What follows are some helpful tips on how to, or how not to, use a Product Marketing/Management executive as part of the sales process. This is a guest post written by someone who recently read Tales from A Gatekeeper. I found it informative and funny and wanted to share! - Trish Bertuzzi
I am a Product Manager. I recently ran across the Sales Tips: Tales from a Gatekeeper post on this blog and thought I would address the Inside Sales Experts Blog community of Sales Executives & Sales Managers.
What follows are based on my experiences and impressions as a Product Manager for software sales companies. Comments are welcome! I would also love to hear what we Product Managers can improve upon.
- DO NOT use me as the next step in the sales process.
Does the sales process really run: get lead -> call lead -> confirm pulse -> throw Product Manager against wall -> see if it sticks?
- DO NOT introduce me on a call and drop this classic lazy sales guys line:
"Great Bob, thanks for taking the time. Chris has some questions he would like to ask you." I do, but they center more around why I waste my time on calls with you - "Mr. 60% of quota"!
- DO have some perspective.
I understand that your perception about your most recent deal (win or loss) is your reality. But I have a Product to manage. The fact that Prospect A did not buy from you last week, does not drive my roadmap. You losing a single deal to a competitor I have never heard of does not make a fully researched and polished competitive analysis my new #1 priority. I appreciate that you are in the fray every day, but my job is to take a step back and think strategically.
- DO share your experiences with me.
I need Sales to share G2 with me (customer feedback, objections, competitive tidbits, price sensitivity, feedback on product benefits) to be successful. If you lose to a competitor we have identified in our space, let me know. If you gain traction in a certain vertical, share that with me. I want the product and you as a sales person to be successful. I want to be listening to the market as much as possible. Be another set of eyes and ears on the street for me and I will back you up. At quarter end, I will be there for you and your prospects.
- DO NOT over commit.
Remember that training where you were "sure" you heard that new killer feature was generally available TODAY? Really?!?! I was there. In fact I was the one giving it. Nice try though.
Also, you cannot trot me out in front of your key account and expect me to back up your promises, over-commitments and straight-up BS. I want to win as well, but there is this guy - he is a my VP and he frowns upon bamboozling an account into buying from us.
- DO try to understand what I do here.
Think of me as the GM for the Product. I don't make the product, but I care about why, how and when it is made. I don't sell the product, but I want to make sure the value, positioning, messaging and pricing are spot on. I don't support the product, but I demand that it delivers and that our customers love us.
Thank you for listening. Happy Selling.