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What does it mean to be a Product Evangelist?

September 1, 2022

Sales People

What does it mean to be a Product Evangelist?

You may have heard the term "Product Evangelist" before, but what does it actually mean? In short, it's someone who is passionate about a product and its potential. Here's why being a Product Evangelist is a great career move.

Productevangelis, Product Team, B2B Sales, Product Jobs

Linda Ochwada - Product Evangelist at Dealcode

During the late 1990s internet boom, the term “evangelism” became a business buzzword. Guy Kawasaki, Apple’s second software evangelist, was instrumental in popularising the term. The concept is straightforward: Evangelism is derived from a Greek word that roughly translates as “to proclaim the good news”. This is the process of explaining how your product or service can improve people’s lives.

Introduction: What is a Product Evangelist?

A product evangelist speaks on behalf of a product because they believe in it and what it can benefit clients.

Business owners are frequently the most remarkable evangelists for their companies. This is because they believe in the success of their product and often speak to stakeholders and employees to persuade them of its value. Product "fans" are also the best evangelists; they see the product's potential to change the world—or at least a significant portion of it.

They are active promoters of a company or product and spread a positive message about the product to persuade others to use or purchase a product. Because they directly address the target audience, product evangelists provide more value to a company than traditional marketing and sales. They advocate for the brand’s cause and contribute to its popularity and success.

By giving testimonials about the product’s helpfulness and impact, consumers can act as product evangelists. Enthusiastic employees who understand the value of a product and what it can provide consumers can be excellent product evangelists too. Their goal is to inform others about the product’s benefits so that they can improve certain aspects of their lives.

Why is it essential to have Product Evangelists?

Product evangelists can be a valuable asset to a company because they are an effective form of advertising. They strongly believe in a product's quality and the benefits it can provide to clients. This passion can motivate team members to perform well in their roles, knowing they are contributing to creating a valuable product that benefits consumers.

A product evangelist who genuinely believes in its product can assist it in achieving long-term success by pitching the products or services to potential stakeholders, including new employees who are learning to appreciate the company's vision.

Evangelists are on the Front Lines of Marketing. What does a Product Evangelist do?

  1. Promote the product’s features: When evangelising for your product, emphasise how well it meets, if not exceeds, the client's expectations. Products that are exceptional, complete, user-friendly and impactful are easier to evangelise. Unique products have features that set them apart from their competitors and are user-friendly. An evangelist of these products has to anticipate what the client wants regarding features and customisation options; this will help meet the client’s expectations. With a positive impact on clients, you will have a lot of success stories and satisfied customers that will get you more clients. These customers will be inclined towards trying the product as well.
  2. Position the product as a “cause: Position the product as something you believe in by identifying how the product embodies the company’s values. Evangelists are typically enthusiastic about the brands they promote and devote themselves to using those brands above all others. Customers may choose your product if you demonstrate that you genuinely believe in what you're advertising.
  3. Embrace the product: The essential trait of an evangelist is that the individual adores the product and exudes an infectious enthusiasm for it. The Evangelist is an expert on the product. She is technically proficient, business-savvy, and articulate.
  4. Simplify the pitch: Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” A great evangelist can explain even the most complex product in simple terms.
Product evangelists should focus on making the products successful, not on increasing their personal brand and ego. That’s fundamental. - Guy Kawasaki

Who needs a Product Evangelist?

An evangelist can work for a large corporation or a small business. Understanding the responsibilities and challenges of each can help you prepare for the various tasks that each entails.

The startup product evangelist: When entrepreneurs start a business, they are usually enthusiastic about their product or service. This passion can be effective on its own, but it can also benefit from the assistance of a product evangelist. Because the startup typically lacks a public reputation, the evangelist's goal is to highlight the benefits of supporting these businesses and believing in their future success.

Enterprise product evangelist: Priorities can shift as a startup transition from startup to enterprise status. The evangelist's role in this environment is closely related to marketing and sales. They instil passion in customers and employees by creating an inspiring product story that evokes a strong connection.

How do you become an Influential Product Evangelist for your Company?

  1. Please focus on the problem, not the product: Efficacious product evangelists emphasise the issues that their products can help solve to improve their clients' lives. For example, an AI sales software ( Dealcode) determines the winning probability of prospects as well as the risks of the sales pipeline. Their product evangelist targets salespeople - sales reps and managers who want to rank prospects according to the likelihood of closure. Promote the product as the best solution to the salespeople's problem.
  2. Works without standard metrics or reports: Because evangelism is a relatively new job, there aren't always clear metrics to demonstrate success. As a result, you may frequently work with no metrics or reports to refer to. Setting clear goals for yourself, communicating expectations, and openly discussing your activities and outcomes are all best practices for an evangelist.
  3. Work independently: Product Evangelists frequently communicate with department executives but keep a distance from day-to-day company operations. Clients may believe that the evangelist promotes the product because they genuinely enjoy it. As a result, brand ambassadorship may become more effective.
  4. Grow a community: An influential evangelist recognises the importance of community in successful marketing. This marketing strategy should include email lists, social media, webinars, meet-ups, events and other platforms. Engage with your followers directly and consistently to retain current customers and attract new ones.
  5. Connect the “inside” with the “outside”: Product evangelists have the opportunity to provide valuable customer feedback to other teams or department executives when communicating with them. They bring direct feedback, experience, and testimonials from satisfied customers to the development team or executives. For example, a product evangelist can conduct interviews, monitor clients' reactions and usage, and report to the development, sales and marketing teams.

Conclusion

Product evangelists focus on marketing strategy, product development, and consumer communication.

They will never be successful unless they are credible and regarded as experts on their product. They are straightforward, helpful, and genuinely want to help. In some ways, it comes down to the rule of reciprocity: what you wish for others is what you want for yourself. Above all, the evangelist must be trustworthy and honest to be effective.

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