Senior Product Manager: A Comprehensive Overview (2021)

Ajay Ohri


A product manager plays a crucial role in promoting the success of a product. They need to communicate with the other departments and also have strong persuasion power. A product manager’s role is divided into a novice and a senior product manager role. The senior product manager has many roles to perform in an organization. This article covers all the details that you need to know about being a senior product manager.

Who is a Senior Product Manager?

The SPM thus has to be someone who has a knack for business and is also tech-savvy. He should possess a drive and a vision and should be able to transform it into reality. The senior product manager is one who is comfortable in the field and understands the market requirements to come up with innovative business solutions. He is also someone who can communicate through various levels in the business. He works with the engineering department to determine what the product release requirements are. He also works with the marketing team to understand what could be the best marketing strategy. He also needs to work with the sales team as an evangelist.

In this article let us look at:

  1. What does an SPM do?
  2. How to become an SPM?
  3. SPM Objectives
  4. SPM Job Responsibilities
  5. Required Skills for SPM
  6. How does SPM keep improving themselves?
  7. SPM Career Path

1. What does an SPM do?

A senior product manager guides the activities that are charged with the contribution of the product line. He functions to increase the profitability of products that already exist and develop new products in a business. The senior product manager will use his interactions and experience to develop new versions of any existent product and also come up with new product ideas.

2. How to become an SPM?

If you wish to enter into an SPM, you need first to have the necessary qualifications and education. A bachelor’s degree is a must. There are many SPMs who also have a master’s degree. You cannot enter the role only with a high school degree.

It is also important to choose the correct major subject. Many SPMs have a doctorate or some associate degree. Experience in some other job also makes you competent to apply to the senior product manager role. You may have worked as a junior product manager which makes you eligible to work as an SPM. Project manager roles are also eligible to apply as an SPM.

3. SPM Objectives

Here are the objectives of an SPM.

  • He has to manage the product line lifecycle. The SPM is responsible for managing the product’s line life cycle all the way right from its strategic planning to the step of tactical initiatives. The SPM specifies what the requirements in the market are concerning the product of the business. This applies to the products that exist as well as any future products. It gets done through market research that is realized through interactions with the existing and prospective consumers.
  • A senior product manager should also be able to collaborate well. He needs to collaborate with various departments. He works with the engineering, design, marketing, sales, and various other departments. He needs to develop a strong relationship with every department that allows an efficient and smooth product flow. He should also be able to establish trust with their partner teams.
  • As a senior product manager one needs to work along with the technical department to guarantee that they can meet the consumer demands constantly. For this, they need to work with the technical team. Issues will emerge as the product evolves, and the SPM should be able to manage them. Like for example, the SPM should work with the engineering department to make sure that the specifications of the product, which is based on market research are as desired.

4. SPM Job Responsibilities

Here are the senior product manager jobs responsibilities.

  • Recruiting the junior employees in their product line is the responsibility of the SPM. He needs to interview and train junior product managers. The SPM will also have to plan, delegate and direct the work of the employees. The SPM is responsible for the juniors’ appraisal and problem resolution. He needs to offer insights to the human resource department on hiring the junior employees in the department. In case there are any issues with the juniors, then the SPM is responsible for passing on the concerns to the HR department.
  • Periodic and market analysis is another job responsibility of the SPM. He needs to do carry out competitive and pricing as well as profitability analysis. These are then sent to recommend the strategies that will help improve the product’s position in the market. It will also reduce the cost and improve quality over the competition in the product. This lets the product line department manage its products based on factual and accurate information, leading to better execution of their functions and duties.
  • The SPM also needs to set the product strategy. He needs to influence the adoption and the acceptance of the strategy. The SPM needs to make sure that the business’s overall strategy and the goals stay tuned to the developed strategies. The SPM promotes and develops the implementation of the market plan companywide for the product. Again for this, the SPM needs to partner with all the departments to execute the plan.
  • Product evangelism or product promotion is also an important part played by the SPM. He needs to promote the product based on its strong points which he does with the sales department. He promotes the price, functionalities of the product to the customers, and brings forth the product’s values, functions, and benefits.
  • The SPM also needs to perform many other functions that are required by his employer. He may have to attend tradeshows and represent the product or the business.

5. Required Skills for SPM

To be a successful SPM here are the senior product manager resume skills that one needs to possess.

  • The candidate should have the required educational qualification. A degree in marketing, business administration, engineering, or computer science is preferred. Those who have a master’s degree also get preference.
  • An experienced candidate with three to five years of experience in this field has an added advantage. The candidate should have a track record of working with SAAS products and know their application. The candidate should understand product analysis and be able to carry out competitor analysis.
  • The SPM product needs one to be a good communicator. The candidate should have excellent written and communication skills. This lets him carry out cross-functional interactions and routine interactions with consumers and partners.
  • An SPM needs to be proficient in using MS Word and the analytical tools in Ms excel. He should be well versed with PowerPoint to create engaging content and presentations that can be delivered to his seniors.
  • People skills are another crucial talent that an SPM should have. This will let him carry out interactions across departments and various business levels. Good persuasion skills are also desired to persuade the consumers of the benefits and functionalities of the business product. The candidates should give a confident presentation to attract people and form a lasting relationship.
  • The SPM performs diverse roles, and thus multi-tasking is a skill that one should have. The SPM should deliver outstanding results simultaneously to the clients, product line department, and the shareholders.
  • The SPM is an analytical person who develops strategies using the lean methodology. He should identify the information and facts by breaking down the information and analyzing them, which can be then used to get some solution that can, in turn, solve the issues related to the product.

6. How does SPM keep improving themselves?

An SPM has a promising career path and to climb the ladder of success he needs to improve continuously. The senior product manager salary

is also lucrative. Here is how to keep improving yourself as an APM.

  • Learn about the job by reading the website resource and books
  • Learn from your competitors’ strategies
  • Learn the new task management and research tools
  • Build on your communication skills
  • Experience counts, so keep training and analyze your learning.

7. SPM Career Path

A product manager is an agitator, coordinator, and leader. He has a long career path in any organization. The SPM manages the development of the product and also intervenes in the different lifecycles of the product. He needs to coordinate with his subordinates and with the other department teams which required skill.

For any large organization, the product manager plays a crucial role. He is responsible for the success or the failure of the product. He intervenes right from the development to the production and finally to the stage of a sale. Different companies have varied requirements of a product manager, and thus the job role could be more diverse in a large company as compared to a smaller company. Here is the product manager’s career path in most organizations. 

The product manager starts as an associate product manager. He then moves to the product manager role and then gets promoted as a senior product manager. Finally, he moves to be a Director of Product, VP of product, and Chief Product Officer.


Product managers play a major role in the entire lifecycle of the product. The job profile is not easy. However, it is a career that needs you to shoulder a lot of responsibility. 

If developing a product, right from the initial phase to its final sale in the market interests you then the role of a senior product manager could be your best carer choice.

To learn all the tricks and techniques in the trade, opt for our Product Management Course. It is the ultimate guide for Product Management 101. The 6-month certificate program is designed to offer extensive knowledge with a hands-on approach. The certification is in collaboration with the best minds from IIM-Indore, who will share their Product Management experiences and best practices. This program is one of its kind in India as it takes you through the complete product development life cycle. It is the best option for future CEOs and aspiring professionals who wish to make a stable career in Product Management.

Also Read

Product Marketing Manager: A Complete Guide in 7 Points (2021)

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