Product Managers, Do Your Reps Love Your Sales Content?

A Memo to Product Managers and Product Marketers

I spent over 10 years of my career in product management. I loved every minute of it. One of the best parts of my product management career was rolling up my sleeves and working with sales teams. I was recognized by Marc Benioff in 2006 in front of the entire compay for successfully leading the product launch of the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) product and redefintion of the category. I attribute the recognition and the amazing PRM revenue contributions to our go to market and sales engagement strategy. For example, we created world class training, deal support, and office hours. We worked with the reps in the fields.

Here are some tips I was shared this morning on a product planning call with a team of product managers.

How To Capture the Attention of Sales Reps

WIFM: Be sure to answer the question what’s in it for them.

Less is more: Keep all content bit sized and easily consumable.

Focus on business benefits, not just features: Explain how the features will be used and what the benefits are to the users. Focus on the why.

Use customer examples when possible: Storytelling is so critical in sales training and sales reps love stories. Be sure to include analogies and stories in your content.

Use videos: Use videos to tell your product story and sell your product to your reps. Yes, you’re selling to your reps.

Videos are disposable: Your’e not creating an Oscar award winning video. Your videos should have a short life span. It’s better to have more content that is fresh and raw that gets out there today rather than waiting weeks or months. Don’t spend time over-directing and over-producing.

Be conversational: Turn your product training into a fun conversation that engages the audience. Let your personality shine through the content.

Smile: It’s a small detail that has a HUGE impact on the delivery and ultimate consumption by your sales teams.

Be enthusiastic and passionate: Let your love for your product jump out from the video and remain as a residual signature in the minds of your sales teams. You want to be known as the product manager that is so passionate about your product, it’s contagious.

Suggested Sales Content Video Flows

Answer these questions in your video and try and keep the video to 5 minutes or less. These are suggestions. You can pick and choose the right ones that fit where you are with your product.

  1. Intro: What’s your name and role? What’s the topic? Who is the audience?
  2. What’s the elevator pitch for the product/feature? (30 seconds)
  3. What problem is it solving? Why did you build it? (1 to 3 bullets)
  4. How do you demonstrate it?
  5. What is your discovery strategy?
  6. Who are your customers?
  7. Who are your competitors? What’s the competitive SWOT? (optional)
  8. How do you price it? (optional)

Engagement and Knowledge Check Exercises

Think about exercises like role plays, deal reviews, and objection handling you can do to reinforce your key messages. Knowledget checks are great. I like using peer coaching and peer feedback to drive real action-oreinted best practice sharing and learning.

My last piece of advice is to have fun.

About the Author

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $500M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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