Abner Germanow

Abner GermanowShare

Senior Director Product Marketing, Oracle
Silicon Valley product and solution marketer, strategist, and technology translator. My scars come from time working in high growth SaaS companies serving digital transformations, strategic apps, d...more
Abner Germanow
Abner Germanow
Senior Director Product Marketing, OracleSeptember 25

I've been on both sides of the table. Before you set pixels to powerpoint...

#1 - What questions do you have for the analyst to help validate or refute your assumptions about the market? 

#2 - Can you describe the customer problem and your offering clearly enough that when a customer who fits your ideal target calls the analyst, the analyst thinks of you.

#3 - Do you have a unquie perspective or better yet data on customer behaviors that would help the analyst do their job more effectively?

#4 - Have you read the recent research of the key analysts you will be briefing?

#5 - How is your snizzle different / better / cheaper than what the analyst already knows well?  

Some good posts on the topic:



Abner Germanow
Abner Germanow
Senior Director Product Marketing, OracleSeptember 27

If I read the question right, you sell sales development services, right? 

Hook me:

1. Show you get my pain.

2. Teach me to be a better customer.

Make fun of the pain felt by [your target] sales and marketing execs who fail to hire you or don't currently have SDR programs... 

  • Sales reps who hate us because our leads are crap 
  • A lack of feedback on why our leads are crap
  • SDRs that can't seem to figure out when to nurture a prospect with more educational content vs a prospect who is ready to dive into the next level of conversation
  • Reps who can't use salesforce well enough to follow up on leads
  • etc. 

Troll us with content that tells us how to do our jobs better from the perspective of an SDR and/or how to succeed (or really fail hard) at buying SDR services. We'll read that stuff and we might even think you are credible because you've demonstrated competeance and you've take the time to make me a more educated customer. I might only purchase SDR services a few times in my career, you deliver them everyday. Tell me what you know.  

Abner Germanow
Abner Germanow
Senior Director Product Marketing, OracleSeptember 20

+1 to Gregg's answer. Not enough people do this. 

I think about this in terms of what are you listening for and how will you talk about it afterwards.

Product management: Do we need to change the way we do something?

Product design: Should it look or flow differently?

Product marketing: Why does the customer care? How will it save them time, money, toil, etc. What words do customers use to describe their pain? Is the customer pain an outlier or mainstream? How will they justify an investment to others?

Abner Germanow
Abner Germanow
Senior Director Product Marketing, OracleSeptember 22

I came really close to hiring an SDR into marketing not too long ago. He was known within the SDR group as "most able to get a response" and one of his key roles was going to be ensuring the messaging we used in campaigns and events was properly translated through to sales. 

In theory, there should be a strong feedback loop between product marketing, campaigns, and SDRs, but in practice it can be hard. My advice to any SDR is to insert yourself in the feedback cycle, offer to help, and weasel your way into marketing that way. Good product marketers crave feedback on the messaging they create and how customers respond to it (or not) Use that craving to make yourself useful.

Abner Germanow
Abner Germanow
Senior Director Product Marketing, OracleJuly 26

There are already a few good answers here, but no one has mentioned jumping on the impending IPO - what's the pitch for that? There should be a story followed by great metrics. The story for an IPO shouldn't be divorced from the customer pain and adoption the company solves. 

Also, on the pilots - find some reps who are respected, but not in the top 5%. You want people who want your help, but not the ones selling on years of knowledge and relationships. You also don't want reps in the bottom 50% - they want your help, but the likelihood they get cut is high. The thing to do with the top 5% is to find out what they are using and doing - especially if they aren't using the standard-issue materials. 

Credentials & Highlights
Senior Director Product Marketing at Oracle
Lives In Palo Alto, California
Knows About Analyst Relations, Analyst Relationships, Messaging, Product Marketing Career Path, T...more