Today, I would like to talk about something I call "Sales Friction". It is the phenomenon where if you have more than one product to be sold by your sales team, inevitably, one (or more) will get less attention. There are many causes of this. Perhaps one has a longer, more involved sales process. Maybe the sales team is better suited to selling one product line (matched with their expertise or confidence). Or, it can be as simple that one product is significantly lower in price, and hence they have to sell more of it to meet their quota. Regardless of the reason, as marketers, we need to lubricate the sales process to reduce the friction experienced in the sales process.Add a comment
In a prior post, I went on somewhat of a rant about sales needing to have some level of knowledge of the product and how it works. I mean, if you don't know what it is we do, how can you match it to your customer's needs? But I don't believe that sales must know every technical detail of the product.Add a comment
As a product manager, we get to work very closely with engineering leadership. In all my years of experience, at several different companies, I have come to define two classifications for engineering managers*. The first is a "manager first", who relies on his team to develop and cogitate the design and iterations of the product until it meets the requirements. They know that they are in their role to ensure adequate resources (money, equipment, talent, manpower) for the project to be successful, and to trust the team to gel and deliver a product.
The second type is more of an engineer than a manager. They are intimately involved with the product and the technology. They insert themselves at every step of the design and development phase. They insist upon being part of every design decision, every DSP, DAC/ADC, FPGA decision that needs to be made. They will insist that only they know enough to write the firmware for a video interface driver. (I could go on for dozens of pages of examples) In short, they want to be an engineer just like the rest of the team (but more of a "super engineer").Add a comment
Forget what you have read, Dinosaurs still walk the earth, and are among us even today. The Jurassic period has been extended to the present time. I am talking of course about "Marketing Dinosaurs". Odds are good that you know one of them in person. These are people who seem mired in the last century's marketing technology. Direct mail, bingo/response cards, full page ads in trade rags, and the all important, 8 page, full glossy product brochure with lots of fluffy claims that even a dog would have trouble stomaching.Add a comment
I read a blog the other day that was interesting. Its premise was that developers should always have the fastest, best hardware to minimize down time. Waiting 12 seconds to compile a module was too long, and encouraged the developer's attention to stray to Reddit, or some other time sink, and then they would lose a half hour. To reduce this tendency, developers should have wicked awesome machines to reduce this tendency.Add a comment
I have never been a big fan of pricing promotions. Being in the B2B realm, and a market that is "niche"-y means that pricing and elasticity are a little weird. I make an exception when it is desirable to capture share from a competitor, or if you are phasing out a product and need to liquidate inventory. But, to slash prices on your main line products is a bit suicidal.
Outside of my purview, the powers that be were brainstorming on how to increase the funnel, and to drive more sales. It seems that the only serious idea considered was to do a "pricing promotion" on a couple of our products that were laggards in sales. Not a terrible idea, but not great either.Add a comment
Product Management in an organization sits at a unique confluence of groups. We quite literally have our fingers on the pulse of sales, marketing, engineering and development, operations, and management. From such a perch, we have a bird's eye view of the real status of the organization's health. However, that carries some risks as well as benefit.
Often it is a great place to be. You are literally at the crossroads of all the functional power in an organization. You can see that a marketing program is not performing as expected, the eastern European rep is just not closing orders, that the DSP board is having nearly 40% incoming failure rates. You can help nudge things (or apply a jackhammer when needed) to get the course back on track.Add a comment
As a product marketer, I am heavily involved in webinars. I give both internal facing (training related, product launch etc) and external facing (launch, application, and industry sponsored) webinars. I also attend a lot of them, both from our company, as well as all the competitors webinars (when I don't get kicked off).
I have some observations that I have made from all these webinars that should help you avoid pitfalls.Add a comment