You either look forward to it, or you dread it. For many product managers I know, it’s the latter.
You may get a really bad time slot (after lunch). You may have an audience with an exceptional case of ADHD. Here are some tips to prepare for your presentation – which is most likely going to be a PRODUCT ROADMAP.
- Use the right level of detail – for the sales engineers, customers and techies, they will want to know all the details. For sales, it is best to group the features by theme or functional IMPACT. This is really all that sales cares about.
- Relate the features sets to expected sales impact – never mind the last sentence. What Sales REALLY cares about is sales impact of feature sets. You are not doing yourself any favors if you cannot point at least some of the feature set to requests from high maintenance revenue customers or future revenue that may depend on a feature set.
- Use the right time scale for futures -after you give them details of the imminent release, most will want to see a 12 month road map (never mind 24 – most sales guys may not last that long – sad but true). Also: never but specific dates on your slides – slot things only by quarters or by first or 2nd half of the year. Anything more will only cause you grief from Sales and from R&D.
- Be confident and authoritative – back up your plans with facts – sales talks to prospects and customers – hopefully – every day. They will feel they know the market better than you, and they may be right. But your job is to not take a myopic deal-by-deal view, but a broader view of the market. Hopefully your road map is based on collating a variety of inputs from existing and even potential customers. If you did your homework, make sure the Sales team knows that. They will appreciate it.
So that’s my 4 short tips. Next time, I’ll look at what Product Marketing has to present at Sales meetings.
If you have any tips of your own please share below. Also check out my previous entries on Death by PowerPoint (something to avoid at all cost, especially in Sales meetings).
This post from Dark Side Marketing