Mary Margaret

Mary MargaretShare

Editor in Chief, Entertainment Weekly
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Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret
Editor in Chief, Entertainment WeeklyMarch 12

Great question! Core things to keep in mind: 

1. You will be selling to a committee, versus one person/one core contact

2. Due to that, you'll want to really understand the composite of that committee: what are their roles, what are their pain points and objections. Moving upmarket means coming face-to-face with buyers that might be outside your core sweet spot of understanding. 

3. Once you get that understanding, you need to understand what they value and how: what content do they need and what delivery method makes the most sense. 

4. You will likely have short-term things you can address and long-term things (like analyst reports, which is a longer-term effort). This is important for stakeholder management to understand what can move now versus down the line. 

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret
Editor in Chief, Entertainment WeeklyMarch 12

I don't think of it as a hierarchy, but more of a messaging map that focuses on the end audience (whether that is an exec or an end user) and their specific pain points. 

One way to do that ladder is to break it down by differentiation/value and audience. So what are the core pillars of your product and then what is the needed translation of that to a specific audience. Example: "Ease" means something different to a CMO/CEO versus a marketing manager/individual contributor. 

 

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret
Editor in Chief, Entertainment WeeklyMarch 12

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 

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret
Editor in Chief, Entertainment WeeklyMarch 12

If you are one person it is all about ruthless prioritization. That is the one thing that will make or break you and your efforts. 

Through feedback from the team and from any data you might have, zero in on the core competitors (and restrict that number based on your bandwidth) that are going to be the most impactful and focus on those. 

Then, in terms of keeping up to date more broadly, set up google alerts, subscribe to newsletters, to keep up with any breaking news in the space. 

And every quarter or half, set some time to revisit the feedback and data to see if that core set of competitors has shifted or changed (are their new challengers you are losing more deals to and should focus on?).

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret
Editor in Chief, Entertainment WeeklyMarch 12

The best incentive is to show them the opportunities it will unlock for them. 

Example: Let's say you are trying to shift reps from talking about single products to a suite. There is resistance because they worry that will make it a tougher sell since it's a bigger decision. What do you do? 

First, acknowledge their anxiety and triage that effectively. In this case, that means making sure you deliver a way to make sure that new messaging continues to support existing sales motions. 

Secondly, show them the potential for what the messaging can unlock. In this case, potentially higher ASP and future cross-sell opportunities. 

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret
Editor in Chief, Entertainment WeeklyMarch 12

This is a meaty question with answers that don't fit neatly in this rectangular box, but will try!

First, make sure you are telling a story: Are you clear on who you are serving? Are you clear on the pain points to be solved? What is the change in the world that has caused those pains? How do your products uniquely address/solve/ease those pain points? 

Secondly, within that story, make sure you don't lose the value props of the individual products. Not every buyer is going to be a multi-product sale from the start. 

So think of it as an inverted triangle. Start with the broad story and get more and more specific. Change in the world, who you are solving for and the pain they are feeling, how you are uniquely solving for that at the multi-product level, how you uniquely solve those thigns on a single product level. 

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret
Editor in Chief, Entertainment WeeklyMarch 12

My answer depends on the content and size of the team. Ideally: 

A lot of the ones listed--help articles, knowledge base, how-to, FAQs---should likely live with a technical writing team. 

On product videos, that should ideally be a partnership between the product (and product design team) and the marketing team if they are external assets. Product Design/UX will have the highest fidelity assets and also be (usually) most adept at doing creative things to those files to bring them to life creatively. 

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret
Editor in Chief, Entertainment WeeklyMarch 12

There should be involvement when it comes to alignment on the year's go-to-market strategy and any refreshed or new product positioning. 

Because it is the one opportunity to set the tone and focus of the year, product marketing should view it as the time to rollout any new strategies (campaigns, launches) and positioning/messaging (products) to ensure that buyer enablement is strong from the start and the sales team is fired up!  

Also, I don't think product marketing needs to be present or a presenter. In fact, I think it's more powerful when a Sales leader delivers the strategy and positioning pre-aligned with product marketing/marketing. 

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret
Editor in Chief, Entertainment WeeklyMarch 12

It's really mainly two primary questions for reps when it comes to content requests: 

-What problem are they trying to solve? 

-Who is the audience? 

-What is the distribution and adoption plan? 

...maybe a 4th, depending on the answers to the above, is if there are examples they can point you to. It helps with any miscommunication or misaligned expectations. 

All three questions above will help you prioritize how this request fits with your overall priorities and whether it merits being added to the list or not. 

Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret
Editor in Chief, Entertainment WeeklyMarch 12

Easy: approach the effort strategically. 

Be clear on the why, what, and how. 

1. Start with the goals. 

2. Get clear on the jobs to be done. 

3. Ladder the tactics up to those. 

4. Make sure the corresponding metrics/KPIs of 2 and 3 ladder up to 1

5. Communicate your sales enablement approach holistically: start with the goals and then the strategic plan to get the team to hit them. 

Credentials & Highlights
Editor in Chief at Entertainment Weekly
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In England, United Kingdom
Knows About Building a Product Marketing Team, Sales Enablement, Stakeholder Management