Your sales team is critical to the delivery of new product launches within your organization. Sure, your development and marketing teams put in long hours perfecting the final result, but without an army to deliver it, it would all be a waste.
So you’d think training sales teams for new product launches would be pretty high on your priority list. Oddly enough, that doesn’t seem to be too true. Only 38% of sales reps receive formal training for new product launches.
What the are the other 62% of companies doing? Winging it?
Get organized and bring your sales org to the next level by seriously upping your sales rep training for new product launches with these simple steps:
1. Get the Product Launch Basics Down
Before you jump to any crazy new plan, make sure you have the basics down. Make sure your dev and marketing teams have worked WITH sales throughout the process to create standout examples of the following:
- Marketing collateral
- Competitive analysis
- Sales guides
- Pricing lists
- eBooks or whitepapers
2. Translate For Your Marketing, Sales and Development Teams.
Let’s be honest, your sales, dev and marketing teams all speak wildly different languages. To help your product launches run smoothly, help facilitate better communication between all teams involved. One tip? Get your sales team involved in the process early. They’ll probably have some good input and will be more ready when the new product launches.
3. Give Them Something to Talk About.
You’re launching a new product. This is newsworthy, so make some news! Rev up the old printing press and get a press release or blog announcement out in the universe so your sales reps have something to share with prospects and existing clients.
4. Make Your Product Launch Compelling.
Coming up with a strong value proposition should essentially set your sales reps up for success. Outline WHY it matters to their clients, and how it can change their current scenario. Remember, if it matters to your clients, it will matter to your sales reps.
5. Set the Right Timeline Mindset.
If you’re thinking of this new product launch as a one-time event, you’re thinking wrong. Think of the product launch preparation as a continuum instead. Get sales reps involved early by inviting them to offer a beta test to their top customers to get additional feedback and strengthen their customer relationships.
6. Put Engaging Product Launch Training in Place.
You need formalized training, and you need to make it engaging. Throw out the powerpoints and upgrade to online software technology where you can leverage an online library of training courses, quizzes and videos. Make sure you choose a mobile vendor so sales reps can pull up information on the go. Studies show that 41% of sales reps don’t know which content to use, how to use it, or even when to use it. Use training as an opportunity to get your reps the answers they need.
7. Then, Train Some More.
Initial training isn’t going to cut it. Incorporate regular product launch training into the schedule until your rep’s skills are rock solid. Need to make sure? Use video recording technology to capture their pitch and compare results over time. Grade their performance, discuss feedback, and even share top videos with the whole team as learning opportunities.
8. Re-Engage Existing Customers.
New product launches aren’t just a way to attract new prospects. They are also an impressive way to build deeper relationships with existing customers, check in on accounts you haven’t touched base with in a while, and upsell or cross sell. Make sure your sales reps are reaching out to ALL of their clients about your new product launch.
9. Give Them Some Incentives.
There’s one sure way to get your sales reps excited about a new product launch, and that’s throwing some incentives at them. Help them get motivated to work harder by creating a competition, providing higher commission levels, or even offering prizes.