When to hire for a CE Manager?

When’s the right time to hire someone focused on competitive enablement?

A friend and PMM leader asked me this question, and here was my response.

It would be one of my first 3 hires.

And here’s why…

When a lot of companies think about competitive enablement, they perceive most of the job to be around collecting and analyzing competitive intel.

More focused on collecting a lot of competitive data, analyzing what it all means, and sharing that with executive decision makers or in strategy conversations.

For a PMM leader with more pressing needs, it can seem like a nice to have, more than a need. Especially if you aren't feeling the pain of missing big competitor news, being blindsided by new solutions entering the market, losing market share to competitors, etc.

But when I think of Brandon (our CE Manager), the majority of his time is actually spent enabling our sales, marketing, and product teams on how to differentiate.

Collection and analysis is a part of his job, no doubt, but a means to:

  • helping the marketing team figure out our positioning and messaging
  • creating differentiated messaging and talk tracks for the sales team
  • partnering with the AEs on competitive deals
  • helping our product team understand competitor strengths and weaknesses

It becomes a critical messaging and enablement role that's laser-focused on competitive differentiation.

And if you lose any % of deals to competitors, that's needed all the time.

And because Brandon is doing this work, our exec team looks to him as the competitive expert, so he's always getting looped into those strategic conversations as well.

So yes, I’m probably 100% biased because I work for Klue, but if I was to start another PMM team at another startup I would think about bringing a CE Manager on pretty early.

It certainly depends on the org, what we're being asked to support, the nature of our product, etc. — but I’d make it one of my first 3 hires for sure.

What do you think?

PS. If you’re looking to build a case for this role internally, shoot me a DM. I’m happy to help.