All related (30)
Jessica Scrimale
Senior Director of Product - Datafox and AI Applications, OracleAugust 17

Sales is most likely to use an asset that product marketing creates if they influence the asset as it comes together. I like to create a working team with a cross-section of sellers to provide input and feedback on the playbook. Make sure your playbook is aligned to the sales methodology that your team is using, and keep it structured, with clear expected outcomes and milestones identified for each component. It also helps if the playbook can highlight little success stories or verbatims from sellers so that they feel like they're hearing from one another, versus from marketing. 

Nikhil Balaraman
Director, Retailer Product Marketing, InstacartJanuary 5
  • By understanding how deals work from beginning to end. Get to know the SDRs. What research do they do before starting a sequence? How does a meeting get set? Sit in on first calls. Is a first call all discovery or all demo? What follow ups get sent? And so on and so forth including understanding how a customer implements/on-boards.
  • Once you see enough of these, you will likely start to see a pattern emerge. Within this pattern is where the plays can emerge. Ok, so for this vertical, this is typically the use case they care about, the questions they ask, the objections we need to handle, etc. Start writing that up. Make that part of the new hiring onboarding. Drop in on more calls to see how the pitch is evolving (or invest in a tool such as Chorus.ai to do this for you at scale). 
  • The added benefit of sitting with the sales team to gather this intel, is that they’ll also see that you’re putting in the time and effort to understand the deal process. So when you start writing up these plays, they can actually trust that you understand how the sausage is made.
Jeff Beckham
Sr. Director and Head of Product Marketing, GemDecember 17

A good question to ask before starting a sales playbook is, “what’s in it for them?” Good sales reps welcome support from anyone who can truly help them, and product marketers are well-positioned to provide that type of assistance. But I’ve made the mistake many times of taking the “build it and they will come” mindset, because it was the path of least resistance. The playbooks I’ve seen actually make a difference were created with in-depth sales feedback from the get-go.

Sometimes it seems obvious to us product marketers what sales should need, but it’s easy to forget about factors that we aren’t familiar with. For example, how does the playbook fit into the sales methodology? Is the information in the playbook easy to find and accessible within a typical sales workflow? Is the playbook specific enough to help people selling to different audiences (Startups vs. Enterprises, Finserv vs. Media, and so on)? If not, do we need multiple paths or versions?

Axel Kirstetter
VP Product Marketing and Sales Enablement, EISMarch 29

Should Sales not create the Sales Playbook?! This seems to be a case where PMM is doing Sales Ops' job. I understand with smaller companies responsibilities stretch across departments. In this case I would have thought the right answer is to work with Sales on the playbook. If they co-authored it or had major input, they are more likely to use it.  

Mary Margaret
Editor in Chief, Entertainment WeeklyMarch 11

1. Take the time to understand their needs and paint points

2. Work with Sales leadership on a plan for rep adoption: align on the resourcing, rollout, measurement, and expectations

3. Partner closely with reps and the sales enablement team (if there is a focused one) to define and refine the content and content types

4. Get feedback and continuously experiment and optimize 

James Winter
VP of Marketing, Spekit
INTERNAL TRAINING MATERIALS/DECK Education should always be a big part of launching the product. The first thing you need to accomplish is getting the sales team to actually care about whatever it is that you're launching. Try not to make this overly academic, make sure you're getting the point across as to what the opportunity is for the sales person to make money.    BETA/EARLY ADOPTER CASE STUDIES I always try to avoid launching products without a couple of well produced case studies from early adopters/beta users.    LEAVE BEHIND MATERIALS Could be a deck, a one pager, somethin...