You need sales to sell, there’s no argument there. But how can you arm your sales team in the best way possible? A resource sales training often overlooks comes from the marketing department.
Product marketing should be instrumental to sales training but sometimes lacks a consistent channel of communication with sales. This can cause disconnects, particularly during product updates and product launches. An effective relationship between sales and product marketing means your sales reps are leveraging solution messaging crafted by product experts. This allows reps sell more confidently, as they are armed with accurate information and answers to tough questions.
Better prepared reps close more deals and drive more revenue.
So how do you keep channels of communication open between product marketing and sales? How do you ensure sales uses the valuable tools provided by product marketers? Use your sales training and follow these guidelines:
1. Establish a Cadence
If you’re involved in sales excellence, you likely report to a different manager than product marketing. Booking regular monthly and quarterly meetings helps build a culture of collaboration. Create a formula for your meetings — product roadmap updates, sales discovery intel, product launch changes, etc. Structure helps both teams work together and anticipate when to involve one another in training, client engagements, or content creation.
A collaborative cadence is the foundation for a good working relationship.
2. Open a Channel
Tools can help facilitate better communication. Shared calendars help you keep up with what’s on product marketing’s plate, for example. Another tool to leverage is sales training software. Maybe you’re using it already, but if you haven’t considered opening it up to your product marketing team, you should.
Product marketing teams complete important market research and answer questions like:
- What pain points are customers experiencing?
- What differentiates your product?
- Who are the right buyer personas for your business?
Not only is this mission-critical information, it’s the kind of stuff your sales reps should be able to recite in their sleep. Instead of recreating the wheel, start sourcing sales training material from product marketing generated content. Better yet, encourage product marketers to share training materials directly into a sales training platform.
While this is especially critical during, say, product launches, incorporating this into your process on a regular basis will help solidify the relationship, and your rep’s knowledge. By the time an actual product launch hits the calendar, this type of collaboration will be a well oiled machine.
3. Mandate Certifications
You’ve got a cadence and you’ve opened a new channel for collaboration. Now, make sure you’re using the right sales training methodology. Sales certifications are one of the most effective ways to know if your sales reps can perform effectively in real life scenarios.
Sales certifications should use content created by product marketing to funnel into sales training opportunities, followed by an assessment of their skills, and application opportunities. For example, LearnCore clients base their sales certification process on the below training methodology.
Involving product marketing directly in sales training ensures messaging consistency and improves efficiency, as sales training doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel on content.
Create a sense of collaboration between sales training and product marketing to ensure every engagement with a prospect or client has the best chance of success.
Want more information on how to implement sales certifications within your organization? Check out last week’s webinar, Marketing & Sales Alignment: Are you sure sales delivers the right message?