When it comes to new product launches, Sales needs different product training than the rest of your company.
The reason might be obvious, but I have rarely seen anyone consistently take it into account. Sales is the only team that handles new product sales. That means that Sales not only needs to know how the new product works but also how to sell it.
That is the problem with most product training. Product teams conducting the training have spent months (or longer) building the product. They can talk for hours about features but have rarely spent time considering how it will be sold.
It is hard to blame the Product team. They are in charge of building. Sales is in charge of selling. But it is not enough for the Product team to review the new features and expect Sales to figure out the rest. It is incumbent on the Product team to answer at least 7 key questions only they can answer.
What is the target market for the new product?
The answer to this question provides important context for Sales. Who should they target, and more importantly, who should they not? The target market might be an industry, a geography, or something else. Regardless, you are telling Sales which market the product is meant for.
What problem does the new product solvefor the customer?
There is no such thing as selling a product that does not solve a clear pain point. Once Sales knows the target market, this answer instructs them on what to say. Whatever the answer is, it must be easy to say and easy to understand. The answer will be used in everything from slide decks to outbound call scripts.
Who are the target users of the new product?
Besides a target market, Sales needs to know which users have the problem you solve. The answer needs to be explicit. It will inform which roles and titles to target for outbound emails and phone calls, as well as guide face-to-face talk tracks.
Who are your reference clients, and how are they using the new product?
Having reference clients is the best tool you can give Sales. Most prospective customers want to see others like them using the product first. Case studies are a great way to show the new product’s results. Your reference clients should align with your target market and target users.
How is the new product different from competitors’ products?
The answer must be succinct and easy for sales, and by extension, customers to remember. Customers will always compare your product to your competition. They may even have a competitor already in place. Sales needs clear differentiation to peak and keep a customer’s attention, as well as maintain pricing power as deals progress.
How is the new product sold?
How is the product priced and package? Can it be sold stand-alone, or does it have to be sold in conjunction with other products? Can Sales discount, and by how much? Is new paperwork required for existing customers? These types of questions instruct sales on how the product is sold. Sales needs these answers to do their basic job.
How does the new product work?
Last but not least is how the product solves the problem in the target market for the target users. This is when you demo the product. Demo it like you would for a customer. Do not go feature by feature. You are not demoing to teach. You are demoing to show Sales how customers and prospects will see the solution. You are demoing to persuade.
For Sales to start selling, they will need to have more than just the answers to these questions. That is a given. They will need marketing collateral, sales decks, and much more.
These answers though set a foundation upon which sales can start. There are also answers that the Product team can and should know. Other teams will want to know this information too, but it is pivotal for Sales. Including it in your next product training will help Sales start off on the right foot.