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Product marketing questions week #85

Trending Questions

Last week, we launched the latest in a string of specialist courses, in the shape of our new Segmentation Certification.

Join Tamara Grominsky, Chief Strategy Officer at Unbounce, to get certified and improve your understanding of essentials areas, including:

✅ Value-based segmentation

✅ High-converting Go-to-Market strategies

✅ Measurement of segmentation success

With 5 modules and 26 chapters, there’s plenty more to look forward to... 😉

Add the insights from the Slack community into the mix, and it’s fair to say we had a pretty awesome week!

Not a member of the Slack community yet? What are you waiting for? Sign up now for real-time responses from fellow product marketers, free of charge.

Q: My business is thinking about adding a new sales enablement role to the Marketing team. As the sole PMM, I sit in the Product team and have been covering sales enablement previously. I’m currently working out how best to divide the PMM remit vs. SE.

How have you seen product marketing and sales enablement divide ownership successfully before? What works and what doesn’t? How have you seen these two roles successfully interface?

A: “PMM is about go-to-market and value prop, area of collaboration is sales collaterals and sales playbook and sales enablement focus on the training content and timeline delivery according to sales development priorities.

“Create a responsibility matrix with all the stakeholders so roles and collaboration will be clear.”

Silvia Kiely Frucci, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Castor

Sales enablement is usually about internal people and business partners if that helps.

“In my past, as an SE, we got the core things from PMM (plans, designs, logos, some slides) and then we had to put it together in a way that we could give it over to people.

“As a PMM I then understood better what sales enablement needed so helped them by adding personas, CI, and other things as needed.”

Keith Brooks, Chief Executive Officer at B2B Whisperer

“I tend to think of PMMs as subject matter experts who help get the assets and resources that sales enablement needs to do their job and make sales teams better.

“One transition we're seeing more is sales engineer to sales enablement since that supporting role is already being filled. Wonder if we'll see more product expertise within enablement over time if that becomes a standardized career path.

“Another thing to think about is what outcome do you want to get from your new sales enablement hire? What does success look like, and how do you measure it in terms that other people are going to care about?

“Ramp time, quota attainment, sales productivity (e.g. # leads/opps worked at a time), win rate, and ACV are the usual suspects, or you can just measure sales velocity and call it a day. but think about that first, then design the mandate accordingly.”

Spencer Grover, Senior Product Marketing Manager at LevelJump

Q: I'm looking for a way I can provide our global Sales team with a customer stories depository.

For example, they might be talking to a Pharma company prospect that's trying to solve X but struggling with Y.

Then the Sales Representative would check out the customer story depository and find which other Pharma companies we solved X or Y for so he/she can share that customer story with the prospect.

I'm planning on doing this in a Google sheet so we can filter by things like pain point, use case, industry, etc. but surely I'm not the first person who's trying to build something like this and surely there's a tech solution for that? I tried Googling but it always just led me to CX software such as Planhat or CRM software such as Salesforce which both (to my knowledge) don't offer what I'm looking for.

A: “I've done this before by creating a Google site that sales reps can open and navigate around, ordered by persona and pain point.

“It’s also important to think about how to generally educate sales on success stories and arm them with the knowledge and anecdotes. This includes things like closing the loop on their closed deals (they get feedback on results attained), getting them involved in the education of it (e.g. sharing success stories to the rest of the sales team), and so on.”

James Doman-Pipe, Head of Product Marketing at Headstart.io

“There are many sales enablement tools I've used before like Docsend, etc. But if you want speed on this, I’d look into hacking one of the existing tools the Sales team is using. Getting sales to use a new tool is like pulling teeth out of a dragon.”

Harsha Kalapala, Senior Director of Product Marketing & Brand at TrustRadius

“Live filtering would be rad but I don't know a solution that does that. I'm lucky, so I get to use our product to do this and I filter on Salesforce fields (use case, industry, user persona, etc...) to surface only the right customer story. If you're not on Salesforce, otherwise, a CMS should do what you want.

“One piece of very unsolicited advice - when I built this it was a disaster the first time because our team didn't know how to tell and position the stories. So I rebuilt each story as its own Google doc with a talk track, key points to hit, etc. as well as a link to the actual, shareable asset so they knew what they were talking about. Adding a bit of context made them a lot more comfortable.”

Spencer Grover, Senior Product Marketing Manager at LevelJump

Q: How do you give great internal training sessions on competitive intelligence?

A: “I'd break the training up in parts.

“Something that has worked well for me in the past was to create scenarios based on real-life FUD or competitor push back and create groups that have to 'solve' the problem and present back to the larger audience. Feedback is given by all, and everyone learns from each other on the best ways to counter it. Important to make groups that are a mix of leaders and more juniors so everyone is learning together.

It’s also key to have really good base material for Sales to read from/scan/find the answers they need.”

Stephanie Pilion, Global Head of Product Marketing at The Adecco Group

“Give your team what they need and have them come back for more. Also, share ideas from different groups, interchanging ideas from others, such as technical, service delivery, or customer success teams via real-life examples work.

“I found it useful to gather needs with a simple questionnaire before developing the content to eliminate making assumptions about the knowledge level.”

Ismet Pekin, CI Product Marketing Manager at 7Park Data

“Your Sales team typically is also the source of competitive intel. Call it out when one of the members in the group contributed that intel, and perhaps even ask them to speak about their experience during the training. This creates authentic conversation and engages the team better.”

Harsha Kalapala, Senior Director of Product Marketing & Brand at TrustRadius

“Recent research found that Sales reps are likely to learn better from their peers. Therefore, for competitors where you have active win or loss analysis, try to have the sales rep share their story in their own words and make that part of the competitive intel.

“Training and sharing info on Slack is not enough. See if you can organize this content in a place where reps can refer to it when they need it. Competitive intelligence is important. But it becomes very interesting for a rep when they are in midst of a competitive sales opportunity.”

Gaurav Harode, Founder at Enablix

Q: What are some of the important questions to ask when interviewing for a PMM role?

A: “I like ‘What do you see as the role of product marketing in the organization, and how does it differ from product management?’”

Nick Ziech-Lopez, Director of Product Strategy at MessageGears

“You’ll want to ask things such as:

  1. What is the size and composition of your Sales team?
  2. Why do you win and why do you lose (deals)?
  3. What do you see as the key priorities for someone in this position to accomplish in their first 90 days?
  4. PMM can have a very broad scope, but each company has its priorities. What do you see PMM owning?
  5. Tell me about the Marketing team and the composition of the team. What is their expectation of PMM?
  6. Who do you consider your top competitors?
  7. Where do you think the Sales team needs the most help?
  8. What is your vision for the product/solution?”

Daniel Kuperman, Head of Product Marketing, Jira Align at Atlassian

“As a recent grad, I’d want to ask her or him what's their plan for the team for the next few years and gauge how much I can learn from my boss/ the group.”

Wanfang Wu, Prospective Product Marketer

Q: When running Customer Advisory Boards, do you have any tips (especially in the virtual world) for great swag/gifts for board members? Are there any suggestions on ways to make the networking/social portion feel engaging?

Customer Advisory Boards - any tips (especially in the virtual world) for great swag/gifts for board members? Any tips on ways to make the networking/social portion feel engaging?

“Swag is always good, figure out your budget that helps. A nice pen, maybe a padfolio, or go for something that matches your product like a watch or something to be complementary - I have always tried to match needs with the product.

“Swag does not matter to attendees, but you should do it, rather than not do it, because if there isn't any, people may wonder about your financial well being, and it should be something that has a life after usage so it stays around the office or home.”

Keith Brooks, Chief Executive Officer at B2B Whisperer

“You could also do something thematic. At one customer advisory board session for a previous company, the team gave each CAB member a nice bottle of wine together with a branded quality bottle opener and branded wine glass. Everyone loved it - I use the wine opener to this day.

“At another, we gave people portable battery chargers and it was also a hit. It can vary based on who your attendees are (more technical, more business, etc.) for what works for them. I wouldn’t worry too much about the swag as it should be seen more as a thank you for being here and not the reason they are there.”

Daniel Kuperman, Head of Product Marketing, Jira Align at Atlassian

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 #85