Your company is launching a new product. You’ve slaved for months to create an integrated communication, marketing and sales strategy and now comes the day of the Big Launch. What do you need to do to make sure your product launch does not fall on deaf ears?
Here are four essential factors for ensuring that your next product launch is the most impactful in your company’s history.
1. Get Everyone Involved
The first mistake companies make is to “involve” salespeople only through training them on the new product’s features and messaging. That’s because product marketing delivers fully fledged messaging and materials to sales with a “ta da” flourish. But even if product marketing has spent time with customers as part of their voice-of-the-customer (VOC) research (see below for more on this subject), it’s the sales reps who talk to prospects and customers every single day. They are in the best position to bring to light the real-life problems that customers are looking to solve. Not to mention, they are the ones who will choose to use – or not use – the sales tools that marketing develops. So involve salespeople in product launch message development and story creation. Not only will you benefit from their perspective, but getting their “fingerprints on the gun” creates ownership and breeds passion that will close the sale.
2. Launch Your Product with a Compelling Story
When you build your new product, you focus on developing the required and desired features. But when you launch the product, it’s a whole different story. Literally.
When you launch a new product, you are asking prospects to make a change. Listing all the cool new features of the product, however, is simply not enough – even if your VOC research tells you that it is. You need to make a compelling case for why the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.
3. Tell Your Story Effectively with Visual Tools
Once you have the story, you need the tools to help you tell that story in the most effective way. And given the way our brains work, you need to ditch the lengthy white papers and the dog-and-pony-show PowerPoint presentations in favor of visual tools, such as whiteboarding, that foster the interactive conversations that prospects want.
4. Fuel Your Salespeople with Effective Training
In order to plan for a successful product launch, you need to recognize a few things about salespeople. Salespeople are just-in-time learners, and they’re coin-operated. The faster you accept these two truths, the better you can prepare for the most impactful product launch of your career.
That means that training needs to be more than just teaching the new product. You need to teach your sales force the discipline and patience of working through the “why change” discussion with prospects. And you need to teach them to tell the story with new storytelling skills and visual tools. And don’t forget that practice makes perfect.
At Corporate Visions, we help companies prepare for successful product launches with our portfolio of solutions.