Relationship Management is Product Management

Christian Kletzl is CEO and co-founder of UserGems.


Christian Kletzel honed his product management craft at such behemoths as Google and Microsoft before co-founding UserGems in 2018. UserGems monitors buyers’ job movements and automates outreach to support sales. 

The company grew out of Christian’s own belief in targeting people — not companies — when creating and selling a product. “You’re selling to a human,” he says. “When I create a product, I’m not creating product for a company, but I’m creating product for individual people with individual needs. Everyone in the organization, instead of thinking about companies being my customer, should actually think about individuals and their needs being my customer.

“Track your champions, track the people that purchase the product, but also always track the power users of your product for job changes. … Everyone thinks about the lifetime value of a company, but what’s really interesting is actually the lifetime value of a person.”

While Christian acknowledges relationships with customers may be owned by those in customer success, he argues that product managers need to be in the mix, cultivating relationships with both their colleagues and their customers. 

“PM should be the front,” he says. “There should obviously be a connection with customer success because customer success gives you the feedback from the users. But for me, PM should be friends with customer success and with sales, and often, there’s not a lot of connection there, but I think PM can so much support sales, and customer success and PM should work together.”

Learn about Christian’s methods for identifying and managing power users — as well as his experiences as a PM in various-size companies — on this episode of This Is Product Management.

Download the transcript

Here are some highlights: 

  • Role of PM at a small org vs. role of PM at a large org
  • Defining “power users”
  • The lifetime value of a company vs. lifetime value of an individual
  • How to find a champion/li>
  • How to identify “happy”

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