So what’s the answer? It’s not glamorous, but it’s imperative – sales and marketing must come together to establish a blueprint for success. In a methodical manner, they need to hammer out the processes, messages, and strategies for pulling prospects in and getting them to buy.
A huge contribution to outcomes is to be the expert on your buyers. Product marketing managers are often confined to the four walls of their offices with little contact with real buyers in the market. Set a quota that requires them to interact with potential buyers, outside the office and write up what they learn. Start with eight or ten per quarter. These are interactions that are not conducted as part of a sales call.
When you are tasked with managing a niche product, you need to be careful that your profit margins don’t get eaten alive by your distribution costs. Since you will be sending small numbers of products to lots of different customers, these costs can quickly spiral out of control.
What essential parts do you envision yourself contributing as product management? This is a question I have asked myself and those in teams over the years. Take some time to regularly ask yourself how you are participating, supporting and contributing in your role. Then take a look at the team around you. This is a great starting point.
That’s the power of one data point. If you care to look, a single data point or case is an incredibly rich story. Just listen to the story, tease out the logic within it, and you’ll learn more than by attempting to listen to fifty stories and fitting them all into the same 10-variable codification scheme