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  • Writer's pictureDan G

Understanding the "Whole Product" Approach to Product Management

At its core, the Whole Product approach to Product Management is best exemplified through the quote "the product you ship and the product your customer experiences are two very different things".

In the gap between what the product team shipped and the customers end experience sits all of the teams involved in the customer value chain:

  1. Sales & Marketing

  2. Implementations & Onboarding

  3. Support

As a Product Manager looking to advance their career to a Head of Product, Director or Product, or Chief Product Officer role it's critical that you understand this gap and actively partner across your organization to ensure the right product content and context is delivered to these teams.


Where Issues Arise


Sales & Marketing

​Products capabilities misrepresented during the sales cycle

Create and own an executive level product slide and share with Sales team. Keep up to date and ensure it is the only "product certified" slide in circulation within the sales team.

Implementations & Onboarding

Product insufficiently implemented, poor user training experience

​Invest in product features that will simplify the implementation experience. Meet regularly to understand the most challenging parts of an implementation and systematically address via product enhancements.


Poor documentation, support team not aware of newly released features, lack of data sharing between support and product

​Notify support team ~weeks in advance of all releases and provide a training session + documentation on all newly release features. Meet regularly to review support inquiry data to observe trends in user pain points.

By taking accountability for ensuring each of your partner teams are equipped with the right knowledge and partnership, you will deliver a better client experience while simultaneously elevating your leadership profile with the organization.

Best of all, these teams will want to partner with you on these topics. Sales will love not having to create bespoke product slides for each of their client pitches and just grabbing them from your documentation library. Implementations and Support will both tremendously appreciate you taking the time to understand the most common issues with the product and start addressing them.

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