Episode 8: Sales and Product w/Thomas Nordén

12 May, 2020 / Host: Magnus Billgren

Unlocking Sales Success: Strategies for Winning Over Your Sales Team

Product managers often complain about the lack of support from the sales team when it comes to promoting a new product. However, according to Thomas Nordén, this is usually because the product team has not done its job properly. In a recent episode of The Productbeats Show, Nordén shared four key activities to get sales reps to love your product:
  1. Get your story straight: The sales and marketing teams need a clear understanding of the value logic in your product story. Use tools such as the Value Tree to make it happen.
  2. Do a competitive lab: Set up a lab where the sales team can try your product and your competitor's product. Create user journeys to help them experience the value of your product.
  3. Go on a date with your sales rep: Try to get to know your sales team. What are their challenges? How do they feel about the job? Find out how you can help them deliver a better job.
  4. Find an ambassador: Identify someone in the sales team who can act as an ambassador for your product. Invest time and resources in him/her to secure success.

Get Your Story Straight

Your product story is the foundation of your sales and marketing efforts. It's how you communicate to potential customers what your product does, why it's better than your competitors, and why they should buy it. A clear and compelling product story can help you:
  • Differentiate your product from the competition
  • Connect with customers on an emotional level
  • Simplify complex features and benefits
  • Improve sales and marketing messaging
  • Increase customer engagement and retention

But creating a great product story is easier said than done. It requires a deep understanding of your customers, their needs and pain points, and how your product can help solve their problems. It also requires a clear understanding of your product's unique value proposition and how it stacks up against the competition.

Tools such as the Value Tree can help you get your story straight and ensure that everyone on your sales and marketing teams is on the same page.

Do a Competitive Lab

One of the best ways to get your sales team to love your product is to have them experience it firsthand. This can be accomplished through a competitive lab where your sales team can try your product alongside your competitors' products. By doing so, your team can get a sense of the value your product provides in comparison to the competition, which can help them better understand the unique selling points of your product.'

To set up a competitive lab, you'll need to have both your product and your competitors' products available for testing. You'll also need to create user journeys that highlight the features and benefits of your product, as well as the areas where it outperforms the competition. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as guided tours, video demonstrations, or hands-on testing.

Date Your Sales Rep

In the world of sales, the relationship between sales reps and product managers can be critical. However, these two teams are often separated by a gap in communication and understanding. As a product manager, it is important to get to know your sales team, understand their challenges, and help them deliver their best work. One effective way to do this is by going on a "date" with your sales reps.

When we say "date," we don't mean romantic dinner or a movie. Instead, we mean a one-on-one conversation where you can get to know your sales rep and their work. By building a relationship with your sales rep, you can learn more about their day-to-day challenges, the problems they face, and their interactions with customers. In turn, you can use this information to make improvements to your product or provide better support for your sales team.

To make the most of your "date," it is important to come prepared with some questions and topics to discuss. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
  1. What are your biggest challenges when selling our product?
  2. How can we improve the product to better meet the needs of your customers?
  3. What features or benefits do you think our product is missing?
  4. How do you think we can better support you in your sales efforts?
  5. What feedback have you received from customers about the product?

During your conversation, be sure to actively listen to your sales rep and take notes. By doing so, you can demonstrate your commitment to improving the product and supporting your sales team. Additionally, you can use the information you gather to identify trends and opportunities for improvement.

By going on a "date" with your sales rep, you can build a stronger relationship with your team and gain valuable insights into the needs of your customers. When you take the time to listen to your sales team and support their efforts, you can help ensure that your product is successful in the market.

Find an Ambassador

Finding an ambassador within your sales team can be a powerful tool to increase your product's success. An ambassador is someone who truly believes in the product and is passionate about promoting it. By investing time and resources into this individual, you can create a ripple effect that can positively impact the rest of the sales team.

Here are some steps you can take to find the right ambassador for your product:
  1. Identify potential candidates: Look for someone in your sales team who is already performing well and has a strong understanding of the product. This person should also have good communication and leadership skills.
  2. Set up a meeting: Schedule a one-on-one meeting with the potential ambassador to discuss their thoughts on the product and their vision for how it could be improved.
  3. Listen and learn: Listen to the potential ambassador's feedback and ideas, and take them seriously. Ask open-ended questions to learn more about their challenges and goals.
  4. Provide support: Offer support and resources to the ambassador to help them succeed. This could include additional training, marketing materials, or access to product development teams.
  5. Celebrate success: Celebrate the ambassador's successes and recognize their contributions to the team. This can create a positive culture and encourage others to become more involved in promoting the product.

By investing in an ambassador for your product, you can create a powerful force within your sales team that can help drive success. This individual can become a valuable resource for the rest of the team, sharing their knowledge and experience to help everyone achieve their goals.


While it's true that having the best product is not the only factor that determines success, it is important to get sales reps to adopt and love your product. Nordén suggests that the key to winning over sales reps is to earn their trust. To do so, you need to get into their hearts and minds by understanding their values, customs, and challenges.

Earning trust can be done by providing answers to relevant questions, building a positive track record, and getting endorsements from within the organization, especially from sales reps. Finally, be genuinely interested in your sales reps, and tailor your strategy to fit your organization's size and structure.

If you want to learn more about how to become a successful product manager and earn the trust and love of your sales team, consider enrolling in The Productbeats Product Management Certification Program. This program offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers everything from ideation to launch, including hands-on training, coaching, and mentoring from industry experts. With a focus on practical skills and real-world experience, this program will help you become a product management superstar.
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