Developing the Sales Team & Product Management Relationship for Success – CEO Insights

In this post our CEO Debbie Lawley discusses the development of effective Sales teams, and how the relationship with Product Management is crucial for success.

It depends on the business of course, but sales collaboration with product management is as important as working with the marketing team when it comes to developing the skills of the sales team. Both market intelligence inbound and proposition communication, attack and defence strategies come from product management. Recognising the blend of sales skills, with product knowledge is fundamental in developing impactful sales team development programmes.

Sales and product management success through collaboration

Supporting excellence in sales competence

I recently blogged on the development of sales teams and how, all too often, their skills development needs are a low priority. Of course, sales teams have to be led by targets, and yet well applied effort in developing the skills of sales teams can have the most rapid impact on company results.

The issue here though is that impact on sales targets through skills development comes from contributions from a number of quarters, not just from external sales trainers. The most successful programmes bring together experienced sales champions within the business, sales skills specialists, product management and programme delivery capability. The best of these are via the optimal blend of contributing parties, working together .

WillowDNA is currently delivering a number of sales development programmes, working with Kojo – a specialist company focusing on blended programmes. This combination is getting exceptional feedback. Why? Largely because we aim to work in the shoes of the learners, those sales people for whom results are key to the business, key to their customers and key to their businesses.

Kojo plans the programme by starting with a tailored value chain, one which is results focused but then shows the relationship between the knowledge flow and the outcomes.

Developing the sales and product management relationship

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Working with the client, we workshop the value chain for their context in order to arrive at the programme design that will hit the mark for that customer. This helps then to build the most effective programmes, pulling together the correct competence. The blend of online assets, e-learning together with well-focused launch workshops to build engagement and interest.

Developing great sales teams relies on understanding the current context. Understanding the maturity of the sales team is a key starting point. To give you a brief insight, try taking a sample of one of our diagnostics – the Sales Maturity Test (opens an interactive PDF).


For more information on our approach to supporting sales development through online and blended learning, please contact or call +44 (0)117 370 7735.