Why product leads should provide adequate training to sales teams about the product prior to launch ?
- Sales team need to be educated in the most appropriate manner for the industry in which the company operates – loaded with own product knowledge and competitive knowledge.
- Typically sales training is poorly done in most smaller firms with a simple issuance of a new spec sheet or sales brief. In some cases that’s all sales people have available.
- You can do everything right but if your sales teams don’t understand how to properly position and present the product, it is more likely to fail
- Training for sales team should be structured based on B2B or B2C segments and what product goals are sought to be achieved by the organization in first few weeks / months of the launch. Its critical this is done right.
- Programs should be planned far enough in advance to match the speed of your industry.
- Training should coincide with periodic “kick-offs” followed by more formal scheduled programs.
- Product managers and their marketing counterparts should jointly plan training events and make sure that the sales people can be educated via the most effective methods.
- Sales people are generally auditory and visual learners – they may not like to read as much as they like to observe and listen
- Whatever method you chose, though, sales documentation should be organized to make sure that following kind of information is imparted:
- The characteristics of customers who are ideal targets for the product, including buyer types, influencers, and decision makers
- The Primary proven needs that drove the development of the product
- The benefits and associated features of the product
- Methods to ask questions, using consultative techniques
- Demonstrations, models and other visual aids that will help salespeople retain as much as possible.
- Remember successful launched depend on well-trained sales people to carry the product messages to the market first hand.
- Sales teams must understand the product and know exactly why each segment would want to buy it
- Lastly, they must be fairly compensated for their efforts.
A well trained sales staff can result in huge launch success and must be given close attention as product closes in towards launch. Sales teams should also be kept broadly in loop about what’s in pipeline however in an under-promised tone to manage expectations in the event projects are delayed for unknown reasons.
Source: Haines, S. (n.d.). The Product Manager’s Desk Reference.