As more salespeople fail to hit quota, sales enablement should be more important than ever in product marketers’ lives. Last week, the San Francisco Product Marketing Meetup gathered at Showpad’s San Francisco office to share successes and failures when it comes to setting up a sales team for success. Here’s some of the best advice they gave.
1. Don’t just be a product expert
Product marketers are not merely product experts. A good product marketer understands the ins and outs of their product but more important, they know how to articulate the product in a way that resonates with a buyer’s pain points. They have in-depth knowledge of the customer and the markets they operate in, and know how to successfully transfer this wisdom to sales teams.
2. See yourself as a sales rep
The best product marketers know how to double as account executives. They can pitch, demo and sell their product with ease. Pat Ma, product marketer at Leadspace, believes that “only by trying to close a deal yourself, will you truly know what slides salespeople need to be successful.” Moreover, by getting out in the field, product marketers can bridge the gap with sales. It’s the best way to demonstrate that you work toward the same goal to close deals.
3. Celebrate feedback
Speaking of building a relationship between marketing and sales, great product marketers set up processes that encourage salespeople to regularly share feedback. Jason Lyman, product marketing lead at Dropbox encourages product marketers to start a “Content Amnesty Day.” During this, salespeople can shamelessly share their black-market decks, so product marketers can understand why reps modify or create their own materials. Or invite your top sellers to an exclusive council where they can share their most effective sales tips and tricks. You’ll improve your content strategy, and the account executives will strengthen their personal brand within the company.
4. Coach, train, mentor
SiriusDecisions’s Rachel Young reminded us that up to 70% of B2B marketing content goes unused by sales. Product marketers need to train sales teams on how to effectively use sales collateral. Which piece of content is the most effective at every stage of the buying cycle? What story about our product will resonate with the buyer’s personal pain points? Train sales continuously – not only when there’s a product launch. Make the sessions fun and engaging. Set up mock sales calls, interview customers, organize competitive battles or play a game of jeopardy. There’s no such thing as too much creativity.
One final piece of advice: keep in mind that enabling sales is a marathon, not a sprint.