Below are some key metrics we track, many already shared by David and Ellie, but I have bolded a few that are slightly different:
The average lead age is an interesting one for enterprise B2B companies, as those sales cycles can take some time and have certain friction points. As product marketing, are you finding ways to resolve those frictions and improve the length of sale?
One of the things I have noticed during my time at various companies is that PMs may not get the opportunity to interact and engage with customers as much as they like. Too many times, they are very development focused, and roadmap is led by HiPPOs. If this is the case in your orginazation, I would make customer engagement and understanding the primary role for a PMM. You can then take that insight and knowledge and feed it back to the Product team, hopefully building a strong relationship.
That being said, I agree with Judy in that every company is different so it is important to understand where the gaps currently are, and how PMMs can add value. It is easy to take on work that Product feels that they are responsible for, so rather then having that battle later on, it may be best to start with filling the gaps and taking on further responsiblity as you build trust.
Copying my answer from the following thread: https://sharebird.com/does-anyone-have-suggestions-for-hosting-content-assets-for-the-sales-team-to-referenceuse
We are currently looking into tools like Highspot, Showpad and Docurated. It allows us to create a central respository of managed and tracked collateral/content. Most likely leaning towards Highspot. These can obviously be slightly pricy so the other option is to keep a very organized Box/Dropbox folder that makes all content and collateral available to the sales team. This will make it difficult to track how things are being used, but is definitely a good starting point.
I like Zach's suggestion of finding a good mix but there can be times when a larger story just has more impact. At the end of the day, the key thing is to think in themes, and how those themes are going to drive value and impact for your customers. If a feature or item by itself will have large impact, then why wait to share the story? But if that feature has more impact when wrapped up as part of a larger story, then packaging it as such. I wrote an overview of this very topic here: https://medium.com/@anandp29/launching-around-themes-277eb621dd62
I completely agree with RJ. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen is determining launch KPIs without a full understanding of who your target audience/market is. I have a clear example of this where product marketing was brought in just a few weeks prior to launch of a product, and the leadership team had put together lofty sales goals based on our current portfolio (as this was an upsell product).
After spending some significant time understanding the benefits and value of the product, and learning more about the potetial market, we determined that the the product was high-value for a very specific segment, and a nice to have for the remaining portfolio of business. Unfortunately, we came to this conclusions weeks after launch date, whihc was already predetermined and decided by the larger group.
If we had done a better job of understanding the target market and why it matters to them, we could have set more realistic launch goals. We obviously did not, so completely whiffed and had to track back and reevaluate the situation.
Lesson: make sure you spend the time needed to truly understand who will benefit from your product and why - even if this means pushing back your launch. Then armed with this insight, make sure there are clearly aligned goals and KPIs across the various teams involved (marketing, sales, product, product marketing, executives, etc.)
I've had to build out product marketing at both a large organization (4,000 employees) and a growing organization (150 employees), and I would say the biggest surprise/challenge is creating the right working relationships.
Product: Defining who owns what since PMs may have been managing many of the product marketing activities themselves. Another challenge is communication and visibility. It seems fairly obvious to bring in product marketing early into the development lifecycle but when a company isn't used to doing that, it's a hard habit to break (or create in this case).
Sales: Establishing a balance that you're there to support and help them reach their goals but also not just a sales sheet factory. The most surprising about this relationship is realizing that many times sales (and marketing) have not been strategic about their positioning and focus.
Marketing: Same point as above, about the surprisingly non-strategic approach. The other big surprise you may run into is the number of leads or amount of marketing effort that is happening and driving non-qualified, non-ideal leads (ties back to not being strategic).
Honestly, there's probably a ton of other surprises and challenges :)
At the end of the day, the main things are 1) figuring out where the current gaps are and where you can support at this current point in time to build trust, and 2) what you want product marketing to be in the next 12-18 months. It will take you some time to meet the 2nd objective because you have to create new habits, build trust, and make people comfortable with offloading responsibilities to product marketing.
Good luck to everyone in this situation. It's fun and challenging at the same time!
We are currently looking into tools like Highspot, Showpad and Docurated. It allows us to create a central respository of managed and tracked collateral/content.
These can obviously be slightly pricy so the other option is to keep a very organized Box/Dropbox folder that makes all content and collateral available to the sales team. This will make it difficult to track how things are being used, but is definitely a good starting point.
It could just be a naming convention, as we tend to produce sales sheets/one-pagers, which serve a similar purpose. As Mike mentioned, we focus on the problems and value rather than specifics of features. It serves as a high level 'why does it matter' document, that does not necessarily need as much tinkering with additional features.
One suggestion would be to see if you have any talented sales engineers that may want to make the move. These individuals have spent a lot of time speaking with customers, understanding their technical needs and frustrations.
It is not always the case that you will find an ideal candidate there, or want to "poach" someone from that group, but just something to keep an eye on as they already know your company and customers well.
They set and forget. People change. Customers change. Needs change. So your messaging will need to change with it. For that reason, it's good to do a high-level analysis of your messaging at least annually, if not more often. Make sure it still resonates with customers, make sure additional segments haven't appeared, make sure conversions haven't decreased on key landing pages, etc.