to make your candidate experience seamless.

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More about this team: product

Our strategy: product-led growth (PLG)

We’re all-in on PLG. We believe it provides a superior experience for customers. To guide our strategy, we have developed a unique set of principles, outlined below:

10 Commandments of Visor's PLG Strategy (Public)

NameDescription
🌎
The product is everything
We should think holistically about every self-service touchpoint a user has with Visor as part of the product. That means our product includes our knowledge base, our social posts, our automated emails, our blog posts, and, of course, the core Visor application. We need to balance our efforts to expand the power of the entire product, not just the software application.
📐
Everything is gradual
Users should not be required to make any major decisions, commitments, or changes to get value from Visor. Everything about the experience should be broken into small, rewarding chunks of progress. Like a long, sloping incline vs. a sudden cliff. There should be a magical, magnetic draw that pulls users in with gradual bits of reward and satisfaction. We should seek to get those gradual commitments at every opportunity to pull the user in deeper.
There is no decision and no trial
Trials suggest the user has to make a decision at the end, but there doesn't need to be the pressure of a decision. Rather than a decision, the users have varying levels of commitment. The more time and money they invest, the more committed they are. We want the excitement of solving their problems to quickly draw them in until they are so invested that they are hooked. Even paying should not be treated as a final decision. It's just another investment in using Visor to continue achieving their goals.
😱
Minimize upfront commitment
Encourage free exploration. The whole experience of using Visor should be low-commitment, low-risk to start. Even billing should avoid pushing too hard for commitment with annual plans. We are okay with gradual commitments that expand over time. As users get more invested, the upgrade to an annual plan or expansion to additional users should be a part of the natural experience.
🔮
Do not make users unnecessarily aware of the future need to pay
We don't want users to just kick the tires because they're afraid of a paywall or losing access to their work. We want users to start with real data and real use cases. Users should not be made to fear the limits of the free plan or some future expiration of free benefits. While we don't want to make it hard for them to discover the paid plans or their understand their usage if they have questions, we don't want to bring their attention to them unnecessarily before they've paid. We want them to run right through their limit like a marathoner through the finish line.
💪
The free plan must be powerful enough to encourage investment
We want to charge users for using the product, not discovering it. Since the free plan is our main way of “selling”, we want it to be as strong as possible. That means that we shouldn't hide valuable features behind paid tiers. The free plan should be as fully-featured as reasonable.
⚠️
Only ask people to pay when they have the most to lose by not paying
People pay to avoid pain. It's harder to get people to pay for some future benefit. The payment decision should not come at an arbitrary point in time — it should come right in the middle of receiving value, when Visor has become sticky enough to warrant payment. That's why we believe that usage-based triggers, not time-based triggers, are right for our business.
Ask for time instead of money
People overvalue their money and undervalue their time. Replace upfront commitment of money with a "less costly" commitment of time. Instead of asking users to upgrade, ask users to spend more time with Visor. Ask them to take in-product actions that deepen their investment in Visor and help them get value. Ask them to provide reviews for us online. Ask them to follow us on social media. But don't outright ask for money unless they have something to lose by not paying. The more time they spend with Visor, the more likely they are to want to leverage that investment.
We don't have a sales team; we have a success team
Nobody on the team should ask users to upgrade or make a decision. The goal of our success team is to guide users to deeper investment so that they will get prompted to upgrade automatically by the product. In sales-led companies, the product is there to help the people make the sale. In product-led growth companies, the people are just there to help the product make the sale.
🧠
Every human interaction should inform product strategy.
We can learn from every interaction with users. No question or request is too small to be valuable for our learning. Our goal is to take the friction points that require human intervention and find ways to automate them so future users don't have similar frictions. We can reduce future friction through knowledge base articles, revised product design, guidance prompts, and automated emails. We want to build a money-making machine that requires very little human intervention.

The decision-free sales process

We believe that the most user-friendly products are the ones that don’t require a huge decision. Instead, they’re the products that are easy to adopt and investment is gradual according to your value. To learn more about our philosophy, check out this blog post:

Our market

Visor operates in a highly-competitive, very crowded market. Here are some of the other companies in our market.

  • Google Sheets
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Airtable
  • Rows
  • Team Gantt
  • Asana
  • Smartsheet
  • ClickUp
  • Product Board
  • Actiondesk

Our differentiation

While many of the products in our class offer similar-looking products, we built Visor with a unique formula to match the unmet demand we saw in the market: people looking to collaborate more easily with data locked in their SaaS apps.

Here are the three main reasons Visor’s better:

It's more flexible

Our users are frustrated that the tools they use are rigid and limited, forcing them to do their work elsewhere. Visor can grow with its users as their use cases change and expand. Visor adapts to how they want to work; it doesn't force them to adapt to Visor.

It's more trustworthy

Many products that promise integrations don't deliver reliably on that promise. Visor offers a refreshingly seamless and trustworthy integration experience. It makes it easier to work with integrated data, it improves the likelihood things will sync, and it provides helpful guidance when things are done.

It's more sharable

Nobody operates in a vacuum — everything done in Visor is likely meant to be shared. Visor helps users share their information and create rich collaboration experiences around it so that they can keep people informed and draw upon the feedback of their entire brain trust.

About Visor’s product stack

Philosophy

Our philosophy around product management blends quantitative analysis with strategic direction. We use data to inform our decisions, but we ultimately make the decisions that we believe match all of the complex factors.

Our goal is to focus on what makes Visor unique, not just build what other products have. We have a strong vision for what is uniquely Visor (and what’s not), and we are comfortable saying “no” to ideas that don’t fit our strategy.

Crucially, we have 2 axes of product development: (1) the features in our core platform, like the different view types and (2) the number of integrations we offer. Within axis, incremental value is exponential. And then, combining the axes also multiplies the value. Therefore, we believe our value function to customers generally follows the format:

CustomerValue=PlatformFeatures2NumberOfIntegrations2CustomerValue=PlatformFeatures^2*NumberOfIntegrations^2

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Using this model, we constantly weigh and balance the impact of adding new platform features (that are valuable across all integrations) with adding more integrations (that will be impacted by the value of the platform features).

Tools

  • Salesforce
    • Keeping a CRM of all our users
    • Tracking customer feedback & themes across feedback
    • Internal product roadmap & backlog
  • Notion
    • PRDs & brainstorming
    • As the data source for publishing our public product roadmap (via Super.so)
  • Jira
    • Project Management for items we are executing
  • Fullstory
    • For telemetry & identifying user friction

Process for customer feedback

When we receive anything that could constitute qualitative data, such as a user support ticket or notes from a customer success call, we log it to a Feedback database in Salesforce. From there, our product team is responsible for periodically reviewing these items of Feedback and categorizing them.

That includes linking the feedback items to broad themes, on which we are collecting information. It also includes linking the feedback items to any open or planned roadmap items. This allows us to trace a product project back to the voice of the customer. During development of our PRDs and designs, we can use this feedback database and even activate it by connecting live with the impacted customers. And when customers are awaiting certain features under development, we can use this system to ensure they’re informed.

Process for roadmapping

Our team reviews the roadmap 2x per week, including smaller items and large initiatives. Approximately 1x per quarter, we run a more thorough review.

Goal-setting

We use a home-grown goal-setting framework, called VTIP. Read more here.

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We align all our projects to initiatives, which have associated metrics and goals. By doing this, we’re able to understand what metrics each project is intended to influence. This also allows our team to identify how our work is aligned with that of others on other teams. And it shows how our projects connect back to the company vision.

Bonus: About Visor’s marketing stack

Because we believe in a product-led growth approach to building our business, product and marketing teams work closely together. That’s why you may find it valuable to understand our marketing strategy and stack.

Visor’s marketing stack consists of a combination of custom-built solutions and off-the-shelf products. You’ll likely find that Visor’s marketing stack is skewed more heavily to custom-built or tightly-integrated products, since we have engineering resources dedicated entirely to growth & marketing projects.

CRM & marketing automation

We use Salesforce as our main CRM with HubSpot primarily for marketing automation. They sync bidirectionally.

In Salesforce, we track all of our users, including special engagement data. For any given user, there are Salesforce fields to determine whether they’ve taken certain actions we care about, such as integrating Visor with another app or inviting a colleague. We also use advanced formulas to score users and keep track of their health over time.

This information syncs to HubSpot, where we maintain a number of workflow automation campaigns to guide user activity. Our email automation runs on different tracks, depending on whether users have reached certain milestones. For example, the new user email sequence will send different emails based on if the customer has integrated Visor with another app, sent invites, or reached certain health scores. We also run automation to boost activation & retention.

To learn more about our marketing automation, check out this blog post:

Analytics and telemetry

We use a number of tools to understand how customers are using our product. They range from a custom-built analytics system (which stores millions of records per day in our data warehouse) to off-the-shelf products like FullStory, GA, and Heap.

Web publishing

We currently use Webflow for our website, Ghost for our blog, and Super.so + Notion for some other properties (like our support page).

Our ecosystem

We consider the following to be core parts of the Visor marketing ecosystem:

We’re also planning to add the following components to our ecosystem in the future:

  • A public template database for Visor
  • A user forum & community where users can help each other
  • An events portal for coordinating our webinars and other events
  • An online academy for training on Visor and getting certified
  • An account management portal where customers can track their feature requests, support tickets, and status within the Visor Visionaries customer council
  • A developer center for helping engineers integrate their product with Visor

You + Visor: A Perfect Fit?

The following outlines Visor’s initial screening process for candidates.

Overview

  1. Call with our Community & Talent Associate
    1. The phone screening portion an interview usually begins with a brief conversation with our community & talent associate. You can expect to chat about your interest in this role, motivation for looking for new role, and your search timeline. The goal is to confirm a high-level fit. Please be ready to:

    2. Confirm that you are legally authorized to work in the United States (without requiring Visa sponsorship)
    3. Discuss your timing and where you are in the process of finding your next opportunity
    4. Share any salary expectations you have and confirm that you understand the salary range posted for your role
    5. Discuss the specific skills and talents you have related to this role
    6. If our Community & Talent Associate decides to proceed, we’ll schedule the next conversation with our founder.

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      Not sure what questions to ask our community & talent associate? Here’s a few to get you started:
      • What qualities are you looking for in the person you hire for this job?
      • What are the location expectations for this role?
      • How would you describe the company culture?

  2. Call with our Founder
  3. This section of the interview process allows you to ask more specific questions to learn about Visor, the role and the responsibilities. Our founder typically asks you to open the meeting by asking your own questions. Then, he will ask you some introductory questions about your career goals, motivation for taking the meeting, and expectations about a new role. Please be ready to chat about about your career ambitions for the next few years and what types of company cultures you thrive in.

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    Not sure what questions to ask our founder? Here’s a few to get you started:
    • What’s your company’s unique value proposition?
    • What is your philosophy on pricing?
    • What are Visor’s company values?
    • What’s the 30-60-90-Day hiring plan for this role?
    • What does success look like in this role and how will I be measured?
    • What are the high-level team structures? How do teams collaborate?
    • What is the current runway, and what are your future funding plans?

What success looks like

These calls are helpful for information gathering. We’re looking for your honesty and want to ensure that you’ll happy with the role, and that we’ll feel that you may be a good fit for it based on your interest and experience.

Role-specific topics for product management candidates

On these screening calls, please be ready to talk about your past experience with product management as well as your future ambitions. Be ready to talk about past experiences where you engaged with customers.

Product Management interviews at Visor

Overview

In this part of our interview process, we’re looking to understand how well your capabilities match our needs for the position. We’re looking for product managers who can:

  • Demonstrate exceptional product intuition Visor is a technical product, and there’s deep nuance to understanding how customers experience it. To succeed in this role, you’ll need to have well-developed intuition that can help you understand why users may be struggling or where there are opportunities for us to deliver more value. Could you watch a soundless session replay of a new user experiencing our product and intuit what they’re looking for if they seem to get stuck? If you’re the type of person who quickly understands how to use new products (with no manual) and have experience building software products, then you likely have this intuition.
  • Empathize deeply with customers It’s tough being able to design solutions for a customer with problems we don’t know firsthand. That’s why it’s crucial to have empathy — to really understand the root drivers and problems in the day-to-day of our customers.
  • Build deep, personal relationships with customers While data is a crucial part of our product management practice, that data is a tool to help inform the understanding you’ll gain by deeply connecting with our customers. We want to bring product managers onto our team who are able to be professional but also establish authentic, personal relationships with our customers that will help the customers open up and share information you could never obtain with a weaker or more transactional relationship.
  • Collect and analyze data to make decisions We’re big fans of data. We’re frequently looking for ways to improve how we can (ethically) collect more information on which to make decisions. And we’re also constantly considering ways to leverage the data we already have. We’re looking for someone who can crunch the numbers and say what they mean.
  • Organize information exceptionally well Further to the above points, product management involves lots of moving pieces — customer relationships, feedback items, projects, PRDs, and more. To succeed in this role, you’ll need to be really good at organization. You’ll need to be comfortable sitting for long periods of time with deep focus, categorizing feedback. And you’ll need to be proactive about how you manage your time.
  • Communicate thoughtfully and effectively Product managers trade in ideas. And ideas can be squishy and fuzzy and hard to communicate. That’s why it’s important that you do it well — both to internal audiences (e.g. while drafting PRDs) and external ones (e.g. when conducting customer interviews).

Our interviews will feature questions about your past accomplishments and career experiences. Please come ready to talk about specific examples from your past. We’ll also ask you to role play in certain business scenarios. And in certain cases, we may conduct a basic skills assessment live on the call.

We don’t expect any one candidate to be perfect. Rather, each person has a unique set of strengths and areas to be developed further. Our goal is to determine your unique combination and see how well that fits the role we have.

Please bring your authentic self to the meeting; be the “self” you plan to bring to work every day. We’re looking to learn about you in a personal capacity, too. What are your passions and interests? What drives you? Show us how Visor can be the right place to further your career.

How we conduct the interview

We’ll conduct the interview over Zoom. To facilitate a free and flowing conversation, we’ll ask that you be situated somewhere in a quiet room, by yourself, with a strong internet connection so that we can both take the meeting with our cameras on and remain unmuted. For parts of our interview process where skills are being assessed, it’s important that we maintain the integrity of this being an individual assessment. We will record the call for review by additional Visor team members.

Round 1 (60 minutes): Your knowledge and philosophy

The first interview focuses on what you’ve accomplished and what you already know. During this interview, your interviewer will ask you to describe times from your past professional experiences. We’ll also ask you questions to confirm your understanding of certain product management skills and tactics. Be ready to talk about big-picture ideas pertinent to product management. Also be ready to share knowledge about key terms.

Round 2 (60 minutes): Hands-on exercises

Your second interview will be oriented around how well you can complete some of the day-to-day responsibilities of a product manager. Be ready to receive and analyze data. Also be ready to demonstrate your empathy and product intuition.

How you should prepare

Have a computer with a webcam and microphone
Ensure you have a strong internet to keep your camera on at all times
Be in a quiet location by yourself where you can focus and keep your microphone unmuted
Re-review your resume and past career accomplishments; consider which specific scenarios demonstrate information about who you are
Ensure you’re refreshed on some of the key principles of acquisition marketing

How you’ll be evaluated

  1. How well we communicate together during the interviews
  2. How well you can think and learn
  3. How well you understand general product management principles
  4. How developed your skills are in the areas necessary to carry out your responsibilities (see the “What you’ll be doing” section of the job description for your role)
  5. How aligned we are on the product strategy for Visor
  6. How well can you analytically break down complex problems

Take-home project

Overview

We believe the most effective way to determine how well we’d work together is to actually try it. That’s why we’ve included a collaborative take-home project as part of our interview process for all positions.

Compensation

We value your time and have built in a compensation component to all our projects to show you that we mean it. All take-home projects are structured as consulting projects with a $175 flat-rate compensation attached to them. In order to be eligible for this compensation, you’ll be asked to sign Visor’s standard consulting agreement before you begin work. The general time estimate for Visor take-home projects ranges from 5 to 15 hours.

The general schedule

The take-home project consists of two meetings: a 30-minute kickoff and a 45-minute presentation. You’ll do your work on the project between these two meetings. Typically we like to give all candidates about one calendar week to work on the project, but we can be flexible based on your schedule — planning on less or more time.

Kickoff meeting

During the kickoff meeting, you will receive a set of instructions about a project that is specific to your role. You’ll review these instructions live on a video call with your interviewer. In the most productive of these kickoff calls, the candidates begin some planning work together with the interviewer. Please use this as an opportunity to ask questions you need to help you complete the project (you are also encouraged to follow up with additional questions during the course of your project work). At the end of this kickoff, we’ll schedule the presentation meeting.

Completing the project

The principle behind the take-home project is to see how well we work together. As such, you are expected to check in about your progress during the time between the kickoff and the presentation. Candidates who succeed during these projects are typically the ones that engage in the most conversation with the Visor team during their work.

Presenting your work

During the presentation, be prepared to walk through your work and how you met the expectations of the assignment. Your interviewer will ask you follow-up questions to explain your work. Please deliver your project in a way that can be shared after this meeting with other members of the Visor team.

What success looks like

The take-home project is helpful in determining your ability to execute in a real-world scenario akin to those we experience at Visor. We will gauge how well you understand the core requirements of the problem statement, assumptions you make in the process, and your ability to explain how the deliverable may fit into the larger product strategy.

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Please note that although we structure our projects as consulting agreements, we do not plan to use anything you complete as part of your project in the Visor product.

Role-specific notes for the product manager role

The project for roles on the product management team will attempt to let you demonstrate skills across the following areas: data analysis, critical thinking, communication, and planning.

Team interview

Overview

Our team will conduct a 90 minute interview with you. Our goal is to get to know how you interact with various team members that you’ll work with cross-functionally. We’ll chat about all facets of the Visor product, ecosystem, organization, and culture.

What success looks like

At the end of the day, we’re a team comprised of very real people who come from different backgrounds with a shared purpose of collaborating together in the hopes of building something of value for lots of people. We all approach each other with honesty, openness, curiosity, and support. We ask that you approach this conversation from a place of honesty and vulnerability. We’re aiming to build a rapport, and to find out how you can become a culture add to our team.

❤️
We aspire to build a team comprised of diverse members from various backgrounds

Tips for product management interview success

Here’s more information about how to ace the Visor product management interview.

Know your stuff (and don’t be too humble)

We’re looking to hire PMs that raise the IQ of our entire team. Of course you should know the basics and the vocabulary. But we’re really looking for you to show us how you apply that knowledge cleverly. What are the things you know about product strategy & development that can’t be learned in a classroom or blog post? Be prepared to demonstrate how smart you are about product management and how you’d bring that to our team.

Demonstrate your cognitive abilities

Building a company is all about figuring out solutions to hard, new problems. As a result, we’re looking to hire team members who can go way beyond just doing the types of work they already know well. We’re looking for bright and people who think outside the box. Tell us more about your academic achievements that demonstrate your cognitive abilities. Or show us your intelligence by communicating very clearly as you’re solving the problems in our interviews.

Show us that you’re a doer

At this stage of our company, we need to hire people that get things done. It’s not enough to just have the right ideas. Execution is everything. So beyond just knowing the right things to say, we want to know that you know how to roll up your sleeves and get it done. Show us examples of your work. Let your passion for products shine through; do you have any side projects you’ve worked on that demonstrate a passion for building products outside of your day job?

Crunch the numbers

We believe that product management is equal parts art and science. It can be very hard to make sense of data that’s not always perfectly collected. It can also be tricky knowing how to make the most of all the data we do have. To excel in our interview, be ready to crunch some numbers and talk about what they mean.

But keep it human

On the other hand, product management is an intrinsically human-centered endeavor. That’s why we’re looking for PMs who think empathetically about our customers and develop authentic relationships with them at scale. While we want to know that you can crunch the numbers, we’ll also expect you to show us how building products is fundamentally about helping people.