“We’re All In Sales”
My guest on the pod today is John Simmons.
John is not a product manager. But he represents one of our most important “customers” – I’m using air quotes – he’s VP of North America Sales for Methodics, at Perforce.
The sales team is our #1 most important ally in a successful go to market campaign. Even if you don’t have marketing, you have to have sales. But, as I’ve discussed before – and as we’ll go into in great depth in this interview – sales can’t be successful without good “product knowledge” – I’ll define that a little more later – and product management has that product knowledge.
John started his career in high tech as an engineer at Memorex, but soon was challenged – as you’ll hear – to get into Sales.
John loves startups, and has been at many both successful and unsuccessful, as well as two long stints at Dassault Systeme, a giant French software company that builds many different kinds of software related to manufacturing of all kinds.
I worked with John many years ago at Accept Software. I’ve mentioned Accept many times on this show because it was a great tool for product managers, but unfortunately the company was unsuccessful. That failure drove both John and me to some introspection and research about why and how products fail, even ones that customers love.
In this episode we start to get answers to the following key questions:
- What should product managers know about Sales that you think it’s likely they don’t know?
- What information do Product Managers have that you think they need to do a better job of communicating to Sales?
- What information does Sales have that product management would love to get their hands on, but they’re not asking?
- And much more, including the book he’s working on
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