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How do you deliver sales feedback to the product team to inform the current roadmap and make changes?

8 Answers
Devang Sachdev
Devang Sachdev
Snorkel AI Vice President of MarketingJuly 9

On the surface this question is simple. How do you take sales feedback to product?

But as product marketer your goal is not just to take sales feedback but to use it as one of your sources to make a case for roadmap additions or changes. Here is how I'd approach this:

step 0 - build strong relationships with your sellers.

step 1 - remove sales bias by aggregating feedback from individual sellers. They tend to have a bias towards the most recent or largest opporunity they have on hand or one that was lost and stung the most. It is not their job to form a balanced opinion on whats best for the product or market as a whole.


step 2 - analyze the your product pipeline and opportunities by stage that were lost or stuck due to product gaps.


step 3 - discover risk of churn due to product gaps.


step 4 - prioritize gaps in four buckets (urgent, table-stakes, differentiators, good to have) quantified by $ revenue retained or unlocked -  


step 5 - communicatie back to sales once you have roadmap commitment from product. Be careful, product roadmaps tend to change. Make sure you are confident in product delivery dates.

1644 Views
Angela Zhang
Angela Zhang
Asana Head of Technical Product MarketingNovember 26

These four things have helped me influence the roadmap:

  • Quantify the impact of feedback and even better, have an understanding of PM/eng lift required to implement. If you have a strong case for the impact (doing this will generate $$$ in revenue or resolve pain points for XX% of customers… which will generate $$$ in revenue) and a sense of how much eng work it’ll take, it becomes easier for PM allocate additional points for the work. 
  • Tie feedback to company or product vision. Sales is focused on near-term revenue and PM’s focus tend to be on multi-quarter product vision, so I find articulating the benefits of action on the sales feedback (or risks of inaction!) helpful in getting PM buy-in. The more PMM can connect how sales feedback ties to the main company objectives, the more incentives are aligned.
  • Institutionalize the feedback. I believe one way to scale the PMM function is to make customer and prospect feedback more visible, timely, and accessible to PM. Often times sharing sales anecdotal stories is not as powerful as seeing the numbers on a dashboard. In my current role, I lead our closed lost program. We publish reasons for every opportunity lost, layered with sales leadership voiceover and a competitive landscape, in a dashboard that everyone in product has access to. This makes “sales feedback” more integrated into the entire product planning process.
  • Think creatively - hackathons? If there is a piece of feedback that is relatively easy to test and can be a quick win, I’ve had good luck getting PM, engineers and designers excited enough to work on it as part of a hackathon. It’s one way of getting started, especially if the org is very eng-constrained.
2314 Views
Dan Laufer
Dan Laufer
PipeDreams Ventures CEOJanuary 14

There are a few touchpoints here:

  1. Our sales team posts a report after meeting with a prospective client that gets shared with all revenue stakeholders including marketing and product. So we're all seeing feedback on a per client basis although admittedly that can be a lot to consume. 
  2. We have someone in sales ops who aggregates that feedback and shares trends and that gets shared on a weekly basis. That could also be done in PMM but it works as is.
  3. There's a periodic discussion between sales/marketing/product where we roughly size the impact that certain product changes can make to help evaluate prioritization. Given the tight alignment on the first two points that makes this exercise feel a lot more impartial and more fact driven (e.g., if we do this change we can unlock $XX from these clients but that change unlocks $XXX from a different set of clients and they're similar efforts, ergo...)
1182 Views
Gregg Miller
Gregg Miller
PandaDoc VP of Product Marketing & BrandFebruary 11

Before delivering any feedback, it can be helpful to take a minute and empathize with your product managers. Most are constantly bombarded with product feedback and things people think they should build: customer support, your biggest customers, CSMs, executives, their own boss, and even friends and family members! What’s more, they often shoulder a lot of the responsibility of the business outcomes — both good and bad — of roadmap decisions. PMs have an incredibly challenging job!

With that said, feedback from sales is incredibly valuable. Sales will always have more feedback on changes they think are important, though, so be judicious with how hard you go to bat for a given idea and view it as your job to help out the PM by answering “what level of urgency should we associate with this feedback?” When it’s truly an important idea, you can strengthen your case with the following tactics:

  • Get quotes directly from as many customers as possible. Many B2B orgs record sales calls so leverage those. Right or wrong, PMs (and executives) will often give more weight to the customer than the salesperson. 
  • Calculate the combined $$$ account value of the customers represented above
  • Do win/loss and churn interviews to find further instances of how this gap has led to missed/lost opportunities
  • If relevant, do competitor analysis to demonstrate that the product gap is a differentiating point for your peers
1080 Views
Robin Pam
Robin Pam
Stripe Product Marketing LeadFebruary 25

We have a few processes for this at Optimizely. First, the sales team provides feedback directly, primarily through our sales engineering team who document feature requests and gaps in sales cycles within a Salesforce workflow that connects to Jira tickets. PMM isn’t too involved in this (we don’t have to be involved in everything! Hard lesson to learn).

Second, win/loss analysis is a powerful tool, whether you conduct it at a point in time, on a regular basis, with your reps internally or with your closed won/lost prospects. When you can connect feature gaps or priorities to actual revenue won or lost in a systematic way, you have a much better chance of influencing the priorities.

1361 Views
April Rassa
April Rassa
Aventi Group Product Marketing ConsultantApril 2

I'm fairly new to HackerOne but I can tell you how I've done it before and its worked. We've had a customer insights meeting with the sales leadership team, we review the deals and discuss opps that were won, lost, etc. In these meetings we discuss product gaps, feedback, etc. PMMs also set up time with Sales engineers and Customer Success teams to gain feedback (cadence varies by typically on a monthly basis). We would then have a master doc that we would share and meet with Product to discuss.

806 Views
Swaroop Sham
Swaroop Sham
Wiz Group Product Marketing Manager - (CIAM / API Products)April 29

“Develop a number of direct and in-direct forums to pass feedback to the product team”.  

In the course of my experience, I have seen a combination of the following specifically for roadmap feedback and chatter from the field:

Setup Weekly PM-PMM roundtables and 1:1 - Focus on sharing feature feedback, product gaps based on customer conversations, compete for notes.

Offer Office hours: Develop the idea of office hours in conjunction with the sales enablement team to provide PMs with direct feedback.
Build dedicated slack channels: Slack channels, especially that have field team visibility, tend to be a rich forum to pass roadmap feedback. Actively monitor channels and have PMMs and PMs triaging and tagging on a near real-time basis. These slack channels can benefit from both CSM feedback and SE feedback.

Promote the internal ideas page: The field teams are rich in product ideas and areas for improvements. An internal “Stack overflow” style page allows ideas to germinate, get voted upon, and benefit from
Work with Jira/Confluence: PMMs can add a lot of new perspectives to the roadmap by taking time to review the feature storyboard or even the product spec. PMs should actively include and solicit PMM feedback for the product spec.

Share Win/Loss Analysis: Actively triage and share win/loss notes. Highlight opportunities that could have benefited from roadmap prioritization or changes to the roadmap.

553 Views
Daniel Palay
Daniel Palay
KPI Sense Chief Executive OfficerMarch 3

@Devang Sachdev: Your "step 1" is so, so, so important! The worst thing you could do is bring every single piece of feedback from sales to the PM team individually. However, this feedback, in aggregate, has A LOT to offer. However, it's your job (because you asked the question...) to collect as much sales feeback as possible and organize/analyze it to find meaningful information. 

In general, it is paramount to discern between:

1. What's loudest

2. What's most recent

3. What's most common

Filtering out 1 & 2 can be really hard, for obvious reasons, and effectively doing this is where you're really going to be able to add value to the roadmap. If you can identify patterns that show multiple salespeople, interacting with multiple customers/customer segments, are all coming to similar conclusions about what should/should not be part of the next release, then you (the collective "you") can conduct the analysis needed to determine the economic impact of your options (build vs. don't).

550 Views
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