Where I've found the most valuable bi-lateral relationships within the Sales org (outside of sales leadership) has been with teams that have access to data that can help my team inform where we can lean in more to help sales. These are sales ops type teams that have an eye on the sales funnel, and are able to provide quantative data that paints a picture of sales health. How are deal progressing through the funnel, where are they getting stuck and why? This quantative data combined with the qualatative research our PMM team drives, helps reall prioritize where we can spend our time better enabling the sales org. Outside of that, we find it really valuable to have a handful of strong relationship with members different sales orgs (SDRs, RMs, AEs) to provide feedback and input on any projects we're working on.
When it comes to PMM core duties, typically who are the best partners in the sales org, who has the knowledge and the customer touch points to really help PMMs win?
I imagine this is specific to each organization, but for me it’s all about identifying your power players within sales and customer success. In my team’s onboarding, I actually recommend finding a “BFF” on sales and marketing in their first 90 days. It pays major dividends in their success down the road. Here are the teams and personality traits I find myself looking for:
1. Many companies have a form of President's Club. Congratulate every single awardee. Ask to join them on the next drive-by with prospects/clients. these are the best reps you company has. there is probably a reason they are good
2. Listen in to tele conversation (be it inside our outisde sales). these are always extremely insightful and eye opening. Succinctly telling your story in 20 seconds is so hard.
3. Get to know the sales ops / rev ops team. they are critical partners in providing you with lead / pipeline data
4. Check-in with field marketing. they hvae their feet to the ground in terms of events and campaigns and can give great insight to personality traits of individual sales department members
I recommend building relationships with the canaries in the coal mine. What I mean by this is people who may not be decision makers but will be vocal, and may not often get "heard" from other teams or leaders in the department. If you can listen to their feedback/warnings/suggestions, prioritize any real threats, and take action cross-functionally not only will you build trust and credibility with that person, but the whole sales team will trust you and want to work with you more strategically.
There are also the obvious choices of ADRs (they are the front lines!), sales enablement, etc.