Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

Product Marketing and the Sales Process

by Trish Bertuzzi on Thu, May 01, 2008

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.

And finally....

  • 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.

Topics: sales process, inside sales tips, inside sales management

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