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AMA: Salesforce Former Vice President, Global Enablement, Roopal Shah on Stakeholder Alignment
March 10 @ 10:00am PST

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Product Marketing With Roopal Shah, Head (VP) of Global Enablement at Benchling
Top Questions
When coming up with positioning and messaging as part of GTM plan, which key stakeholders/teams (in addition to product and sales) should weigh in?
Head (VP) of Global Enablement at Benchling
In addition to product sales, I typically like to vet things out with SEs - they are the ones demonstrating the products and weave stories as they do so - so having them alinged in the key benefits, messaging and positioning is key. Additionally CSG - customer success. They are the ones who have ...more
Responsibility without the authority - that seems to be the position of quite a few Product marketers. How do you manage people who don't necessarily report into you? This could be while giving feedback on a piece of work? Or getting them to prioritise the project you're running.
Head (VP) of Global Enablement at Benchling
It starts with aligning on common goals - what I find people get lost is in the "how" we get there. In business, we can all agree on goals that are like motherhood and apple pie - like revenue or cost savings. Hard to argue with those. Once you get aligned on that, then start with understanding w...more
How do you ensure alignment when you have two senior executive stakeholders who disagree with each other on the proposed strategy and you are stuck in the middle?
Head (VP) of Global Enablement at Benchling
Goes back to the shared goals - which at a high level, are hard to argue with - revenue, cost savings, customer success, etc. Once you get that common agreement, then it's about the strategy / the "how" to get there. If there are disagreements here, I would start with trying to understand why and...more
As a product marketer, how do you build informal relationships with your product managers to stay up to date on things in a remote company?
Head (VP) of Global Enablement at Benchling
Planning ahead for those connects - whether it's scheduled coffee or regular 1:1s or even sometimes inviting them to your team meetings for "fun" is always a great way to build and maintain relationsips - even in this virtual world. And in your 1:1s, don't jump into business all the time right aw...more
What are the most important relationships to get right as a PMM?
Head (VP) of Global Enablement at Benchling
For B2B sales, based on my experience, I would say its the following (1) Product (2) Sales/SEs and (3) Corporate Marketing.    Product: because well you need to know about the "product" in product marketing!  Sales/SEs/CSG because they will be your first customers and users of your products...more
What's your advice on improving a historically tense relationship between functions?
Head (VP) of Global Enablement at Benchling
We're all human after all so taking the time to understand the baggage but also find a path forward. Find a champion on both sides willing to go on the journey with you and who is as vested as you are in moving forward. And making time for building carmaderie. I remember we once had tensions betw...more
How do you prioritize your product marketing projects and still make time for ad-hoc requests?
Head (VP) of Global Enablement at Benchling
So I use sprint planning for business. When it works well and we're compliant, it works beautifully. Here, we break our work into two week sprints and continously prune backlogs and review ad hoc requests. We also try to allocate 'white space" within the two week sprints for things that may pop u...more
Which other teams do product marketers work closest with at your company?
Head (VP) of Global Enablement at Benchling
Other than the three I mentioned above, PMM also work with demo teams (to coordinate / align on demo needs for SEs/marketing videos, etc.), industry overlays (overlays for key verticals focused on providing industry expertise), CSG (CSM, renewals, and sales enablement for product/industry/solutio...more
What advice do you have for new grads trying to learn more about product marketing and getting a first entry-level job?
Head (VP) of Global Enablement at Benchling
(1) Learn as much as you can about the product and do your research - it's really easy these days to learn the competitive differentiators of your products, read analyst reports, what customers say, how they market, etc.  (2) Be useful and humble - if you're looking for an entry level position -...more