What advice do you have on stakeholder mgmt for small PMM teams (i.e. 1-3 ppl) that are coupled with larger, growing stakeholer teams (i.e. sales =15-25; CS = 20-30; Product = 8-12; marketing = 5-10)?
Great question! This is a common scenario for growing organizations. As a smaller PMM team, you'll have to work to set project priorities. This is not an easy tasks, but what helps is being transparent and communicative with your teams across Product, Sales, Marketing and others.
For growing organizations, work with your Sales Department to understand their biggest pain points and align on where you as a PMM can best support. Prioritize the feedback and the work you're able to take on vs what you might have to revist or commit to later. This conversation seems obvious, but keep having it. Set up recurring touchpoints (even if for 15min) to hold each party accountable to what was committed.
Finally - Be consistent and meet your deadlines. This is important when building a fostering trust across the organization. Trust is fundamental to establishing strong relationships. When working with your stakeholders be clear about expectations, deadlines, roadblocks, and deliverables.
Anchor on the highest priority for the company, versus any one team. One of the hardest but also most liberating things about product marketing is that we are an inherently flexible function. Our skillsets are diverse, so we can quickly get into formation behind whatever is most important and strategic to the company at any given point in time. This is our greatest strength (and, if handled poorly, our greatest weakness), so don't let it go to waste! If the most important initiative at the company is revenue, make yourself indispensable to sales by holding your team to sales targets. If it is building a revolutionary product, prioritize product. Whatever you do, do not try to be everything to everyone. That just results in a lot of "RAM" (random acts of marketing) that don't make clear to anyone what you're actually good for.
You have to align on what priorities you are working on and when. I even suggest having a sort of PMM roadmap. If you can get that agreed to at the leadership level then it will be a lot easier to have conversations with your stakeholders across teams.
There are always going to be firedrills you have to jump on, but by driving alignment and visibility at the leadership level you can make sure those are the exception not the rule.
While it might be easy to find industry standards on the number of PMMs per stakeholder team, I find the better marker to be the number of products in the portfolio, segments served, geographies, or even industries. Small teams can pack a mighty punch if swim lanes are clear and roles and responsibilities are understood. For example, a PMM team of 3 with respective focuses on core product marketing (use cases, value props, enablement, release/launch, pricing, etc.) audience/portfolio marketing (segment, geo, new biz/customer, etc.), and competitive (differentiation, dispositioning, strategy) can serve a growing set of stakeholders effectively, and as the team proves value, will scale with the rest of the organization.
PMM sits at the intersection of these various stakeholder teams and keeps them aligned. No matter how big or small your company is, you likely have similar stakeholders that you need to manage and communicate with. To be effective, product marketing needs to have a voice across the company.
I’ve always found it valuable to forge trusting relationships with someone in sales leadership, product leadership, etc. Make sure you’re communicating with them on a regular basis. With product, catch up regularly on upcoming releases, voice of customer, strategic launches, etc. With sales, review performance, key customer wins, strategic campaigns, etc. Having a regular cadence with these teams while bringing them valuable insights and a unique POV will ensure PMM has a seat at the table.