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Product marketing questions week #48

Trending Questions | Product Marketing

Last week, we added more fuel to our product marketing fire, with the launch of the PMA Scholar Program, the perfect platform for building a PMM career.

Plus, with our Talent Program allowing companies to hire certified PMMs, what’s not to love?

While we were busying ourselves launching even more product marketing programs for you to enjoy, the Slack community posted a bunch of engaging content and questions.

Not in Slack already? Not a problem. Get in on the action (for free!) here.

Q: When creating the product materials/docs for sales enablement, do we start with customers or the sales team in mind?

I understand the clients are the ones who consume the materials, and the sales are the ones who use the materials to sell.

What are your experiences and thoughts on this?

A: Sales enablement tools are crucial for product marketing teams; it’s essential to cover all bases and get it spot on. Here are the views of PMMs in the community:

“We started with internal people in mind, to provide a more robust deck/document and then create a parsed down one for customers that speaks to them.”

Keith Brooks, Product Evangelist, B2B Speaker, and Mentor

“I've done sales enablement training for over 2 years in my previous job and out of my experience the training is for your sales team, but should also cover why your clients should buy from you (USPs, drivers, problems, etc).

“By putting those together, you’ll be able to better equip your team to approach the sales process, while also being able to drive more revenue, as they will be well familiar with the buyer persona's needs and wants.

“You might be surprised to find even highly-performing salespeople who have been with the company for quite some time, will be able to draw great takeaways from your training.”

Dobrin Grancharov, Product Marketing Manager at Smule Inc.

“I have found it logically the case that when I am going about all my work, I tend to capture all things about the offering and positioning into what ultimately becomes my sales training/sales toolkit deck.

“From there, it was easy to then take a small subset to craft the customer and prospect slide and other materials. That is not to say it can’t be done differently, but that’s how I work it.”

David Lorti, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Armor Cloud Security

“For enterprise sales, our buyers may be C/VP/D level but our users are much lower in the organization. So, in our sales enablement, we lead with the business challenges solved at a strategic or KPI level.”

Nicola Kinsella, Director of Product Marketing at Fluent Commerce

Q: Does anyone else's product team utilize continuous deployment? If so, do they release every feature to a customer base whenever each is ready, and not batch them as a larger update? Also, how do you handle product launch announcements, and do you try to keep up with the constant flow of feature releases or batch announcements on a regular schedule to your customers?

A: An interesting question asked by Albert Rhee, Product Marketing Manager at Salesloft - and one which generated a range of responses.

“This is a fun one - we introduced continuous deployment for a B2B SaaS product.

“We used monthly product emails from our head of product (me) talking about the new features that came out and a preview of the features coming out in the following month. All emails and release notes were also posted to our support site for any new customers to review legacy notes.

“We also introduced feature flagging, allowing the engineering team to continuously deploy code to production whilst letting product (and product marketing) control the release of any feature.

“This allowed for bugs, UI enhancements, and small features to push as they are ready. This was helpful when larger features were released we felt we either needed a little more support, client hand-holding, batching with other features, or extra marketing fanfare.”

Jenkin Lee, Chief Product Officer at Baze

“Most companies I worked at we had a monthly blog or customer newsletter that would serve as a way to notify customers of what has been released in the past month and either a quarterly or semi-annual major announcement event (webinar or in-person event).

“It’s also good to have a tiered system whereas major product releases (i.e. Tier 1) would get a full press court but lower (i.e. Tier 3) get a mention in the monthly blog post.”

Daniel Kuperman, Director of Product Marketing at Snowflake

Q: For those working with a product-led growth strategy - other than using activating a free plan or free trial as the primary CTA on your website, do you promote a secondary CTA to capture prospects not ready to activate an account just yet, and if so what's your go-to option?

A: There’s no fixed strategy for product-led growth strategies; different companies approach things differently, as demonstrated by the responses to this one:

“We have a different CTA for "Seeds" that are leads not ready to start a free trial. The secondary CTA in most of the cases is a free evaluation or to download a piece of content relevant to them.”

Silvia Roman, Head of Growth and Product Marketing at Sooqr Search

“Without knowing what product you're working on - for creating a prospects database, do you offer any content (eBooks, PDFs, etc.) or newsletters?

“These are ways to capture those prospects and build a nurturing database while offering value to these prospects who are not yet ready to activate an account yet.”

Jesse Choo, Product Marketing Manager at Webfleet Solutions

“We have one primary CTA and that's to sign up or ‘try it for free.’ We've tried downloadable content and it just doesn't work for our audience. We do have a lot of content though (mostly in the form of blogs, emails, microsites), but we just give it all away for free!

“We only care about a few metrics and that's conversions (sign-ups), PQLs, and retention. It's so low risk to sign up so we push people towards that action.”

Darby Dupre, Product Marketing Manager at QuotaPath

Q: In your win rate calculations, do you include all opportunities, or do you exclude some customer opportunity data like user increases, capacity increases, etc.? I find that including this data tends to inflate win rates.

A: “We look at both overall competitive win rate (all opportunities where a competitor is present) and a new business competitive win rate (new business opportunities where a competitor is present).

“We anchor on new business win rate as the ultimate proxy for whether we're effectively outperforming the competition.

“In either scenario, we only include opportunities that were true pipeline (usually whatever stage is post-discovery call), and we only include opportunities where there was a competitive alternative.”

Amelia Carry, Director of Product Marketing and Market Intelligence at Khoros

“We separate new business from existing business. If expansion is a big revenue driver for you, it can be helpful to look at win rates there too, but I would separate that from new business since the dynamics of the sale and competition are so different.”

Ellie Mirman, Chief Marketing Officer at Crayon

“I always only counted new business win rates. I think it depends on what your sales team is responsible for.

“In some organizations, the customer success org owns up-sell and renewals so they would track those metrics, but if the sales team is also responsible for the capacity increases you may have to count those too - albeit as a separate metric.”

Daniel Kuperman, Director of Product Marketing at Snowflake

“I’d focus on net new win rates. Competitive win-rate might make sense in situations where your solution and competition regularly coexist and the question is really about where the expansion dollar goes.”

Vincent Lo, VP of Product Marketing at Klue

Q: I'm curious if anyone has set up a "pricing committee" in your organization, or a cross-functional group that is regularly involved in pricing strategy. Any insights or experiences to share about what's working or not working?

A: Regardless of how impressive your product or service is if you don’t nail your pricing strategy your business could suffer. Given its importance, some companies delegate the task to a specialist pricing committee.

“We have a pricing committee at the company I work at and it's not working that well.

“I think the main issue is that there are too many people and we weren't mature enough to discuss our plans and pricing.

“Although product marketing is responsible for the whole process to study and change our pricing, we don't have all the power needed to move the needle.

“First we thought it would be a place where we could just get important information about the business so we could move along with the new pricing strategy but in the end, every meeting takes too long and we always leave feeling that nothing was accomplished.

“I think this happened because we thought we had the maturity needed to discuss this internally like a committee. As it's been years since our plans and pricing were created, we moved too fast.

“What I'm proposing is we start small and then discuss our findings within a committee. And also inviting fewer people to participate.”

Felipe Cardoso Barbosa, Product Marketing Specialist at Vindi

“We have an informal committee. My boss says I'm on the hook for pricing. However, I'm often not in the strategy meetings re: bottom line and thus am unclear about some of our profit margin goals for a product model or product category.

“So, I usually end up with a draft model of pricing for new products, and then the committee with a more bottom-line view looks to revise that or if it fits on target.

“It works well if that committee has finance, supply chain, and marketing on board to discuss GTM, promotion, and capturing other COGS to understand the bottom line.”

Benny Kuo, Product Marketing Manager at CDSG

Written by:

Lawrence Chapman

Lawrence Chapman

Lawrence is our Copywriter here at PMA who loves crafting content to keep readers informed, entertained, and enthralled. He's always open to feedback and would be thrilled to hear from you!

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Product marketing questions week #48