This topic has occupied my mind for quite a while now. I’ve come across numerous instances where individuals in the developer relations realm express a palpable aversion towards collaborating with, or even acknowledging the value of, their counterparts in marketing and sales. During a recent stint in product marketing, I noticed the unmistakable air of superiority emanating from the developer relations team within the engineering circle.
Building successful relationships within an organisation is a vital element for achieving collective goals and fostering a harmonious work environment. When it comes to the dynamic intersection of community and developer advocacy with sales and marketing, the cultivation of mutual respect and collaboration becomes even more critical. Understanding the intricacies of each role and the value it brings to the table is key to leveraging the collaboration between these teams and enhancing the overall success of the company.
Developer advocates and community managers play a pivotal role in raising awareness of the product, nurturing a thriving developer community, and fostering meaningful customer engagement. However, to effectively carry out these responsibilities, it is imperative to establish strong internal and external relationships. In the context of the organisation, this entails fostering an understanding and appreciation of the work done by the sales and business development teams, and vice versa.
The journey needs to start off by building strong relationships with the sales and business development teams and begins with an emphasis on education and alignment. Onboarding and educating sales personnel about the nuances of developer advocacy can significantly impact their ability to understand the unique needs and challenges faced by developers and the community. This facilitates a more comprehensive approach to engaging with potential customers and partners.
I’ve found that by taking the time to understand what the sales leaders’ goals are for their regions, is it awareness, expansion or ground breaking and then working alongside the marketing team to target those with a community focus leads to the desired outcome for all.
Aligning both the sales and community teams and educating them about the outreach efforts that are being undertaken in the community is essential. This alignment helps create a cohesive strategy that integrates the insights gained from community interactions into the sales and marketing efforts. By sharing the knowledge garnered from the community, the sales and marketing teams can tailor their approach to resonate with the developer community, thereby fostering a more meaningful and effective engagement process.
Fostering a culture of mutual learning and respect from within the organisation is key. Encouraging both the community and sales teams to learn from each other’s experiences, challenges, and successes can significantly enhance the collective understanding of the target audience and market landscape. This cross-pollination of ideas and insights can lead to the development of more innovative and tailored solutions that address the specific needs and preferences of the developer community. Getting to know those on the ground and listening to the questions they are asked by customers and potential clients helps again your strategy for content creation, perhaps even highlighting areas to fix documentation or create new tutorials that those sales teams can use in their conversations.
In this collaborative environment, leveraging data-driven decision-making tools is crucial. Using similar analytical tools across both teams enables the demonstration of data-driven insights and the impact of community engagement on the sales and marketing strategies. For example, if your organisation uses Salesforce, then all your community campaigns and activities should be in there under its own community campaign, thereby showing marketing and sales the value of the work and spend for digital campaigns, workshops and trade shows. This fosters a culture of accountability and transparency and also aids in identifying key performance indicators that can be used to measure the success and impact of community initiatives on the overall business objectives.
Highlighting the value propositions of the community that can benefit the entire organisation is paramount. Emphasising how the insights gathered from the community can drive product innovation, enhance customer experiences, and build long-term customer loyalty can help the sales and marketing teams recognise the pivotal role played by the community in the overall success of the business.
Building and nurturing respectful relationships between the community and developer advocacy teams and the sales and marketing teams is crucial for fostering a collaborative and harmonious work environment. By fostering mutual learning, leveraging data-driven insights, and highlighting the value of the community, organisations can harness the collective power of these teams to achieve sustainable growth and success for all those involved and this in turn helps the business be successful.