The Importance of Aligning Your Product and Sales Teams – Digital product development agency

Keeping your product and sales teams in sync means more efficiency and greater benefits for your whole company

If you talk with or are a part of B2B product organizations, you’ll eventually learn about how effectively the product and sales teams work together. In the best-case scenario, the product and sales teams collaborate closely, negotiating current needs with future strategy, and technical viability with ground-breaking ideation. In less ideal situations, the working relationship between product managers and salespeople can be fraught with tension and friction, as each role’s needs are seen as in direct opposition to the other’s.

Let’s compare and contrast the two roles in an all-too-neat way, for argument’s sake:

Product managers often gather product feedback from a minimum of two sources: intentional user/market research, testing, prototyping, and news from the field via sales. The benefit product managers have is in the more formal and targeted feedback gathering approach. They synthesize the data to generate user personas, working with designers to approach changes in UI and UX to change behavior outcomes in their existing customers, and with developers to determine the technical viability of their proposed solutions.

Salespeople and account managers gather feedback directly from the customers they’ve spent their time and energy building relationships with in order to sell their products. Their feedback sources usually come from their customers’ business owners or decision-makers that are thinking about how the product affects their company’s bottom line—both pre and post-purchase.

A pejorative way of looking at this comparison is that product folks are strategic and long-term-driven, and sales folks are tactical and short-term-driven. Rather, it’s better to think about each role as gathering data from different sources and validating each other’s feedback in the interest of achieving their company’s business outcomes.

I reject the notion that sales and product management should be in opposition. Instead, I think their partnership sits on fertile soil for which amazing results can be grown. Here are just a few ways sales and product management can enable each other’s success.

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