How do you work with the cross functional teams? And what are the key goals and deliverables for each of the below? 1) PMM with Sales 2) PMM with CSM 3) PMM with Marketing 4) PMM with Product
This is a big question! It would be impossible for me to detail all the ways we work with these teams, but at a high level:
- Sales & CSM: I'm bundling these two together, as the type of work we do with each is similar at a high level. We work closely with sales leaders and the sales enablement team to understand sales' needs, develop messaging and content for them to use with both existing and prospective customers, understand how that messaging is resonating, and creating training and other enablement materials. We have a sales enablement group within PMM who drive the strategy here and work with other PMMs to create the content for specific solutions/areas.
- Marketing: We work with all parts of marketing (at Intercom, marketing is split into 4 main areas - PMM, Corporate Marketing, Demand Marketing and Growth). This includes everything from partnering with our brand team on our narratives and campaign strategy, enabling the demand teams on who to target and what messaging to use, co-ordinating launches across the whole team, working with growth on improving our web journey and landing pages, and so on. In short, we work with all areas of marketing very closely, both on an ongoing basis and on specific projects like launches.
Product: PMMs are partnered directly with PMs for their specific product area and meet regularly (usually weekly). They work closely together, with PMM providing market and customer insights, and inputting into the product strategy and roadmaps. PMM also develops the positioning, messaging and launch plans for our solutions and new features, ensuring the PM is aligned along the way.
These are some of the main stakeholders a core PMM would work with.
With Sales, I tend to like to see what is resonating with prospects. Is there a specific line or way of telling our story that clicks? I tend to like to use this insight to guide early funnel materials to proactively talk to prospects in a way that resonates.
With CSMs, I’m looking for how current customers are using products and how we can tell stories of unique wins. I think it helps overall positioning if you can factor in real world usage, and customers may leverage a product in a way that you or your PM may not have thought of.
For both Sales and CS, though, I tend to look at these relationships as ones where you build and cultivate on a one off basis. Over time, as you prove value to these teams by delivering back materials that help them in their roles, you’ll build a better cadence, but they aren't roles where it's easy to get a recurring cadence going without proving value first. In an old role, we actually sat our PMM team on the sales floor so that we could stay connected with top sellers and sales managers to keep a pulse on the market. This really helped drive business forward as we could easily market around what was working for prospects.
For Marketing, you really do need to have close coordination. After all, a PMM would be the SME on the product itself, why it's of value to customers and how to talk about the product. Our fellow marketers would be the SMEs on how to get that message out in the market and how to drive the KPIs that we’re looking to see relative to the funnel. This relationship feels the most likely, to me, for a regular sync to stay connected.
And product tends to be, in my opinion, the main stakeholder. Some of the best PM/PMM relationships I’ve had didn't require a weekly or bi-weekly cadence, because we’d each connect with our counterparts for the areas where their expertise was needed. But I’d suggest you go into meetings with your PM stakeholders with a mindset of showcasing the market and the user trends or competitive issues that you're seeing that can help product do their jobs well.
Cross-functional work is Product Marketing's middle name!
PMM <> Sales
- Key deliverables: Pitch decks, enablement assets (internal resources like battlecards and personas, external resources like one-pagers and case studies), and trainings
- Key goals: Improve win rates, improve competitive win rates, increase ASP, shorten sales cycles, improve demo request to demo held rates, generate pipeline, improve sales team confidence
PMM <> CS
- Key deliverables: Same as sales, but with an existing customer upgrade / health / cross-sell / retention angle. Add in enablement on new features and important changes (like pricing), and resources like maturity models or crawl/walk/run decks.
- Key goals: Average customer health score, net retention or churn rates, NPS, CS-driven expansion, lifetime value [though be careful about signing up for these, as seen in one of my other answers!]
PMM <> Marketing
- Key deliverables: Messaging and positioning, launch moments and/or campaigns, website pages, case studies, personas and customer insights, demo and/or explainer videos, competitive intelligence, and more
- Key goals: Website traffic, share of voice, engagement metrics for external moments like launches or campaigns, website conversion rate / bounce rate, and (whenever possible) revenue-focused metrics like leads/demo requests, MQLs, opportunities/pipeline, and self-serve ARR
PMM <> Product
- Key deliverables: Product positioning, roadmap feedback, market/customer research, competitive intelligence, launches, GTM strategy for new products, support with onboarding experiences and product-led growth/virality
- Key goals: Feature adoption, adoption and/or revenue generated from new product lines, self-serve revenue, NPS, net retention rate, specific virality metrics
Regular engagement and alignment in key. I meet with my cross-functional leadership team bi-weekly to ensure we’re aligned on the needs of each team as they evolve and areas of focus.
PMM with Sales: Drive sales success by developing content needed to support the pre-sales customer journey and business goals, such as use cases, pitch decks, customer case studies, and other prospect facing content.
PMM with CSM: Drive customer success by developing more in-depth content needed to support the post-sales customer journey and business goals, such as detailed use cases, QBR decks (quarterly business review), roadmap decks, and other customer facing content.
PMM with Marketing: Drive pipeline and bookings by supporting strategic marketing plans (demand gen campaigns, paid media, growth experiments) that build brand/product awareness and interest.
PMM with Product: Drive market success of the product / solution / service with a strong GTM strategy, compelling messaging, differentiated positioning, and strategic pricing & packaging.
- PMM with Sales: I ask for links to chorus/gong calls to listen to customer's positioning. We tackle enterprise needs on-going and jam on enablement materials + content market fit. I also pitch new concepts/messaging to sales for reaction and ask for on-going market feedback on concepts/campaigns. Success is measured by revenue attainment but more specifically, how PMM can influence closed/won rate - deal velocity - pipe gen - upsell/expansion and AVC. Deliverables: pitch decks, one-pagers, enablement content, demo overview videos, snippets, outreach templates, case studies, eBooks/playbooks, persona guides
- PMM with CSM: Similar motions as above but more from the technical able lens (v. value story with sales). Success is measured by land and expand, net retention, NPS, engagement and utilization. Deliverables: knowledgebase articles, snippets/outreach templates, messaging guidance, overview videos, product tours, one-pagers, eBooks/playbooks, case studies, events/webinars
- PMM with Marketing: We meet pretty regularly but focus on integrated campaigns/growth goals. We measure success by PQLs generated, funnel conversion and overarching project execution. Deliverables for marketing mostly consist of launch plans, positioning + messaging docs, product overviews, videos, scripts, outlines, case studies, reviews, webinars, newsletters, slide decks. etc.
- PMM with Product: we meet weekly with product and individually with PMs as product/features advance throughout roadmap. Goals: attach rate, WAUs/MAUs, utiliaztion, use case activation. Deliverables - executing launch plans and meeting attach goals, case studies, messaging + positioning,
The best products are built with the market in mind–and product marketing should contribute long before anything gets put on a shelf. It is an expectation that product marketing is involved way before the feature gets built and can answer "can I sell this?" with product. It definitely helps to have joint goals with product so work is not at odds. Product and product marketing are a true partnership and PMMs/PMs who realize this and don't treat the relationship as transactional are far better for it.
Product marketing lives in 3 worlds — customers, product, and marketing (of course). And we bring the 3 together. It rests on product marketing to shape a clear, compelling, consistent voice for the product in the market.
My marketing counterparts (analyst relations, demand gen, PR, performance marketing, brand, analytics, etc.) are in my team slack channels, attend my team meetings, and we have regular sparring sessions. I treat them as if they are on my team, because they are! Shared goals help here too.
To work with CSM and sales, I have monthly business reviews where we do go to market deep dives and swap intel. We have regular win/loss reports, I get pulled in to do customer calls, we make enablement with a feedback loop from sales and CSM on what is needed.
The key here is aligned metrics. Pipeline is the only one that spans all stakeholders and therefore is a higher priority. More detail here:
1) PMM with Sales
KR = Pipe. Created and influenced.
Deliverable = Selling content, sales plays, sales programs, sales enablement
2) PMM with CSM
KR = Retention and expansion. Companies measure these differently.
Deliverable = Content (decks, one pagers), enablement
3) PMM with Marketing
KR = impressions, leads, pipe
Deliverable = key messaging, campaign content
4) PMM with Product
KR = market penetration, impressions on key product news, pipe
Deliverable = business/customer insight to drive roadmap, product launches, product GTM assets/pdfs
The ability to work effectively across cross-functional teams is an extremely important part of a PMMs role. And each team you interact with has a very specific set of needs and dependencies in order for the working relationship to thrive.
PMM and Sales: This is a relationship that gets to the bottom-line = revenue. It's easy for the PMM role to quickly become a content creator (decks, one-pagers, etc). Where product marketers need to spend time is in understanding the sales process and the customer. There is no one size fits all when it comes to the sales process and deliverables needed. But the more you understand about the process can help reach business goals.
Join sales calls. Hear what customers are saying directly and how your sales team is responding and navigating the discussion. How are the sales team engaging with customers? What customer pain points are we trying to solve for? What are sales teams hearing in the field?
Use this information to inform what deliverables can help educate and enable the sales team on the market, customer, and product/solution you're selling as well as help develop the right set of sales assets based on what customers what to hear and see as part of their buying journey.
Work closely with sales leaders and sales enablement teams to create processes and programs around how to best educate sales teams on positioning, competitive intel, objection handling, while also holding space open for feedback. What you might create as a PMM might not be landing in the field and being able to take that back and revise/adjust will strengthen the partnership with sales teams.
PMM and CSM: Typically with CSM's, PMM's are looking at what customers are doing with product and in some cases what they aren't doing with the product. Adoption (and retention) are typically the main goals CSM's are aligned to and product marketers play a key part in helping to understand and synthesize user behavior in ways that can provide feedback loops to product teams as well as identify gaps in customer education and training programs that can help drive adoption. We partner with our CSMs to host client roundtables and advisory boards to get direct feedback from customers on what they need and where we might not be hitting the mark. This allows us to create programs and strategies that will get us to the goals we've set as a business.
PMM and Marketing: PMM and Marketing partner closely together for all things in-market. We stay close to ensure our target audience and our messaging is on point. We collaborate on developing in-market and sales content to tell the story of what we're doing and why it matters. The goals are generally to drive awareness and leads for the solutions we're aiming to sell and deliver on. Deliverables are usually MPDs or marketing briefs that synthesize product positioning/messaging, key value props, product features, and target audience segments that can be used to create market-facing campaigns and supporting events that help reach our awareness and lead-gen goals.
PMM and Product: Last but not least - the most important relationship to be had is with your product counterpart. While the breakdown of roles and responsibilities between PM and PMM varies from company to company it's without fail one that brings together how we solve problems for our customers. Key goals in this cross-functional dynamic is understanding market insights, customer behavior, how users are using our products, and competitive intelligence to influence and shape product roadmaps so as a company we're delivering on things that are most important to our customers as well keeping a competitive edge in the market.