Egress Solutions Product & Innovation Management Blog

Top 10 Product Sales Questions Every Product Manager Needs to Answer

Passing the Knowledge - Find your Answers to the Top 10 Product Sales Questions

It isn’t easy for a group of product and marketing to pass their accumulated knowledge to the company’s sales force.  For many, doing so is unfamiliar territory. Why? Because the motivations and perceptions of a successful sales force is orthogonal to product marketing functions.

Let’s take a look at why this is.

Prior to my career as a product manager, I was a quota-carrying, territory-based sales guy in business-to-business accounts. I was on the receiving end of product management training many times. Of course, the product managers are enthusiastic—they need to be, but I didn't like the training because they weren't answering the Top 10 Sales Questions.

Most product managers understand their products inside and out; they have deep product knowledge and they’re usually pretty good at translating techie-speak into value propositions. What product managers do not understand is that this knowledge alone is insufficient for motivating the sales representative to get it sold.

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Why Do You Need An Interlocked Product Lifecycle Approach

How many times have you heard the word “interlock” in a software company? The concept is simple, but few know what it is and even fewer know how to launch products interlocked across the entire company. Yet, it is probably one of the most important processes you can master, especially for early stage companies.

The concept of interlock is simple: you launch your product or service only after your entire company—from campaign to cash and everything in between, including go-to-market, sell, deliver, implement, support and manage revenue—is ready, and interlocked, in support of the business objectives.

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Onboarding for Product Management

A few years ago, a friend of mine recommended the book TopGrading by Brad Smart, Ph.D. One “a-ha” moment for me was the cost of hiring and retaining a team member that doesn’t work out (or is retained for less than two years). The costs are staggering; $100,000 for every $10,000 of compensation.

I won’t bore you with the arithmetic as you can refer to the book, but I’ve found that proper onboarding results in a real payoff. Onboarding is the fair and equitable way to tell our product leaders and managers, “We want you to be successful”. It also identifies issues early and provides a path to correct them.

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