Foundation: Enablement

Enablement

This pillar, the final one, is one often overlooked by Product Marketers. We hoard our knowledge and keep it all in our heads and on our hard drives. Why is that? Job security? Work to break from that trend and share your knowledge with other departments, allowing them to leverage the work you’ve done so they can produce higher quality work.

Sales Knowledge Transfer

You will spend a lot of your time thinking about how to transfer the knowledge in your head into the brains of your reps. Some companies label this as Sales Enablement, but many companies have a separate department devoted to that function. If your company is smaller, this may fall on you, otherwise you work with that department to enable sales.

Some potential avenues to enable sales look like the following:

  • Sales Training: You may either deliver the training directly yourself in person, through an LMS, online, or in partner with a sales training function. Training arms sales with the knowledge they need about your product, or a topic, to be effective in the market.
  • Cheat Sheets: Topic driven 1 pagers that quickly inform your sales teams on what to know, what to say, and what to send to prospects.
  • Portfolio Handbook: This is everything about your products and buyers, used as a reference guide, for any sales rep that needs to some research and dig a bit deeper. Maybe they’re about to start a task of landing a major fortune 500 account, and need some background information on what messaging plays well in the enterprise space for that industry.
  • Competitive Intelligence: From battlecards to trap setting questions, this knowledge arms your reps with the information needed to win against the players in the market.

Marketing Knowledge Transfer

The work you do informs your demand engine where to focus their attention. All of the work you are doing to help craft your messaging, can also be leveraged by your broader marketing organization; surface it so they can use it.

  • Buyer Personas: All of the data you collect on your target buyers resides in a single repository that your marketers can reference when building out their campaigns, allowing them to get extremely granular and highly targeted.
  • Messaging & Narrative: The hallmark element that PMM is well known for, your messaging document is easily consumable, accessible, and a single click away for content creators to access.
  • Go To Market Strategy & Launch Timing: These two go together, your marketers shoud be well informed of (and part of the construction of) your Go To Market Strategy and product launch timings. This ensures you are aligned to larger campaign themes they are pushing throughout the year.

Product Knowledge Transfer

Want to build a strong relationship with your PM? Spend just as much time, if not more, in front of customers getting their feedback and digging into their needs and how they purchase your products. Then feed this information back into your Product Management group to help inform and influence their roadmap decisions.

  • Buyer Persona: Product Managers build their products both for the buyers and users, since you focus on the buyers you’re completing half of their job for them! Make sure you share your findings with them.
  • Market Trends and Emerging Needs: By keeping a pulse on the direction the market is going, you can help your PMs get ahead of needs before they become complaints. Help them evaluate these emerging needs, and they can add them to the backlog as “innovation” items. These will the company look great, and them look brilliant.

Controversial Closing

I’m going to say something that might be controversial to some, because we’re often afraid of what might happen if something isn’t “final” or “polished”… Wherever you do your work as a product marketer, give the other teams access to that area. Let them see all of your notes, worksheets, rough drafts, and exercises. They might see something you didn’t see the first time you went through everything!

It might be uncomfortable, but if you’ve built a level of trust between the groups you will be glad for it in the long run.

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