A Failure to Launch?

Author: 
Tom Pisello

Many new campaign and product launches fail because sellers don’t understand the new solution or didn’t even know about the launch in the first place. An email outlining the new product, services and messaging is easy to overlook, leaving many sellers unable to fully understand the uniqueness and positioning of the new offering.

In order to resonate with customers, your announcement must be seen, messaging absorbed and content leveraged with the sales team. However, more often than not, the announcement and content get lost in the shuffle, or sellers create their own off-base content. For a successful campaign or product launch, you’ll want the right content and up-to-date information at the fingertips of your sales reps.

By optimizing messaging, collateral and communication through effective sales enablement, sellers can better communicate the differentiating value of your new solution, showcase marketplace positioning and properly advise prospects.

A failure to launch

Campaign and product launches are time-consuming, taking 18 to 24 months to get a new product “ready” for launch. However, even with all this time and effort, 40% of new product launches fail. In fact, research from Harvard Business Review indicates that the No. 1 barrier to success for a new product launch is a lack of preparation in the go-to-market and sales launch. The gaps within the company workflow are typically simple: sales teams and partners either never see or can’t find the new offering announcement and content, or they misunderstand the messaging around the solution, leading to incorrect positioning and misinformed prospects.

Bridging the new product launch gap

More often than not, businesses provide their sellers with information overload, throwing tons of new content at the sales team and hoping that all of the news is top of mind. To help alleviate this overload, companies can leverage a sales enablement platform.

  • Customized workspaces: You can present a customized workspace to your sellers, sharing news and content that is filtered for each seller’s specific needs and providing a special section for new and relevant announcements. Sellers can personalize the workspace to refine their experiences. For announcements, organizations can link to all the right content and tools to help educate the seller, helping them understand, position and articulate the value of the new solution to prospects.
  • Sales playbooks and collections: Sales enablement platforms can also help package all launch materials into an interactive sales playbook to guide sellers to all the right content situationally. For example, a playbook could be based on industries, roles and stages of the prospect. By having all the approved materials in one location sellers are prepared with the content they need to effectively understand a new product launch, showcasing the benefits and potential outcomes of implementing the new solution for their customers.
  • Business value selling tools: Your sales enablement solution can promote and integrate interactive value selling tools, helping empower sellers to effectively quantify things like total cost of ownership (TCO) savings, business value outcomes, and return on investment (ROI) for prospective buyers.

When entering a new market, you’ll want to be able to highlight what differentiates your product from competitors. By utilizing real-time data collected from the buyer, sellers can clearly show what type of results the buyer can expect to see when implementing the product. In contrast, sellers can also quantify the cost of “do nothing” with the buyer’s current legacy practices and solutions. By taking these necessary steps, sellers are providing buyers with the personalized experience they require to close the deal.

  • Learning management: Incorporating learning management solutions and sales enablement tools are essential for optimizing your launch and selling sales process. Through learning management solutions, you can make sure all sales reps are aware, motivated and on the same page when it comes to messaging around the new product.
  • Intelligence: Providing real-time accurate visibility into which sellers have engaged with the new product content, how the content is being leveraged in customer interactions, how the content is being consumed by prospects, and the positive outcomes the content is delivering to drive wins, allow both sales and marketing teams to know what content is working and not working. This information helps improve the deal size, shorten sales cycles and ultimately, drive revenue.

Benefits to you and your sellers

You want to ensure your sales reps are aware, educated and capable without being inundated, off-message and ineffective. By incorporating a sales enablement platform, organizations will notice three major benefits.

  • Aware: Establishing a customized workspace/content dashboard to proactively bring new campaign, product launch and other timely content front and center for sellers
  • Prepared: Packaging new product launch materials into an interactive playbook or collection, providing everything your sales reps and partners need to effectively understand and communicate the value of the new offering to customers and prospects. Armed with interactive value selling tools to discover opportunities, quantify the cost of “do nothing” and tally savings/value improvement potential.
  • Effective: Tracking launch success to quickly determine the scope of awareness and adoption, Understanding what new campaign and product launch content is being used and performing best with sales and customers/prospects.

Your product launch is too important to leave to chance. When sales and partner teams are properly enabled with the tools, messaging and education they need, organizations can yield up to 15% higher revenue success. Rather than spewing out information during your next product launch, take the time to ensure sellers are aware of the launch and prepared to communicate differentiators. By leveraging a sales enablement platform, you’ll be sure to have a successful product launch.  

Tom Pisello, is chief evangelist at Mediafly and the founder of the Evolved Selling Institute (evolvedselling.com).