Launching a new product can be as daunting as scaling the jagged cliffs of Scotland’s Dunnet Head. Today’s new-product failure rate is between 40% and 80%. Why? It could be bad timing, poor marketing support, or simply inferior product performance. But there’s another factor that often gets overlooked – having a sales force that’s not crystal-clear on its goals as it hits the road.
It’s tough to get each rep in step
Today’s sales forces are stretched thin and usually have multiple brands to represent and sometimes dozens of products to showcase. Even veteran sales pros can lose focus. When that happens, your products and programs are not aligned with sales efforts – or, even worse, pushed to the back burner altogether. For your reps, critical sales information can become fuzzy, such as their:
- Goal – is it to sell the product into new accounts? How many? Or regain old ones? What are their volume goals? How do they avoid cannibalizing other products?
- Target – beyond Purchasing, who are the other players and influencers? And what are their needs and expectations with the product?
- Action – what specific steps do you want the reps to take? Get a meeting? Hold a demo? How will they track their sales activity?
- Messaging – what are the key points you want reps to convey, and in what order? How will they respond to customer objections? Can they convey your brand story and value prop correctly?
The digital sales playbook: your driving force
If all this is sounding familiar, consider developing a sales playbook to guide your team. It’s a comprehensive digital tool, housed on each rep’s laptop or tablet, that provides a 90-day game plan for a successful product launch.
A sales playbook maps out in clear, concise language how your reps should go to market with your product, and provides the goals, strategies, tactics and resources at their disposal to confidently connect with customers and win the sale.
Contact Tartan to view an example of a Sales Playbook and discover other strategies to drive a successful product launch.