All related (34)
Justin Graci
Principal Marketing Manager - Product GTM & Enablement, HubSpotNovember 23

This depends on how your organization is structured and what responsibities you define for Product Marketing. Sometimes product marketing plays a big role in enablement, while at other companies they just provide the messaging/value props/etc that enablement then uses as a framework for their enablement.

But generally, product marketing focuses on:

  • Product positioning
  • Value props
  • Feature naming
  • Pricing and packaging
  • Talk tracks
  • Overview of what a product is and why it matters
  • Core assets, such as pitch decks

While enablement might focus more on:

  • Creating trainings on how to sell a product
  • Creating collateral for products
  • Communicating new releases / updates to the sales team

Vanessa Thompson
Senior Director, Product Marketing, TwilioOctober 28

This is really dependent on your org, how big you are, and your overall coverage model. In general though, it's a partnership. I view the relationship with my sales enablement partner as one of the two most important relationships I need to build in the company (the other being product). You need to build tight alignment on what each team does and doesn't do.

At the highest level, I think about the division of duties as an input and output model. We (PMM) work on all the enablement inputs, content, decks, objection handling, other assets and collateral, and the sales enablement team works on the output, i.e. execution and alignment with the sales team. The enablement team owns the enablement editorial calendar and the ultimate delivery to the field.

ShiQi Wu
Head of Product Marketing, Southeast Asia, TikTokDecember 9

Here’s how I see both roles coming together 

  • Both: Either can bring up if there’s a topic of interest either from sales or there is a specific product activation/training need
  • Sales enablement – Expertise is to ensure curriculum design and also project managing the entire process; They tend to have a broader view on what other trainings are happening and are invaluable to ensure that our teams are not overtrained.
  • Product marketers – Working on the content and bringing it to live for the teams taking the training. They tend to have specific expertise on a topic/product

There are certain grey areas around who designs the decks, who invites other people to co-present etc. But in these cases, what I’ve found worked well is discussing this early on who to take on which aspect of the process.

Nikhil Balaraman
Director, Retailer Product Marketing, InstacartJanuary 6
  • Generally, product marketers and sales enablement should work hand-in-hand as they are some of the most cross-functional roles in any organization. Because of their cross-functional nature, these roles need to be closely connected in order to coordinate messaging, launches, new asset distribution, new campaigns and more across multiple functions and departments. 
  • Organizationally, it’s not uncommon to have sales enablement and product marketing sit in the same org, with some of the roles of sales enablement (such as time to ramp, % of reps at quota, etc.) owned by a sales or revenue operations role which sits in the sales org. 
  • Functionally, Product Marketing is going to own the narrative. PMM typically works across the organization to help understand and give shape to the vision, and then translate that into a mission, values, and positioning that form the narrative which then guides all asset and collateral development. Sales Enablement ensures that the sales teams are fully trained on how to communicate that narrative, and how and where to most effectively use those materials in the sales process.
Sarah Din
VP of Product Marketing, QuickbaseDecember 1

PMMs should be partnering very closely with sales enablement teams. 

  • The role of PMM is to bring subject matter expertise -such as product knowledge or competitive messaging. PMMs should be responsible for creating sales content and leading training sessions
  • The role of enablement is to understand enablement needs and own the process, and the execution of sales enablement. Sales enablement teams are often thinking much more holistically about sales enablement - its not just product training or messaging training - they are also focused on onboarding or training teams on sales methodologies like Sandler, etc.

Harsha Kalapala
Vice President, Product Marketing, AlertMedia | Formerly TrustRadius, Levelset, WalmartNovember 2

If you build it, they won’t come. Product marketing assets are ineffective without proper sales enablement efforts - whether there is a separate team for it or not.

The simplest analogy I use is that product marketing creates the juice, and sales enablement makes sure the sales team drinks the juice AND keeps it down. Now that’s oversimplified in some ways. The partnership between both functions begins at the problem identification phase. Both teams should be on the same page about the gaps in driving effectiveness for the sales teams - whether it is a recurring challenge in core performance, or an opportunity to train on a new product launch.

Having a sales enablement roadmap is essential in making this partnership effective. This is typically owned by sales enablement with input from product marketing. For instance, if product marketing creates a new pitch deck for sales, it requires adding a ton of context, talk tracks, discovery questions, role plays, follow-up playbooks, and other preparation to make the pitch deck effective. Most of this is led by sales enablement with input from product marketing. SE also determines how much repeated exposure and training the sales team needs and how much ramp time it takes for the sales team to be effectively using the new pitch deck. Sales enablement schedules these training sessions and invites product marketing as subject matter experts to help drive the training sessions.

Measuring the effectiveness of these steps in the process and incorporating that into future sales enablement efforts for continuous improvement is what makes this partnership effective in the long run.