In every meeting or interaction, there’s one aspect that is even more important than the content being presented – that’s how you present and articulate the content. From the words you use, the energy you bring, and the consistency with which you bring them, these things all matter and can make or break an interaction.
We’ve all read the articles on managing up, but honestly? Most of these focus on the wrong stuff.
Managing up needs to be more focused on how you and your team are perceived in the workplace and what value you bring to the company. And by focusing on how you present yourself and your team, you can grow your relationship with your go-to-market (GTM) leaders.
1. You Own the Interaction, so Act Accordingly
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who called the meeting.
If you are presenting the information at a meeting, you own that meeting.
The perception of you begins when you start the meeting, and the energy of that meeting needs to be controlled by you – you are responsible for making everyone in that meeting excited about the content you are presenting. A great way to do so is to treat it as a sales pitch, tell a story of how your team is solving a pain in the company. This will better engage your audience rather than simply reading through bullet points.
2. Be Knowledgeable, but Concise
So often we consume knowledge, learn all we need to know about a particular topic in order to really understand and succeed. While this is important to the job, this isn’t important to the meeting. Presenting information in a word vomit isn’t going to grab the attention of the leaders. It will only prevent a successful outcome.
Leaders won’t always be as interested in how you got there. They’ll care most about outcomes — how your work is boosting results like sales productivity.
One good way to think about this is to strip away what’s unnecessary. If you’re presenting on funnel metrics, it’s easy to get carried away with the number of data points you’re presenting. You might instead consider breaking those metrics into two levels. In level one, you have basic metrics, such as meetings booked, meetings held, pipeline created, etc.
When these metrics don’t tell the full story, you might have to go one level deeper. Level two metrics introduce conversion rates and quality metrics like average sales cycle. In these meetings, it’s important to know when your audience needs level one or level two KPIs.
3. Tie the Work You’re Doing Back into Business Results
Ideally, when you’ve worked with GTM leaders, you’ve prioritized certain projects and set goals based on those priorities. But when you go to present the work you’ve done, it means nothing if you can’t tie it back into business results.
Priority number one for any leader is to grow their business and see results, so if you can link your projects back to results, this proves you and your team’s value to the company.
Bonus: Recap at the End of Interactions
At the end of the interaction, have every person involved point out two things that went well and two things that could have been improved. This isn’t about nitpicking at the presenter, but it provides a learning experience to improve every interaction and enables them to be more impressionable and productive than the last.
These interactions are all about making a lasting impression on your GTM leaders (and, of course, creating positive outcomes for the company). By owning your interactions, being concise and knowledgeable, and tying your work back into business results, you can make sure that GTM leaders know you and your team are valuable assets to the company.