Product managers and product marketers are some of the busiest employees in an organization. I was recently looking at a past annual product management and product marketing survey and when it came to responsibilities, the list included over 35 items! For your interest, here are the activities that were included in the survey:
||Sales Readiness Activities
Of course, the above list does not include some of the other activities that a product manager or a product marketer may have to do, like, mentoring junior members, researching industry trends or upskilling themselves.
With so much to do and the volume of requests often faced by product managers, it is no wonder that getting their time is a difficult task. According to McKinsey and Company, only 12% of a product manager’s day is spent collaborating with other functions. In most cases, that is not enough time to fully equip customer support, sales, marketing, documentation and training teams with all the industry, customer, product and feature knowledge they need to be successful.
So what can product managers and product marketers do? One thing to consider is to invest more time in sales enablement tools and activities. By equipping other teams with the knowledge about customers, products and the buying cycle, product managers are less likely to be called on for routine activities such as demo calls.
In this blog, we will cover more about what falls under sales enablement and where product managers and product marketers should consider investing their time in order to better equip other teams to close more deals and reduce the demand on their time.
Sales enablement’s presence correlates with a 31 percent improvement in supporting changes in sales messaging and a 15 percent increase in improving low-performing salespeople (G2)
Leverage Product Management Knowledge in Sales Enablement
Sales enablement is the process of providing your client-facing sales employees with the resources they need to close more deals. Companies that invest in sales enablement are more customer centric as they offer the tools and information that buyers want.
Depending on the organization and how teams interact with buyers, these resources may include everything from presentations, blogs, cheat sheets, competitive analysis, product training and sales training – basically anything that helps them more effectively sell your products or services to your customers.
Product managers and product marketers possess a lot of the knowledge that can help to close deals. They understand use cases, customer pain points and buying patterns. Being able to transfer this knowledge to the rest of the organization helps to ensure that everyone is truly customer focused.
Looking at the above table of responsibilities of product managers and product marketers from the Pragmatic Institute survey, the following is knowledge that they possess that directly or indirectly feeds into sales enablement tools:
||Sales Readiness Activities
Providing the above knowledge to sales, marketing, and other customer teams, not only increases their effectiveness, it empowers teams, reduces sales cycles, and boosts sales conversions.
Organizations with sales enablement achieve a 49 percent win rate on forecasted deals, compared to 42.5 percent for those without. (HubSpot)
Where Product Managers Can Boost Sales Enablement Tools
Laurie Harvey, a seasoned product manager who offers her services through TopTal, recently provided her advice on where product managers can invest in sales enablement. We have coupled her advice with our own expertise to provide ideas on what materials product management can deliver to boost a company’s sales enablement resources.
For marketing effectiveness
- Customer Qualification Identification Processes – Articulate value propositions and identify the buyer, influencer, and decision makers.
- Sales Scripts and Vertical Playbooks – Create key messages, tactics, strategies, value propositions and differentiable value for the product. Provide data on how the product differentiates itself from competitors and even other products within the organization. Articulate the pain points and value that will help to drive ROI (return on investment).
- Deal Desk Support – Create common questions and answers that can feed into bid responses, request for proposals (RFP), requests for information (RFI), FAQs and more. Don’t just think features. Include delivery, pricing, warranty and customer support.
- Resource Management – Identify subject matter experts that can review messaging, check sales documents, who can perform quality demos and VIP customer presentations.
- Channel Programs – Leverage the content that you have created for sales to support your channels. Remember to tailor the content and messaging for their specific markets and niches.
For customer engagement
- Customer Communications – Create and update all technical documents (release documentation, bulletins, notices, support notices).
- Messaging – Document, share and teach what are key and supporting messages for the product and its features. Monitor marketing content to ensure that representations are accurate, clear and on brand.
- Demo Systems – Create demo environments that will enable sales to reinforce key messages and provide a view of the many capabilities of the product.
- Segments, Personas and Vertical Markets Specialization – Document and train the teams on how the value proposition might vary by persona, geographic region, industry segments and vertical markets.
For sales effectiveness
- Sales Onboarding – Support marketing in teaching the tools, processes, contacts, references and online resources relating to the product.
- Sales Training – Support inside and outsides sales training by creating training libraries which may include resources like short videos, microlearning modules on the product, frequently asked questions, and pricing.
76 percent of organizations see an increase in sales between 6 to 20 percent as a result of sales enablement. (G2)
Stats on why PMs Should Focus on Sales Enablement
With product management often being tasked with helping the organization to maximize sales revenues, increase market share and enhance profit margins. here are some interesting sales enablement trends that drive home the value of investing in this area.
- Sales enablement’s presence correlates with a 31 percent improvement in supporting changes in sales messaging and a 15 percent increase in improving low-performing salespeople (G2)
- Organizations with sales enablement achieve a 49 percent win rate on forecasted deals, compared to 42.5 percent for those without. (HubSpot)
- 76 percent of organizations see an increase in sales between 6 to 20 percent as a result of sales enablement. (G2)
- Over 75 percent of companies using sales enablement tools indicated that sales increased over the past 12 months, with nearly 40 percent reporting growth of more than 25 percent. (manobyte.com)
- Companies with a sales enablement team are 52 percent more likely to have a sales process that’s tightly aligned with the buyer’s journey. (G2)
- Over 75 percent of companies using sales enablement tools saw an increase in sales in the first year. (visualizeroi.com)
How LEAi Supports Product Managers and Product Marketers
Now that we have looked at the wealth of knowledge they have and the value they can bring to sales enablement, we also wanted to provide some practical tips on how Product Managers and Product Marketers can share this knowledge given their long list of responsibilities.
We at LearnExperts have developed a tool called LEAi, which allows marketing, documentation, training and other teams to take documents, presentations, and wikis already created by product managers and transforms them into content for knowledge-sharing, training and sales enablement.
The content created by LEAi can be used for all sorts of applications and resources including internal training sessions, step-by-step guides for customers, eLearning, knowledge base articles, presentations, webinars, videos and more.
LEAi can be used in every step of the product development cycle. If you are about to launch a new product, LEAi can be used to help create product documentation and training. If you are updating or releasing new features, LEAi can help to update your existing training and documentation and ensure that the content is consistent, wherever it is used.
Features our clients love include:
- Document Import Tool: Takes presentations and documents and using the power of AI, transforms it into training content.
- LearnAdvisor: Continuously monitors the content being created and suggests improvements so it follows learning best-practices.
- One-Click Microlearning: Takes large sections of learning content and breaks it into smaller sections for easier delivery and learning.
- LEAi’s Intelligent Update: Ensures that training updates due to product changes are applied to all sections and courses that use that material.
If you are an overworked product manager or product marketer who needs a tool to help you boost your sales enablement content so you can maximize sales revenues, increase market share and enhance profit margins of your products, drop us a note!