by Andrew Dornon, Analyst, BTS Sales Practice
Product training that makes reps believe the new solution will impact their clients’ business results gets your products in the hands of more customers, faster.
When launching a new product (or onboarding reps to your whole portfolio), product marketing and enablement teams have to get salespeople smart about what they’re selling. Often products are framed in feature-benefit terms that tactical buyers would understand, while salespeople are being asked to partner with executive clients more strategically (whether you call this insight selling, consultative selling, etc). The result is increased time to market by either pushing salespeople in a more product-focused direction OR reps tuning out because the new solutions aren’t being connected to results customers care about.
What's the fix?
- Before bringing to the field, marketing and sales work together to translate features and benefits that would wow a technical buyer into messages that connect with the concerns of executive buyers. From “a 20% reduction in cost per lead” to “a 5% increase in gross margin”.
- Distribute product information in spec sheets, videos, etc beforehand - going over collateral doesn’t need to be done face to face.
- Think of the introduction as you would a customer-facing product announcement. Use language that would inspire curiosity on the part of your customers. Demos should have high production value. Consider having early adopter customers speak about the solution.
- Prove to reps why their customers will care about the new solution by placing them in the shoes of an executive buyer. Examine different solutions in relation to their most common goals and show how different buying decisions drive different metrics.
- After reps have looked at the new solution through their customers’ eyes, they need to practice the new messages and customer conversations that the solution calls for.