What is a Growth PM? Do you Need One?

There’s a lot of buzz about Growth PMs. Everyone seems excited about this specialized type of Product Manager, but what specialized value do they bring and how do you evaluate the right Growth PM for your team? 

What is a Growth Product Manager? 

The Growth PM works on improving a specific business metric to grow revenue and profits in the long term. This hire oversees the entire funnel from user acquisition to customer retention to expansion in companies that have just started implementing their growth strategy.

The talent pool for this persona is small, so they are highly sought after and well compensated because they directly impact growth metrics and revenue. 

Four Things to Consider Before Hiring a Growth PM

1. How does your company generate revenue?

  • Sales
  • PLG
  • Reseller or Channel Partners

This type of hire will be aligned if the business sells through a PLG or PLG hybrid model. Whether the flow is through a self-serve to sign-up, a free version that auto converts to a paid subscription monthly, or even a low-priced monthly subscription with more pricing tiers to unlock more features/value, the Growth PM could be a crucial strategic hire to better monetize and push users through the pricing tiers. 

2. What growth problem or opportunity will this hire solve?

  • Find product market fit
  • Create best practices and repeatable processes
  • People abandon their shopping cart
  • Lots of people sign up for the free version, but few convert to paid
  • Low renewal rates (churn)
  • Increase new subscribers
  • Increase monthly active users (MAU)
  • Increase usage
  • Expansion across multiple products
  • Build out the org

Distill the mandate for which you want the hire to complete and match it to the archetypes within product management. If the goal, for example, is to deliver a frictionless UX, a PLG-focused product hire might not only be better suited to the role but also cost you less.

3. What data are you working with to make your decisions?

Growth PMs require data to iterate and improve. If your product org isn’t that robust yet, it may be time to hire a 0-1 focused PM to build the foundation before looking for someone to come in and drive massive growth. Don’t put the cart before the horse! 

4. What are your KPIs / OKRs / QUOTAs?

Hiring a Growth PM begins with understanding the needle you're trying to move. Understanding that and the metrics you need to achieve will help you interview and qualify talent. When asking the questions "tell me about a time when you…" or "how did you…” look for direct experiences that align with the metrics you’re trying to achieve. I.e.: 

  • Acquisition is getting new users to touch your product
  • Activation is getting users to successfully use the product and see the value
  • Retention is getting users to stay with the product for long periods of time
  • Referral is the viral loop of having users introduce your product to new users
  • Revenue is the monetization of your product from your user base

We hope you found this article helpful in defining whether or not it’s time to bring in a growth-focused PM. 

Looking to hire and scale your product team, but not sure where to start when it comes to hiring? Product Management Recruitment is our niche! As North America’s most prominent product management recruitment firm, we know the nuances and types of hires tech startups need to succeed.