Harish Peri

Harish PeriShare

Head of Product Marketing - Security, Integrations, Mobile, Salesforce
Content
Harish Peri
Harish Peri
Head of Product Marketing - Security, Integrations, Mobile, SalesforceAugust 1

Answering this one in the 'product roadmap AMA' because its super relevant in all situations. I prefer 30-60 days, because most SaaS companies, PMMs need to move faster and start demonstrating value a lot faster than 90 days.

30 days

- Find out your stakeholders and meet each one of them. Create a stakeholder map (can be a spreadsheet) that answers the questions: what are your expectations of me, what should I expect from you, what's been going well in the last 2-3 months, what needs improvement immediately?

- Setup recurring meetings with each of them - frequency is based on how critical they are 

- Befriend a sales engineer, customer success technologist, or product manager - someone who can show you your product, show you how to demo it, and where the pitfalls are. Get into the product and learn it fast

- Align with your manager on whats expected of you

60 days

- Figure out one thing you can actually deliver and own it. Dont wait to be asked. E.g. a new pitch deck, a new campaign, a product launch, or something that matters to a key stakeholder (e.g. product messaging, sales play help etc). This last one is important because in some companies, PMM is very much a stakeholder driven function (which is OK).  

This might seem overly reductive, but the key in the beginning is to show you understand how value is created, and show your ability to get in there and get something done.  

Now if you're a manager, there is a whole other step of getting to know your team, understanding their motivations, understanding where they stand with respect to their stakeholders and coming up with a plan to grow each of them. Its probably what you would do in the first 30 days as a manager.

Harish Peri
Harish Peri
Head of Product Marketing - Security, Integrations, Mobile, SalesforceJuly 29
  1. Focus group or survey data from customers or prospects
  2. Market research study showing the need for certain capabilities
  3. Survey data from sales, customer success showing the need
  4. Deal loss analysis showing that lack of a capability is killing deals

If you have all of these, thats a perfect storm. But even one of these, provided its accurate and unique data can go a long way in convincing PM.

Harish Peri
Harish Peri
Head of Product Marketing - Security, Integrations, Mobile, SalesforceJuly 29

If your main goal is to stay tightly aligned with PM, then its best to mirror their structure as much as possible. E.g. in my world we have alignment at both the product VP/GM level down to the individual PM level. Its not necessary to have a 1:1 between PM and PMM because that can be inefficient. Said another way:

1. Product VP/GM <--> PMM VP. Alignment of portfolio/solution level messaging, big pricing or GTM decisions, influencing longer term product strategy

2. Product leader <--> PMM leader. This can be many-to-1. Goals more short-medium term, including release marketing, competitive intel, sales/customer feedback, etc.

Harish Peri
Harish Peri
Head of Product Marketing - Security, Integrations, Mobile, SalesforceJuly 27

PMMs can provide a scaling function for sales and success teams. Usually sales and success teams will offer inputs based on their experience with their territory, accounts or regions. PMM can help ask the right questions that can get to the root of buyer needs, synthesize feedback across sales/success teams, spot patterns and help PM teams make decisions in a more holistic way.

Harish Peri
Harish Peri
Head of Product Marketing - Security, Integrations, Mobile, SalesforceJuly 27

Ideally, very early on. If your org uses an agile methodology, its best if PMMs get involved at the release planning or 'epic' phase to help shape the bigger direction. Its not ideal for PMMs to get involved at the story level because that tends to be about technical tradeoffs and can lead to PMMs stepping on PM toes for no reason.

If there is a clear hypothesis of target market/buyer/segment, then PMM can provide useful input on what capabilities and use cases should be prioritized.  

PMMs should have a strong POV on the overall vision since they can provide the voice of sales/customer success in addition to the voice of customer (which PM usually has access to). A successful product (at least in enterprise B2B) doesn't just satisfy customer use cases, but is also 'sellable', priced correctly and is easy to implement - all of which PMM can provide input on.

Harish Peri
Harish Peri
Head of Product Marketing - Security, Integrations, Mobile, SalesforceJuly 22

Always think of a unique prioritization angle to help PMs make their decisions. Chances are they have talked to customers and users and have a good sense of their needs. But many times there are blind spots in terms of sales needs and competitive intelligence. Specifically:

1. What will make the product more sellable? Better demo environments, easier self serve experience, quicker billing, easier implementation process, etc. Things that aren't directly related to user needs but have a big impact on the success of the sales team. PMMs can provide strong inputs there.  

2. What will help the product win against competition? This isn't usually about whizbang features but again about deeply communicating competitive capabilities to PM (beyond 'they have the same feature').

Harish Peri
Harish Peri
Head of Product Marketing - Security, Integrations, Mobile, SalesforceJuly 22

For the purpose of this question, lets assume that the PMM team is either directly doing the work or strongly influencing the teams doing the work. E.g. competitive, market strategy, GTM, focus groups, etc. Then you need a few key inputs to help PM make roadmap decisions:

1. Market definition. Which specific market segment(s), market problems are you considering overall for this new product roadmap. This is very important upfront because it defines the common language for both PMM and PM teams.  

2. Market sizing. This refers to how much actual addressable market is out there for you with the new roadmap. Again this needs to be broken out by segment or for each component of the market definition

3. Prioritization. Even if the TAM is great, if the competitive dynamics are nasty or alignment with core competencies are off, then a market segment might not be worth it. This is also where buyer research (focus groups, VoC, etc.) comes into play because it gives a better understanding of actual use cases and needs.

This all assumes breaking into new markets. The equation changes when you're thinking of increasing existing market penetration. In that case, the prioritization is about segmenting existing customers based on need and shaping the roadmap to address unmet needs in those customers.

Harish Peri
Harish Peri
Head of Product Marketing - Security, Integrations, Mobile, SalesforceJuly 5

This is an evolution depending on the complexity and scope of the Product and GTM motion. But usually it follows this path (additive):

  1. Aligned to individual products
  2. Aligned to product groupings (solutions, use cases, needs, JTBD etc)
  3. Aligned to customer segments
  4. Aligned to industries
  5. Aligned to regions
  6. Adding in supporting functions--> competitive, AR
Harish Peri
Harish Peri
Head of Product Marketing - Security, Integrations, Mobile, SalesforceJuly 5
  • Team alignment --> Map your PMMs to your PMs or their teams as much as possible. Embed them into the PM rituals like release planning, release reviews etc (not at the super detailed story/sprint level). Ensure that your PMMs know the product - they can demo it, answer enough questions about capabilities, gotchas, etc. 
  • Outbound process alignment --> Empower PMMs to own the release marketing/comms process. They should be able to plug into a broader release cadence, make calls on what features/capabilities to highlight. They should also have enough visibility into product roadmap to be able to communicate it in first call decks, roadmap sessions at events etc
  • Inbound process alignment --> Create a safe space for PMMs to convey structured feedback from sales/CS (and customers if relevant) back to PM.
Harish Peri
Harish Peri
Head of Product Marketing - Security, Integrations, Mobile, SalesforceJuly 5

The right question to ask is: "how do we ensure that the value prop/messaging is being tailored correctly for the needs of the international markets and customers?" A big PMM mistake is to push for too much consistency and end up with a generic value prop that either says nothing to noone, or appears too US-centric in global markets. In my experience, its always best to gather intel from field sellers to understand pain points, use cases that resonate locally, and empower local marketing teams to mold a core value prop based on those.

Credentials & Highlights
Head of Product Marketing - Security, Integrations, Mobile at Salesforce
Lives In Larchmont, New York, United States
Knows About Competitive Positioning, Category Creation, Vertical Product Marketing, Building a Pr...more