Jam Khan

Jam KhanShare

Senior Vice President Product Marketing, 6sense
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Jam Khan
Jam Khan
Senior Vice President Product Marketing, 6senseJuly 19

I actually don't that's true. We tend to be really hard on ourselves when it comes to messaging and positioning. The number of solutions in each vertical has just exploded and getting audience attention is just really hard. And buyers have so many more options to do their own discovery these days. So companies have to distribute their message across so many different channels.

The biggest challenge is the discipline of staying focused on your key personas. Who are the people that really love your solution? Just because your solution appeals to a dozen different people doesn't mean you have to target them all. Be laser focused on the ones that will evangelize your solution passionately. 

Jam Khan
Jam Khan
Senior Vice President Product Marketing, 6senseJuly 16

Map out the various deliverables your team is responsible for. Some are consistent (launches) and others are point in time (website relaunch). List out all the stakeholders you interface with regularly: product management, Sales, Sales Enablemenrt, Marketing comms. Develop a process thats sustainable that allows you to work with each of these groups. 

The biggest dependency will be on product so establish a framework and rules of engagement on how product updates will be communicated. How regularly do you meet with the team. How do you align on launch expectations. How is success defined. These all need to be accounted for, and depending on the size of the team the way you go about this will vary. But establish a process to engage with product. 

Similary determine a sustainable way to enable sales. Given the make up of your team and the kind of sales enablement support you have the approach will vary. The important piece here is consistency. Sales teams are generally quite methodical in their sales process so engaging with them in a consistent way is the key to success. 

For the rest of the marketing team campaign briefs that give them the product strategy and direction is the building block of setting up a good process to engage. What the rest of the marketing team needs is a means to create assets for campaigns. So the process should factor in frequency of campaigns and the types of campaigns that are run.  

Jam Khan
Jam Khan
Senior Vice President Product Marketing, 6senseJuly 19

Cultural nuances are a real thing. Get comfortable with not having the same amount of high touch, but bear in mind that the regional differences do matter. In the UK words that we would spell with a Z (materialize) are spelled with an S (materialise). These innocuous differences do matter. In a former role we sold a platform that managed entitlements, and that literally had no direct translation in French. 

In many Nordic countries gifting isn't just frowned upon, it's against the law. So my biggest learnings are that you need to understand everything about doing business in a region, not just whether your solution has potential demand.

Jam Khan
Jam Khan
Senior Vice President Product Marketing, 6senseJuly 19

International teams are no different and should go through all the same enablement. In my experience since international teams are used to getting a lot less they are scrappy and more self sufficient. My advice is not to treat them as "international" teams, rather to carve out time to connect with those teams regularly. 

Listen to the feedback from those teams, and if the business is large enough consider regional support. I've found some of the most informed and thoughtful feedback comes from international teams.

Jam Khan
Jam Khan
Senior Vice President Product Marketing, 6senseJuly 19

There are few things i'd look at based on the rhythm of the business. How fast is the business growing? How fast is the organization innovating, and how fast is the sales team growing. How many product managers are there (the PM to PMM ratio should be at least 4:1). 

How often are there launches that need to be supported? What does the competitive landscape look like. 

Factoring all of this you can get an assessment of how complex the solution is, how large the addressable market is, and how much content needs to be produced. Work that math to see how many PMMs are needed to support the business.

Some of the key metrics to track are win rates, deal velocity, deal size, ARR. 

Jam Khan
Jam Khan
Senior Vice President Product Marketing, 6senseJuly 19

I'm not a fan of connecting metrics to promotions for a role like product marketing becuase there are so many other dependencies that can't be controlled. Rather I like to establish some expectations of responsibility for each seniority level. Seniority levels can usually be attached to the level of responsiblity you can assign someone. Can they run a launch end to end? Can they take a new offer to market? You can use success of some of those outputs to make a determination of how and when to promote.

Jam Khan
Jam Khan
Senior Vice President Product Marketing, 6senseJuly 19

These days everyone is remote is it's important to establish a process that works for your organization. Content and collateral can exist in so many places it can overwhelming. A sales enablement platform is essential for evergreen content. Tools like slack are great for quick updates and real time knowledge sharing (e.g. Sales just had a call where they discoverd a competitive weakness, or ran into an obstacle). 

Easy access tools like battlecards are useful for regular consumption. For things like a top level strategic narrative and value centric messaging you can go as far as sending printed material to everyone in the organization. We are inundated with so much tech, there is some value in old fashioned print material in some cases. 

But for the most part I would rely on the combination of work collaboration software and sales enablement platforms to deliver content and training.

Jam Khan
Jam Khan
Senior Vice President Product Marketing, 6senseJuly 19

Trusting the team and tracking key results and progress versus tracking what people are working on. Tracking what they are working on ends up being micromanagement. Things can change fast, especially if you're in a startup. 

Stay agile, get disciplined about the key results you feel support the objective, and have your team share their progress on those. Be sure to assign ownership to those objectives. The classic V2MOM that Sales force defined had the O has Obstacles. Our CMO modified that to Ownership. If someone doesn't own a method no one owns it. Ownership drives a culture of results, and motivates the owner. 

This approach allows for agility and alignment because the owners can report on the progress they are making on their initiatives.

Jam Khan
Jam Khan
Senior Vice President Product Marketing, 6senseJuly 16

This depends a lot on the companies business goals. In the beginning you'll be on the hook to support the GTM with assets so focus on content creation. It's pointless trying to be too strategic in the early stages. Look to the exec team for priorities and focus on the most important use cases and value drivers your GTM needs help with. 

As the team grows think about the best way to support your messaging and positioning. Is if easier to focus on the personas for your product (good when there are multiple buyers) or to focus on value pillars (good when the solution is more complex). That gives a blueprint for how to start to organize your team. 

Jam Khan
Jam Khan
Senior Vice President Product Marketing, 6senseJuly 19

The hardest part in growth and scale is the balance between process, oversight and autonomy. A 5 person team is well aligned, you know what everyone is working on, and easily collaborate on projects. A 20 person team, not as easy. The first step once you get past a team of 7 is to start thinking about team structure and leadership structure. The team I get to serve has 6 pillars: messaging & positioning, partner marketing, customer marketing, product evangelism, market intelligence, activation and launch.

Each of these pillars has a leader. In some cases it's a team of one. Other functions have more. But this approach lets me look at all of our goals and objectives and attack them accordingly. It also creates a structure that can scale and grow easily. As we continue to grow industry marketing and regional marketing could be pillars that might get added. Structure, leadership at each level is the key to growing and scaling. 

Credentials & Highlights
Senior Vice President Product Marketing at 6sense
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In San Diego, California, United States
Knows About Consumer Product Marketing, Solutions and Platform Product Marketing, Messaging, Plat...more