By Amanda Wynne
You’ve prepared your product launch for weeks. Careful market analysis led to a great business plan. The business plan was put into effect with a ready-to-ship product. Your marketing plan took shape, and you’re ready to unleash your marketing and tell the world!
Press release? Check. Social strategy? Tweet. Marketing content update? Check.
But if you run marketing for a B2B company, there’s a key element for any product launch. That’s sales enablement. Your sales team is not only a primary revenue driver, they are also often the number one channel for marketing communications. So, it’s critical that you equip them with sales enablement tools that make them effective.
2018 is the year of Sales Enablement. So many marketers and sales leaders are hearing the call. But there is so much more than just alerting the sales team that a new product is ready to launch. Let’s walk through the 5 most overlooked elements:
1. Sales Training
Your sales team will be in customer meetings talking about your new product. Do they know how to respond to competitive threats? Do they know what messages will resonate?
Effective sales enablement depends on helping sales teams engage with prospects under tight timelines and pressure. And that requires good sales training. But as studies have shown, most sales training is not retained mere days after a training session.
Focus on the key elements in your training — value propositions and where to access supporting materials. That way even though training gets forgotten, they’ll know where they can access refresher materials.
2. Content to Support Selling
You know that content is important to the sales process. And new or revised content is generally part of your product launch program. But the challenge with helping sales teams message correctly is to make sure they have access to the materials.
So, don’t just produce a great datasheet and put in on the sales portal. Make sure that it is easily accessible to sales people. Or better yet, put in place tools that push great content to your sales team at the right time based on their sales situations.
3. Internal Guidance
Effective sales people know how to message correctly in any sales situation. They have the right sales enablement information to confront competitive threats. They know key value propositions to use in different scenarios with prospects. And they know who to call on for product expertise.
But as your sales process gets more complex — say as new products get added – it becomes more difficult for sales people to know how to respond on the fly. Give your sales team quick access to cheat sheets, scripts, and other techniques and guidance that help them to sell your new offer more effectively.
4. Follow-On Case Studies
You’ve got your product launched and you’ve produced case studies with early customers as part of your launch. But those case studies are likely more of the “why did we choose this product” variety rather than hard-core ROI.
Now that your product is out in the market and being used by customers, make sure to step up your case study game. As long as I’ve been in marketing few things are more welcomed by sales people from marketing than a good case study. And the best kind shows real-world ROI.
So set a calendar reminder after the launch is done to produce new data-driven case studies. And make sure your sales team can quickly access them as part of the sales process.
5. Always-Learning Materials
Sales people are most effective at selling products that they’re comfortable with. If your training and sales enablement materials aren’t caught by sales people they’ll become progressively less comfortable with messaging your new product. That means fewer meetings with prospects about the product — and less sales.
Sales people are most effective at selling products that they’re comfortable with.
Help sales out by pushing relevant training materials and supporting content to the team. When a new prospect emerges that has characteristics that match your product’s sweet spot (say, right persona and organization type) you should push relevant content to them. That way there’s no need to know what to search for — you’re giving them relevant materials to use.
Effective Product Launch = Sales Enablement
A great product launch is for nothing if there’s no selling. Look to get a great sales enablement program off the ground so your new product launch gets the revenue you’ve planned for.
You may also be interested in: