The Product Marketing Problem You Didn’t Know You Had

June 01, 2020 | Written by Kolby Tallentire

Sales professionals tend to get a bad rep in the B2B world. After all, when things go wrong, it’s easy to blame the guy or gal who sold the deal in the first place. Who amongst us hasn’t heard the complaint that salespeople make promises they can’t keep and sell features that don’t exist?

The truth is that, in many cases, salespeople sell exactly what they’ve been trained to sell. They are not product experts, nor should they be. Their number one focus is to bring new revenue through the door. The problem often stems from the people creating the messaging that salespeople use; those who are doing everything in their power to make the products or services you’re selling look as shiny and enticing as possible–the product marketers.

Where Product Marketing Goes Wrong

Now before I get a slew of marketers banging down my door in outrage, I should mention that I am a product marketer myself. The fact that I am in this position makes me infinitely more aware of the issue at hand. I’m not saying that marketers are the bad guys (we’re a pretty fun bunch). It’s just that in B2B, especially in B2B SaaS, it’s easy to create a narrative that sounds great in theory, but differs significantly from what your product can actually deliver. One slightly elevated product description leads to another until you lose the very essence of what your company does. It’s a trap that many companies fall into.

In the world of product marketing, you’re always going to position your value in the best way possible. I’m not telling you to throw marketing out the door. But if you want to retain and grow your customers, you have to be able to deliver on the promises made on your website, in your one pagers, and through your sales reps. In order to ensure long term success, you must position outcomes that your customers can truly achieve.

Marketing Achievable Outcomes

In order to create tight alignment between how you market and what your product can deliver, your marketing, product, and sales teams must work hand in hand. MetaCX makes this easy by offering the ability to define, document, and collaborate around the desired outcomes you position to potential buyers. These outcomes can then be shared with prospects within a branded, shared space called a bridge as a way to create alignment in the sales cycle.

To do this at scale, product marketers can create bridge templates that outline the specific outcomes you know are relevant to various segments and ideal customer profiles. Your marketing team can then work with those in product to determine the specific steps you (as the supplier) and your buyers will need to take to ensure outcome achievement.

What makes it all come together is that after a deal closes, within that same bridge the customer can see how they are tracking against outcome achievement. The value you positioned in marketing and sales is used as a map to success for delivery teams, and data derived from your product and other sources can tell you (and the customer) if you’re delivering on the promises you made. It’s a completely transparent end-to-end solution.

By positioning outcomes that you know your customers can achieve, you can remove the perception that salespeople and marketers make empty promises. It’s time your whole company starts working together to position the real value you offer.

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