The launch of a new product can be an exciting time for a company. Nearly every department has a role and expectations are high.
Leadership describes how sales of the new product will positively impact the company's future and help position the company strategically for long-term success. Excitement is palpable, except in sales, where the launch of the new product is usually accompanied by a newly raised quota.
Unfortunately, an all-too-common result of new product launches is that sales don't live up to those initial expectations. And it's not for lack of effort or product quality.
The Problem with New Products for Sales
Product Development delivers on its promise of a creating a dynamic new solution. Marketing works overtime to provide Sales with everything they think sellers need in order to sell the new product: Details of its features, functions, and benefits, training, pricing, even a flashy PowerPoint presentation with lots of builds and graphics.
Product experts, who know the new product rhyme and verse, are assigned to support sellers for strategic opportunities with important customers. What could possibly go wrong?
The problem usually isn't the product or the sellers who are tasked with selling it. The problem is the process by which the product is launched. Simply assigning quota does little to achieve sales success (just ask anyone in your company's sales force with a quota).
Focus on Benefits, Not Features
And regardless of how well they're communicated via PowerPoint, businesses won't buy the most feature-rich products ever invented unless they can see how those products will help them do one critical thing: Solve their business problems.
When companies bring a new product to the market, sales people really don't need a new quota, or a list of features and benefits. Instead, they need to know the business problems a new product is designed to solve and for whom.
They need information that will help them recognize the ideal customer for the new product by identifying business attributes that would indicate a customer is actually experiencing the problems the new product was designed to address. And they need this information BEFORE the product comes to market.
At AXIOM, we help our clients create a more effective, value-driven relationship between Marketing and Sales. We do this by helping Marketing provide the information needed by Sales to deliver value for both your business and your customers.