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How do you balance sales enablement needs that you KNOW will move the needle (persona training, objection response, pitch deck) vs sales enablement requests that are transactional (e.g. "one-sheet" on a feature or internal policy)

10 Answers
Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Snowflake Head (VP) of Global Sales EnablementMay 18

Balance is always tricky. At the end of the day, it's about getting others to understand why you think this is important versus over the stuff and also understanding that bandwidth - whether it's yours as the content creator or the seller's as the content consumer - is finite, so prioritization is key. 

 

AEs are coin operated a lot, so start with the "what's in it for me?" answer for them and that should help with the pitch. 

1279 Views
Ryan Fleisch
Ryan Fleisch
Adobe Head of Product Marketing, Real-Time CDP & Audience ManagerJune 23

Here’s how we’ve tackled this: first, set the expectation that the role of marketing is one-to-many and the role of sales is one-to-one. This will shield you from requests like “can we get a one-sheet focused on X” because you can then ask/vet if it’s truly a need of “many” or if it’s originating from one client in one sales cycle. If the latter, punt. Next, put a process in place around how requests are submitted and handled. We use Monday.com, and we set up a request form through it that we’ve mandated all our GTM teams use. This allows us to see requests flowing into a single project management board, with the requestor having to submit the context, and we can then use a rubric to rank the request against everything else we have going on. This allows us to be transparent with our org and show what’s on our plate and why we have prioritized the way we have (it can also open a good conversation if priorities might need to shift). It’s a lot easier to say “no” to a transactional request when you can also say “here are the 15 strategic activities we have in-flight. We appreciate your request, but it’s going to be X weeks before we can get to it.” Two things will happen: 1) you’ve proven your value and earned the right of refusal rather than the requestor thinking “I never know what PMM does…”, and 2) you’ve set timing expectations that the requestor can agree to or find an alternative path forward. You’d be surprised how many of these transactional requests evaporate when there isn’t the knee-jerk ability to get content around whatever the last one-off client request in a meeting was.

1079 Views
Lizzie Yarbrough de Cantor
Lizzie Yarbrough de Cantor
AuditBoard Director of Product Marketing, RiskOctober 27

This feels like the ultimate question for this topic!! Balancing strategic vs. reactional requests coming out of sales is a tough dance. I typically stay away from promising things like a one-sheet or any request that is so specific it will not scale or have a long shelf life. My approach is to try and dig deeper into the source of these types of requests, it is usually reactionary and based on a single customer interaction which is any easy way to shed light on why it is not a good use of product marketing time.

What I do focus on is how we can enhance our core “sales kit” that is available to anyone on our customer facing teams. As we think about a new feature launch or addressing changes a competitor has made, it’s best to think holistically. How is that new feature becoming a slide in our roadmap deck? Or how does this change a value statement or addressable markets we can go after?

If it doesn’t build on the central foundation, then I do not think of it as a good use of product marketing time. Here are a few examples of things that I do think may require one-pagers:

  • Pricing tables and things to help your reps and customers understand how your products are priced.
  • Competitive battle cards, for internal use(!), and comparison matrixes for competitors if that is part of your go to market approach.
  • Persona frameworks and discovery guides. This falls into foundational work, but is so important to keep short and digestible to make sure your sales team can engage!
374 Views
Christine Sotelo-Dag
Christine Sotelo-Dag
ThoughtSpot Senior Director of Product MarketingNovember 23

This is a great question. A sales enablement roadmap is very much like a product roadmap. There are many different inputs into what we prioritize over time, and how that gets decided - and although there will always be a push towards highest impact projects, the reality is those can often be labor and time intensive and therefore there needs to be a balance.

Therefore we commit to a certain number of resource intensive projects (ie. 2 per quarter) and balance remaining capacity with faster paced transactional projects that can deliver faster. Not only does this help to progress those "needle moving" initiatives but it also impacts team morale - where it feels good to get things done, and continue to move fast in some areas.

401 Views
Morgan (Molnar) Lehmann
Morgan (Molnar) Lehmann
SurveyMonkey Senior Director, Head of Product & Solutions MarketingDecember 19

The best way to make the space for balancing larger, longer term strategic projects with reactive, transactional projects is through transparent roadmap planning.

Some advice for doing this well would be:

  • Gather inputs from your sales stakeholders as you begin planning. Especially from the leadership level.

  • Make sure you account for that balance in your roadmap. Carve out time for small things you know will arise, but also leave room for strategic projects and trainings.

  • Associate your roadmap items with the expected impact (e.g. will a specific training help increase win rate or deal size?)

  • Socialize your plan once you have it. To all levels in sales. Make sure they know how you're supporting them and get them excited about your plan.

  • Publicly celebrate your wins! Think about how you "launch" things internally - what you delivered & the impact it had. The exposure will help you get buy-in for more of these types of initiatives in future quarters.

656 Views
Jeremy Wood
Jeremy Wood
Adobe Head of Product Marketing (APAC)December 12

Great question and one which I've had to tackle quite a few times over the years (and not always successfully might I add!) I think the key here is to get sales on-side by having them actively participate in the process. At one business where I owned sales enablement, we did a yearly survey of the sales teams around what assets they wanted prioritised. As expected the dominant results were around customer stories and case studies/1-sheeters. When we collated the results we went back to sales with some of the data from prior assets of a similar nature. i.e how many were downloaded from our content portal (Highspot)? How many were tagged in deal wins in salesforce? How many were anecdotally leveraged to close new business? A lot of the time the 'value' of these assets was inconsequential or even ZERO! Alternatively when we surfaced the impact of. updated messaging/positioning and usefulness of Ideal Customer Profile (ICPs) in closing deals with higher value and at a higher win rate they couldn't counter that value! So I'm not saying dismiss 'transactional' assets but find the balance and track everything! It will incentivise the right behaviour either way and you'll have a baseline to be able to leverage in future conversations about asset creation etc.

1788 Views
Yify Zhang
Yify Zhang
Eventbrite Global Head of Marketplace MarketingDecember 13

Ultimately, prioritization should be based on business outcomes. One-sheets on a feature could be just as impactful on win rate as a pitch deck, if it's an unmet need that customers care deeply about and is currently not offered by other competitors. I would ensure that you're clear on the impact each asset can have, then assess through that lens.

889 Views
Courtney Craig
Courtney Craig
Shopify Senior Team Lead, Product MarketingDecember 14

Simple - always say yes to the needle-movers, and only do the one-sheets and other work if you/your team has time. PMMs shouldn't spend a significant amount of time on anything that isn't used frequently or won't move the needle. If you find yourself having to say yes to one-sheets frequently, then create a repeatable template where text and images can be easily swapped out by PMM or even a sales rep, and new one-sheets don't require a designer or copy writer. Depending on the team, Sales reps could be enabled to use messaging frameworks, image folders, and feature briefs to create one-sheets themselves.

621 Views
Mozhdeh Rastegar-Panah
Mozhdeh Rastegar-Panah
Zendesk Senior Director Product MarketingDecember 12

Great question! This is where a tiering structure comes in handy. Despite what some folks might say, not all enablement needs are created equal and neither should their delivery formats and timing. Here is one way to think about it:

Tier 1 - Live Training: time sensitive, more-complex content, highest impact, could get value from live Q&A

Tier 2 - Lab Course Training: time sensitive, less-complex content, high impact, live Q&A not required

Tier 3 - Async Training: not time sensitive, less-complex content, can be batched together, lower impact but tactically still needed

1333 Views
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