As a founder or senior leader of a startup amid a rapid growth phase, you will have already hit some milestones generating revenue and growth. This means you have successfully established a product and built a growing consumer demand. Around this time, it is critical to evaluate your team and ensure the company’s success does not plateau because of personnel issues.
At this moment, your future expansion plans can be negatively impacted if hiring a Chief Product Officer is not an option on the table. Being able to hire the most suitable CPO for your HealthTech starts with recognizing what a strong CPO looks like, the benefits the position brings to a company and an understanding of your own company mission and trajectory.
What Is A Chief Product Officer (CPO)
The Chief Product Officer oversees the entire product vision and leads the strategy of solving customers problems while remaining data-driven.. Ultimately, the CPO brings value to the organization by taking a product and setting goals that will maximize its potential for the business. Without this addition to the c-suite matrix of a startup, the companies development cost will continue to grow, yet revenue growth and positive customer experience will come to a halt.
Key CPO responsibilities include:
- Developing product strategies that generate revenue through sales
- Setting the product vision and leading the creative teams and cross functional partners
- Ensuring the creation of a product that successfully drives the brand vision
- Conducting research of the target market to continuously evolve product development
- Oversee the entire product innovation process to create a problem-solving approach
The Role Of A HealthTech CPO
After defining exactly what the responsibilities of a CPO are, it’s important to understand the roles a CPO plays specifically in a HealthTech company. Generally, all Chief Product Officers have the same duties and expectations. However, when it comes to HealthTech companies, there are a few specific responsibilities and skillsets that companies look for.
Mainly, HealthTech companies are expecting their product hires to have more data experience. Having this background helps with strategizing and the ability to make improvements based on real-time data. These skills aren’t a requirement, but can make a candidate more attractive in the hiring process:
- Experience with product road mapping
- User stories
- More of a Tech background rather than physical product
- Background in AI and machine learning
- Previous software engineering experience
- A degree in Engineering or business
The HealthTech industry as a whole is meant to challenge the way of the old and bring in innovation for the future. Each company is led with the goal of enhancing products and services for healthcare and ultimately, the role of the Chief Product Officer should be to spearhead this forward thinking, mission driven, consumer focused approach.
When To Hire A Chief Product Officer (CPO)
“It depends on the product and services the HealthTech offers, but generally, it’s important to have a CPO hired anywhere from Pre-seed to Series A to help define your product roadmap before the company gets too far along with its business plans.” – Sebastian Northrup, VP of Storm3 Dallas
A Chief Product Officer can provide expertise, focus, and help ease the pressure on CEOs by advancing the product function. Many times, as the CEO of a startup you are tasked with running each function on your own. But to successfully scale, it’s vital that you hand off some of these duties to focus on other aspects of the business.
The worst situation possible for a startup is for growth to plateau even though there is still a high ceiling for the company in the market. In this situation, it’s key to bring in a senior executive who knows exactly how to strategize product and growth opportunities. You may find that you could be utilizing your analytics and data analysis more, for example, which would require a higher level of skill and expertise, of which a CPO could bring to the table.
Salary Expectations For CPO’s
When hiring a CPO for your HealthTech, there are many variables to consider to attract the top talent in the industry. Arguably, the most important aspect you can bring to the table is a competitive salary. The salary expectations for this position can depend on a range of factors, such as the size of your company, location and experience-level. But to generalize, you can expect to offer anything from $105k all the way to $320k and higher.
The Skills Needed To Become A Chief Product Officer
At the very minimum, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree to pursue a CPO position. However, 53% of CPOs have a master’s degree and 7% have a doctorate. It’s recommended to have 10 years of experience in product-related fields.
To maximize your success, we recommend that you do two things:
- CPO’s need a great amount of experience within a specific industry so they can continue building on their industry knowledge; especially within HealthTech, where peoples lives are impacted by the products/services provided. It is important be well-versed in your role.
- Take on as many product-related roles as possible. The more knowledge you can demonstrate about the product lifecycle, the stronger a candidate you will be.
The Skills needed to excel at this role:
- Build leadership experience: people will look to you for guidance and direction
- Learn each part of the organization’s team function: from managing project managers to mentoring employees, this will give you a firm grasp on how to work with a wide array of people.
- Study product analytics: many of the decision you will make as a CPO will be guided by analytics; you’ll need to know how to research the right information to make the right decisions.
- Having the ability to identify market and positioning opportunities as well as road mapping and planning is critical to being a successful CPO.
- This includes getting other board members to buy into ideas, discussing product potential with investors, and even motivating employees to turn them into product ambassadors. You may also provide input to the marketing department on campaigns, so you make sure you’ve got marketing fundamentals covered.
Storm3 has placed a significant number of CPOs across the world in some of the top HealthTech startups and scale ups. Get in touch if you require competent and well-seasoned expertise.