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AMA: Talkdesk Director of Product Marketing, Abdul Rastagar
on Developing the Right Soft Skills to be a Great Product Marketer
November 19 @ 10:00am PST

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Product Marketing With Abdul Rastagar, GTM Lead at Benchling
Top Questions
how can an engineer transition to product marketing and use her engineering to her advantage ?
GTM Lead at Benchling
I came from a scientific background myself. I won’t lie, it was difficult. You have certain strengths and certain weaknesses as an engineer transitioning to marketing. Your goal is to highlight the strengths while neutralizing your weaknesses. Strengths – chances are you are analytical and good ...more
When joining a new team, is it better to have the right soft skills and have to learn the hard skills of the job? Or vice versa?
GTM Lead at Benchling
The ideal candidate will have both but that’s often not possible. For me personally, I think the soft skills are far more important. Especially at the more junior and even mid-management levels, the hard skills can be taught. The soft skills are much more difficult to teach. As an executive, you...more
I find that interviewers very often focus on the hard skills, but I think it’s the soft skills that can make/break a candidate. So my question is- how do you recommend working in my soft skills and their importance in the job interview when not directly asked? I usually try to highlight within the context of my “STAR” stories.
GTM Lead at Benchling
While interviewers focus on your response to the hard skills question, they are simultaneously evaluating your soft skills as well. Generally, they are evaluating your EQ and your communication skills, your ability to interpret questions and think critically in real time, and your ability to prov...more
I get a lot of critical feedback from my boss and I don't always know what to do with it or how to improve. Sometimes I don't even agree with the feedback. How should I do when I don't think the feedback is correct?
GTM Lead at Benchling
I admit, that’s a tough one. When you say ‘critical’ feedback, I hope it’s still constructive rather than just tearing you down. 1) If the feedback is just criticism, it’s time to move on to a new boss. It’s not your job to mentor your boss on how to work positively with people. 2) If the feedba...more
What are the most important soft skills to have as a product marketing professional?
GTM Lead at Benchling
For me personally, it's really straightforward: 1) high EQ, 2) strong written and verbal communication skills, 3) empathy. As product marketer, you are constantly working with 5 core audiences (executives, customers, sales, marketing, product management) and you need to be able to connect with al...more
What made you decide to choose Product Marketing over Product Management?
GTM Lead at Benchling
I suppose that answer varies for everyone. For me, it was simply about being more comfortable with marketing than with product management. I didn’t really know what product marketing was until a few years into my marketing career but once I got into it, I loved it. In hindsight, I don't regret it...more
What advice do you have for recent graduates that want to go straight into product marketing?
Typically, these roles require 3-5 years of experience and/or an MBA. Are there roles we should target instead that will help transition into product marketing? What qualities do you want to see in young professionals that want to land in product marketing?
GTM Lead at Benchling
Written and oral communication are probably the most important skills you can develop, as they will help you get a foot in the door early in your career and also will continue to be useful throughout your whole career. Going straight into product marketing without any background in it is difficu...more
What are some helpful tips for writing email communications to the sales team?
GTM Lead at Benchling
I’d say it’s not just the sales team, but executives also. The #1 rule to remember is that people are busy so they prioritize based on subject lines and skim on the first pass if they do open your email. So when it’s an extra-ordinary email that needs action, I follow the below format because it...more