New products or major revisions to existing products are always exciting. Without a doubt they are an important milestone for your company. So it is natural that a lot of investment goes into building a new offering and bringing it to the market. However organizations seldom pay attention to the last leg of the process. Releasing the offering to sales. You would wonder what we mean by releasing to sales. Usually products are released to the market, to your customers and prospects. And while that is true in some instances, in a typical B2B scenario your product is taken to the field by your sales community. They are the ones who are going to be relaying the benefits and value propositions of this new release . They are the ones carrying the bag to bring additional revenue by selling this new/updated offering. And that is why you should have a repeatable and effective “release to sales process”.
The term “release to sales process” may seem like a bureaucratic resource intensive exercise but it really isn’t. Actually many organizations end up putting way more effort to make the product work out in the field. And if they follow a “release to sales process” for their every launch and update, they are not only bound to see efficiency gains, they are also bound to see uptick in revenue. So what is a “release to sales process”?
In our own words – Release to sales process is a set of discrete tasks that follows a new product release or a product update and is aimed at educating and enabling your sales community, so that they can be effective in selling this new offering in the targeted market place.
So should training be part of this process? Absolutely. And much more. It should include:
– Release Overview
One may argue that organizations do invest in training and collateral. And we agree that they do. But a lot of organizations look at the training and collateral building as a post release activity. Your release to sales process should be an integral part of your release plan and not an after thought. There is no point in releasing your product in January and finishing collateral and training in June, six months later. You are then releasing your product in June and you just wasted the market opportunity for 6 months.
More to come on this topic in future posts.