Insane skill product marketers can’t ignore anymore
Sellers are not coin-operated. My blood pressures lifts off on a lunar expedition every time I hear that half-baked observation dropped. The phrasing of it looks down at you and scoffs at sheer irony.
You too sell.
Selling is in your DNA. Whether or not your 9–5, effective product marketers accept it. What’s taking you so long? To be influential you must know how to sell your ideas.
Before product marketing, sales paid the (massive student loan) bills the first five years after college. Hard knocks later endured now pay interest back as a product marketer. You playing the wrong game not to cash in on what you can learn from selling.
Specifically, as a B2B product marketer, how understanding sales enablement amplifies your influence among sellers without extra meetings booked.
Sales Enablement, Defined
Your chief job in product marketing is to rev up sales for the business. Deliver impact to the bottom line. Simplify the effort it takes to sell and multiply revenue produced.
Do less with more. That’s the essence of sales enablement. How can you help sellers hit quota faster? Or even, exceed it? Because when they win, the business wins too (assuming comp structure aligns to business goals).
It’s not just building glamor slides in Powerpoint. Content you build for sellers needs context (Shoutout to Jarrod Greene for this lesson!). Meaning a clear reason why it’s gonna help your sales rep win their next deal. And the one after that.
Without context, your new launch at its best moves no weight. At its worst? Sellers write you off. Pack your bags. Go home.
You’re no longer worth their time on Zoom.
The One Question to Keep Asking
Each item you build for your rep needs to answer this question. How does it help you hit quota faster? Emphasis on how. Earlier mentioned, salespeople are not coin-operated. You can’t dangle a carrot in front of your new launch and expect it to be enough to move mountains for the business.
So if not that, then what?
Three common pitfalls complicating how you and sellers approach any deal are not knowing the product, how to talk about it on a customer call, and what tools to use to help tell that story.
More sales training ≠ higher sales revenue
A clear diagnosis of the problem your sellers face dictates the approach you need to overcome it. Here’s one quick way I think about it in my work to execute sales enablement on any immediate blocker.
Pitfall → Problem → Proposed solution
Not knowing the product → Knowledge gap → internal product cheat sheet
Not know how to talk about it → Training gap → Talk track
Too much effort on rote tasks → Tools gap → Email templates
Enablement is not a one-size-fits-all training session. Being prescriptive how you approach enablement is what guarantees you a seat at the table with your sellers.
Don’t take their trust in you for granted.
One book I swear by to get sales enablement
The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld. First read it as a seller in 2017. Read it again three years later as a new product marketer. This books helps you see sales for what it is and how you can use it tactics to strengthen your next product launch.
Sell like your best-performing reps. That’s what will keep on the court, long past overtime.