G2’s CPO Sara Rossio Stocks the Secret to an Cutting edge Product Workforce






Take into accounts your favourite product.

Now ask your self, “What would make this a bit of more straightforward to make use of, a bit of extra useful, a bit of bit higher?”  And in the long run, what are we able to do to carry extra pleasure and pleasure into the arena?

That is what product analysis and building execs are tasked with doing each unmarried day. And spoiler alert – it’s no simple feat. 

I had the privilege to take a seat down with G2’s personal Leader Product Officer, Sara Rossio, and pick out her mind about product building and innovation. All over our communicate, Sara shared her personal potency hacks, what she thinks makes a just right product, and the way she helps to keep her workforce one step forward of the remainder. In any case, product analysis and building is Sara’s cup of tea. 

This interview is a part of G2’s Skilled Highlight collection. For extra content material like this, subscribe to G2 Tea, a per month publication with SaaS-y information and leisure.

Heat-up questions

What’s your favourite beverage? Black espresso. Easy.


When do you revel in it when it comes to paintings? Very first thing within the morning, sooner than I even take a seat down at my laptop.


What used to be your first process? My first process proper out of school used to be as a advertising supervisor, however I used to be mainly a generalist.


What’s your favourite device on your present tech stack? Gong. It makes me very environment friendly. I at all times inform different product folks that Conversational Intelligence is the largest potency hack that is took place in product control that most of the people have no idea about.


What issues at paintings make you wish to have to throw your pc out the window? Computerized restarts, as a result of I will be able to’t keep an eye on them. You most effective get a couple of mins, and every so often I’m in the course of a decision – like, what am I gonna do? The solution is to flippantly give an explanation for I can be proper again (and learn how to restart continuously!). 

Deep dives with Sara Rossio

Brittany King: Hello Sara! Thanks such a lot for taking the time to talk with me nowadays. I glanced at your Google Calendar sooner than this name, and whoa, you’re lovely booked. What are a few of your very best time control hacks? 

Sara Rossio: Know your self. And know what works smartly for you and what brings you power at other issues of the day. Take into accounts doing positive initiatives at the ones occasions. You’ll be able to grow to be extra environment friendly and in addition stay your power degree for different kinds of paintings. 

The second one factor I do – and I am more or less oldschool – however I in fact write down a to-do checklist. Frequently, I will time field paintings. It’s in my nature to do issues completely, and what time boxing teaches me is that if I have a look at one thing and say, “This will have to take 10 mins,” then I give myself the liberty to now not make it best possible.

And if it takes longer, then it is a second of mirrored image to grasp extra about myself and the way I will be able to do issues in a extra productive method. That more or less research has at all times labored smartly for me so I will be able to be extra environment friendly.

And through the best way, I don’t imagine in multitasking. 

Truly? That shocks me. Judging through your time table, I believed you had been a grasp multitasker. 

I feel it is inefficient if you find yourself now not totally provide. If you are totally provide for a second, like I’m at this time – I am not having a look at Slack, I am not having a look at anything – I think like I will be able to ship what is wanted maximum successfully. And so when I am on a mission, I close the whole lot down.

When I am running on one thing, I do not glance away; I do not get distracted.

So much is going into growing new merchandise and managing current ones. How do you steadiness product maintenance and product innovation for your workforce? 

It may be onerous to do inside a product and inside a portfolio of goods. I get started through staying all for the place the product is in its adulthood. And if you know how large your overall related marketplace is, and also you take into accounts your core visitor want and desires, it virtually solutions the query for you and your roadmap.

It’s possible you’ll say, “I in fact wish to push on innovation now as a result of my competition are pushing on innovation, or a brand new piece of generation simply shifted how shoppers suppose, like AI.” I continuously keep curious and now not cussed in my evaluations and pause to invite, “Can I take advantage of this to in fact resolve an issue I have by no means solved sooner than? So I will in fact prioritize and use this to pressure extra innovation and pleasure.”

“However the actual key to product building and innovation is paying attention to your consumers.”

Sara Rossio
Leader Product Officer at G2

In reality, for those who keep as regards to your consumers, they will continuously ask, “Have you considered…?” as an alternative of claiming, “This can be a trojan horse.” And numerous occasions, for those who forestall asking and in fact have those open-ended conversations with consumers, you can finally end up simply that specialize in sustainment actions. After which you can lose sight of the massive marketplace shifts that might or every so often have took place. And that’s the reason truly simple to do. 

My normal rule of thumb is: know the place your product is out there and your adulthood cycle. Then that can generally dictate, for instance, create pointers equivalent to ‘20% insects and 80% innovation’. And you’ll mess around with this components in line with adjustments, competition, and generation.

However at all times query and be open.

You discussed that it’s simple to get too all for insects and normal product repairs. What do you do when your workforce’s now not being cutting edge sufficient?

I invite them into conversations the place we begin to brainstorm extra about what’s running and what is now not running. And I take advantage of a word that provides them the liberty to suppose larger, which is: “Beneath what situation?” 

So continuously, any individual will say, “This can be a downside.” After which we will brainstorm and ask, “K, what movements are we able to take given the limitations? What for those who flip it on its head? Beneath what situation do the ones constraints now not exist?”

And that frees folks to in fact suppose differently. Typically, the limitations are “I should not have the time, I should not have the cash, I should not have the folk.” However what for those who did?

I really like asking that query as a result of I firmly imagine the workforce running carefully at the downside know the solution. They usually know higher than I do. So if there is a second the place I will be able to simply invite the dialog, after which determine learn how to assist them. Then I think like I am doing my process.

I really like the theory of getting those liberating brainstorming calls. However in truth, I’ve additionally observed how simple it’s for concepts to are living and die inside a unmarried Zoom name. How do you’re making positive just right concepts don’t keep concepts? How do you’re making positive they in fact come to lifestyles?

Do not depart the room with no need a blank settlement and dedication to what is subsequent. And continuously, when speaking about what is subsequent, I push them more difficult and say, “K, who will do that, through what date?” 

Particularly in brainstorming periods tied to new product building, it’s essential to seek out the smallest MVP [minimum viable product] imaginable. If you’ll simply damage it down to at least one tiny factor, you’ll get started for your method and do it in some kind of time-frame that is sensible for you – whether or not it’s a month or two weeks or perhaps a day. I think like that creates momentum to proceed. 

It is onerous to start out. However if you get started, then it is simple to proceed. And so for me, I am like, “What is that smallest factor we will do within the subsequent week or so?” 

Even small steps can result in nice adjustments. Normally talking, how continuously do you suppose a product will have to be overhauled or redesigned? 

It will depend on if a CPO owns each engineering and product building, like I do, as opposed to product most effective. If I personal product control most effective, I love to be disruptive and redesign no less than each six months; put out one thing utterly new. 

If I take into accounts it from a stack, structure, and engineering standpoint, I’d say, “Oh, gosh, now not that continuously.” As a result of that technical paintings to revamp, that re-architecture, that backend overhaul, continuously may be very time-consuming and takes two times so long as you ever suppose, and won’t yield the convenience that you are on the lookout for. 

So it is a horrifying query as a result of I personal each groups. If I may say the place I’d do the redesign or the refresh, I’d resolution the query as though I personal product control most effective. I’d stay it to the entrance finish. 

“Remember to’re truly inspiring and delighting your customers with that refresh. Remember to have an actual objective as to why you are doing it and now not doing it only for aesthetics. ”

Sara Rossio
Leader Product Officer at G2

Do you suppose proudly owning each product and engineering makes you extra sensible when redesigning or refreshing merchandise?

I’ve a special degree of empathy for engineering, while sooner than, it used to be like, “I need it. And so I will ask. And with a bit of luck, they are ingenious sufficient to get there sooner.” But if I have watched it for goodbye now, I’ve a special standpoint on it. I need them to do paintings that they are thinking about. And I would possibly now not have felt or understood that previous in my profession, or if I most effective owned product. 

Presently, there’s numerous dialogue about customer-led expansion and product-led expansion. What are your ideas on CLG vs. PLG, and do you will have any recommendation on when to put in force those other mindsets? 

What’s attention-grabbing is that you just more or less must do each proper always. And PLG works truly smartly, individually, for easy reports and merchandise to put across a transparent price proposition. 

But if I have a look at what I do each day, I imagine in customer-led expansion over product-led expansion since you attach such a lot with the client, you get their comments, and you are continuously retaining them on the epicenter of the whole lot you do.

As for product-led expansion, you will have to be doing that too. And also you simply make the moments extra environment friendly on how you are riding expansion. In SaaS, you want each. 

I’ve additionally heard folks say, “PLG and CLG are the similar factor.” I virtually anticipated you to reply to that. 

I feel they are inseparable as a result of you’ll’t have product-led expansion paintings with out being customer-centric and ensuring you get the insights that information the expansion for patrons. 

This used to be a troublesome query for me as a result of my response is to at all times put the client on the middle of the whole lot I do. And product-led expansion is the way you put in force it to make the enjoy more straightforward for them. 

What’s your favourite product recently available on the market? 

I will be able to’t say Gong once more?

You’ll say Gong once more.

What is humorous is that Marty Duffy [SVP, Product R&D Operations at G2] requested this query in one among our Slack channels: what is the very best product that you’ve? 

And it used to be attention-grabbing. Other folks replied such things as, “I were given this new floss” or “I purchased a brand new fowl digital camera,” and I used to be stumped. I have no idea what product I really like and cannot are living with out. There are portions of each product I really like. Even my water bottle – I like it as a result of it could cling a ton of water and it remains truly chilly for a very long time. Easy such things as that. 

Anything else that is helping me be extra environment friendly makes me satisfied. 

Now it’s time for the toughest query of all of them: what’s your favourite G2 product?

Neatly, I’ve to move with what’s honest to me, which is Marketplace Intelligence. And the reason being that I am the personality it is constructed for. Being in product, you do not at all times have the solution of what to do. You gather all of this information from consumers and competition and the marketplace, and you are continuously looking to smoosh all of it in combination to get a speculation of what to do. 

However it is truly horrifying if you find yourself construction issues, and numerous occasions, you do not know what you will have to be construction – particularly if you are being disruptive or you are attempting one thing truly cutting edge. However if in case you have that a lot knowledge at your fingertips, and you’ll level to it and say, “Oh, this simply took place. That is what I am listening to out of your ICP [ideal customer profile],” it builds your individual self assurance to in fact transfer ahead. 

What form of insights do you suppose are particularly essential? 

Something that is truly attention-grabbing about running in product is studying how folks put in force your product (particularly if you are in device) and the way they understand the worth of your product. I at all times like seeing the questions within the overview shape that ask about pace to go back on funding, ease of implementation, who carried out it, how a lot adoption they were given, and the perceived price. 

The ones questions are so tough as a result of you could have a look at them and understand, “Wait, it will not be the appliance that persons are disenchanted with. As a substitute, I wish to determine learn how to make it more straightforward to make use of  the options.” 

That, for me, is gold. I have by no means been proven that knowledge sooner than in this type of holistic method. You’ll additionally have a look at [your competitors’ challenges] and ask, “What does that imply to me?” and determine learn how to trade your product providing or positioning or pricing to enhance that. 

I used to be excited about which product you had been going to pick out, and Marketplace Intelligence surely is sensible. It’s truly cool when you’ll necessarily resolve an issue for your self. 

As a product particular person, it’s simple to fall into the entice of being cussed and now not having a look at marketplace alerts as a result of I imagine I’m proper [laughs]. However with this product, you don’t must wager anymore. It’s tremendous precious for folks like me. 

Observe Sara on LinkedIn to stay alongside of G2’s cutting edge product analysis and building workforce. 

Share this


Perfect Position to Promote NFT Artwork: 16 Platforms to Believe

DollarBreak is reader-supported, while you enroll via hyperlinks in this submit, we might obtain repayment. Disclosure. The content material is for informational functions handiest....

Zeolite Courses — Confessions of a Provide-Aspect Liberal

I preferred David Shaywitz’s evaluate of Charles Barber’s Within the Blood for a number of causes. First, there's some attention-grabbing bodily...

Open Enrollment is Over – We Can Nonetheless Lend a hand Get You Lined

Revealed on February 16, 2015Open enrollment is over. However for those who have been attempting to sign up on February 15 and couldn’t...

Recent articles

More like this


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here