Product marketing and sales training teams have an ultimate goal: to help sales teams sell more. Each team plays an important role in monetization.
Product marketing focuses on developing content assets for the sales team to use on the buyer’s journey, and Sales Enablement ensures that reps know how and when to use the content to deliver great experiences to the buyer and close more deals.
In successful organizations, product sales and marketing activities act as extensions of each other. This level of collaboration and alignment improves the effectiveness of each team and ensures that the sales team is well equipped to increase sales.
However, in many organizations, product marketing, and sales enablement still have a long way to go before collaboration is mastered. They usually plan and execute in silos, with the wrong strategies and competing priorities. As a result, neither team is as effective as it could be, and salespeople do not have the resources to become trusted consultants to their customers and prospects.
The negative consequences of the mismatch
When product marketing and sales work independently, there can be conflicts and incompatibilities. What does this mean for organizations?
On the one hand, the two teams would send conflicting information to the sale without a consistent strategy and would stumble over each other. This can be confusing for salespeople, making it difficult for them to determine where to focus their attention.
Also, the incompatibility between the two teams leads to ineffective content. Product marketers know what a company has to offer and work hard to produce content that helps promote business. On the other hand, sales training teams, who devote a lot of time to sales, have a clear idea of what the field workers are feeling; they have very valuable information about what is (and what is not) for sellers and buyers.
When both teams are offline, product marketing offers content that they find useful. But that content can never be used; or even when used, it does not necessarily help to run the business. Also, incompatibility can lead to content gaps, leaving representatives without the content they need in certain sales scenarios.
Five ways to improve the alignment of sales and product marketing training teams
Collaboration between product marketing and sales training benefits both teams and the entire organization.
Here are five practical steps you can take to improve alignment between these two teams and drive revenue growth.
Product marketing and sales activities are best when they work together, not against each other. Collaboration begins with the development of coherent strategies and plans that integrate and align with the business overview and goals.
A strategic planning partner every year. Share next year’s priorities, plans, and agendas to make sure they match. Ask for and give feedback and rework plans as needed to ensure that priorities are aligned and that everyone is working towards the same goals.
Once a year, strategic planning is important, but this is only the beginning of the story. Continuous and transparent communication throughout the year is necessary to build mutual trust and improve cooperation.
An important way to keep in touch is to meet regularly, for example, once a week. During these review meetings, designated team contacts can provide program updates, share progress, and request feedback.
Collaborate on content creation
Content plays a key role in the B2B buying journey. Relevant content must be available to sellers at each stage of the buyer’s journey, keeping in mind that B2B buyers often do extensive research before contacting a seller.
Although product marketing generally takes the lead in creating content, it is important to involve the sales company, which works closely with sales representatives and managers and has a valuable insight into what the sales journey is like and what challenges to face sales team faces field.
For product marketing, it is best to share content plans, before you begin, with Sales Enablement to ensure that content meets the needs of sales teams.
Use content analysis to optimize and improve
You probably hear a lot of qualitative comments about the content. For example, salespeople can contact you to tell you what content they like, dislike, and want more. This kind of feedback is important, but without quantitative data, you don’t have a complete picture of the content that really works.
Use the content analysis available on your sales training platform to understand what content is being used and what is related to closed revenue. With this data, you can eliminate unused content and invest more in creating content that can be used to close transactions.
Have a good time
If you want to align sales and product marketing, it’s important to focus on things like strategic planning and creating collaborative content. But it is also important to build relationships and have fun.
Get the coffee. To have lunch. Celebrate each other’s successes and praise them when they come.
Finally, remember that alignment starts from the top. The way product marketing and sales leaders interact and collaborate sets the tone for the collaboration of these two teams.
Aligning product marketing and sales training is crucial for the success of both teams, but also the organization as a whole. If these two teams are not aligned, your salespeople will not be able to offer better shopping experiences and close more deals.