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Rajendran Nair
Vice President Product Marketing at Medallia July 21

When I am starting up a Sales Enablement practice (or it is a new product/market or even a new sales team), I prefer an intense, heavy handed approach, because that helps me develop and fine tune my stories and the assets I use to convey/manifest my stories. Over time, sales will have a bigger role in iterating on these assets, and possibly, to innovate on the messaging too.

Grace Kuo
Product Marketing at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative | Formerly UdemyJune 18

Hello! From a PMM perspective, Sales input is critical to a successful SE strategy. They know the needs of their team so they can help SE prioritize and focus. Usually finding a partner in Sales leadership can help you avoid too many cooks in the kitchen and streamline feedback.  

Where SE can add value is providing strategy on delivery (role play, compeition, certifications, etc.), structure, and content. The size of your company and enablement team also differentiates how much effort you can you play as well. Growing companies and larger sales teams will need more enablement and guidance - whereas in smaller companies, the sales team will be doing more scrappy and do things on their own. 

Where PMM plays a role is content and helps prioritize initiatives in the level of importance (narrative, competitor, product training, etc.). 

Charles Tsang
Head of Marketing at Pinwheel February 10

It's difficult to paint a broad brush stroke answer on this, but as a general rule of thumb:

  • Meet with Sales to understand their expectations and where they need the most help. It all starts with a conversation to understand gaps/opportunities.  
  • In most cases, Sales will look to Product Marketers to help ensure they have impactful content/assets (informed by research/insights) to help them sell. I have not met many sales reps that are interested (or have the time) to develop sales content on their own.  
  • That said, you should set the expectation that input from the Sales team will be crucial to ensure you're successful. They're on the front lines of talking with prospects, so they have unique on-the-ground insight on common customer questions, sticking points, etc. So they should expect that you'll meet with them regularly to collect their feedback on draft collateral as well as hear about how well some of the sales enablement assets are performing.  
    • On a related point, oftentimes in order to develop things like customer case studies/testimonials, you'll need direct involve from Sales. While they may not be creating the content, they can help you prioritize and identify potential customers to focus on, etc.  
Molly Friederich
Director of Product Marketing at | Formerly Twilio, SendGridMay 25

Congrats! Can you share more about your current context? Is this a new role for the team, or are you stepping into an established function? This will likely inform how much/what type of expectation your stakeholders have... Are there critical existing deliverables to keep in the air? Do they have pent up anticipation for key value you'll bring?

If it's new, I'd start with evaluating the biggest gaps and start where the impact will be the largest. Does everyone fumble through an inconsistent pitch deck? Do they have trouble positioning against competitors on calls? Form an opinion yourself, and then present options to your stakeholders for input/alignment.