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How to Have a Successful New Product Launch

Recently, I participated in a study of how organizations are effectively using technology-enabled training. The results got me thinking about new product launches because, interestingly enough, it turns out that a lot of companies use technology to train their salespeople on new products. Of course, that makes a lot of sense. However, there's more to a new product launch than teaching salespeople about features and benefits. In short: It’s a lot easier for a new product launch to go poorly than it is to meet with success. The simplest way to find success is to begin the entire process with a straightforward question in mind: How will this be sold on the street? Companies sometimes become distracted by the exciting whizbang features or by creating a "hot" marketing campaign. And, too often that comes at the expense of...

  • Thinking through how customers will actually experience those very features during their buying process or
  • Whether the marketing campaign lines up with the delivery of the offering.

The harsh reality is that -- in most cases -- if you don’t begin the product launch process by considering how a salesperson will actually sell it, the launch will probably fail. Why? Because the success or failure of a product launch rests squarely on the shoulders of a company's salespeople. They will either make – or break – the success of a new product. And the "making" depends completely on their level of comfort with an offering. That's because salespeople are an intriguing group of people. At their core, they want to avoid the risk of embarrassment in front of a prospective client. That makes perfect sense: Salespeople rely on the relationships they have with their prospects and customers in order to feed their families! In the mind of a salesperson, there's nothing worse than jeopardizing that relationship... And, if an organization doesn’t properly consider the feet-on-the-street sales interaction from the VERY beginning of a new product launch, its chances for success are significantly diminished. So, again, the best way to do that is to ask… How will our new offering be sold on the street? Need a good answer? Ask a salesperson. If salespeople are able to understand how to present a product with the utmost ease and comfort, it will not only be presented, but it will be presented successfully...and sold. If, on the other hand, that level of comfort is missing. Guess what? No surprise... It won't get sold! @JebBrooks