We might be in the run-up to the festive season but us product marketers aren’t slowing down one bit and in true PMM style, there’s a real mix of questions and answers in this week’s round-up.
Got a question of your own? Ask away here.
Q: I’m looking for some advice from folks on executing consistent and useful win-loss interviews. What would everyone recommend?
A: We covered this in some detail in this article, but here are a few of the top-line takeaways:
- Make sure the right person/people take the lead - potentials include product marketing, marketing, sales enablement, customer success and product management.
- Run enough interviews to draw meaningful trends and conclusions.
- Aim to conduct any win-loss interviews within four weeks of the deal converting or crashing.
- Do everything you can to make the interviews happen either over the phone or in-person.
- Nail your invitation templates to increase uptake - i.e. make them simple, short and flexible.
- Ask the right questions and make sure they’re open-ended (we’ve got 24 example ones in the link above).
- When it comes to analysis, follow a process and keep an unbias hat on.
Q: Does anyone have an interview process they like for more junior PMM candidates?
A: There are a few sample questions and task ideas we rustled up a few months ago here:
And then these resources were also recommended by fellow PMAers:
- Characteristics of great product marketers
- The 5 things you must do to prepare for your product marketing interview.
Q: After you've led training sessions with internal teams (sales, client success, etc.) on how to message features and benefits to external audiences, what are some ways you ensure people are held accountable for sticking to the messaging and actually using it (instead of going off and doing their own thing)?
A: One idea put forward on Slack was to organise a role-playing exercise whereby your internal teams present to a small group - i.e. someone from product, product marketing, their team and maybe even their boss.
Then, if you’ve got someone from product marketing in each, you can gauge if or how they’ve strayed from what you originally taught them. Worst case scenario and everyone’s derailed, as frustrating as it may be, you’ll probably have to re-start the training again with an emphasis on why it’s so important the original messaging is actually used.
Another way to keep your finger on the pulse could be random call drops. If you’re using something like Gong or Chorus this could be done more covertly but if not, just spending a bit of time shadowing people every now and then is just as good.
Q: I feel like I could improve the way content (battlecards, user personas, whitepapers, product specs, case studies, etc.) is communicated to my organisation. We create a lot of content very quickly because we are in high growth and at the moment I share this by email and Slack, and for key subjects, I do a call with the concerned teams. Do you have some advice on methodology (such as 1on1 meetings or internal webinars) to make sure people at the company not only read the content but internalize and even challenge it?
A: Lots of advice came in for this one. To summarise, here are some tried and tested suggestions from the community:
- Not everyone feels comfortable speaking up in front of a crowd of their peers so if you’ve got the resource, consider booking in one-on-one meetings with each person so they’ve got a safe space to ask away.
- Before you share any content, get input from representatives from key stakeholder groups (i.e. sales, product, engineering, etc.). That way, when they get sent the final version, they’ll be more invested in the piece and you’ll have people within department X, Y and Z to champion it for you.
- Easier said than done, we know, but put the groundwork in and make friends with sales, pre-sales and sales enablement leadership and/or sit in their weekly meetings. This way, you’ll be able to build up a rapport and show yourself as a constant - not just someone who pops up every now and then.
- When it comes to delivering said content, stick to what you told them. For example, if you say you’re going to share updates on Slack, stick to Slack, don’t start turning to emails, newsletters and calls. People won’t know where to keep an eye out and you run the risk of things slipping through the net.
- Not every piece of content is equally important - and that’s okay, but make it known. If you keep announcing every bit of collateral as top tier importance when it’s not, people will eventually clock on and start tuning out.
- Introduce each piece of content with a brief “when to use this” opener. That way, everyone can easily establish its value and how and when it comes into play.
- Make a point of monitoring content usage (tools like Guru, Seismic and Highspot can help with this) and then actually acting on your learnings.
- If any of your content is perhaps particularly technical or important, consider attaching a quick explainer video to it. Then, people can refresh themselves on it any time - meaning they’re less reliant on you and likely to misinterpret its contents.
Q: I’m wondering if anyone has software recommendations for campaign management to coordinate our content marketing efforts with a small marketing team?
A: These suggestions came in on Slack:
Shameless plug coming, but it might also be worth checking out our Product Marketing Tools of Choice report - there are tonnes of recommended options in there too.
Q: Does anyone have any resources they'd be willing to share around team structure?
A: This article by Lindsay Bayuk was endorsed by the community: How to organize product marketing teams.