Selling new products – a clarion call for marketing and sales integration

Launch new products

Launch new products

Today customers know a lot about the competitive companies and products before they even contact sellers.  Therefore Marketing needs to work with Sales to provide the information necessary to educate the customer before the sales process begins, as well as, throughout the various buying stages as sales progress.  And, they need to provide their sales teams the information necessary to become informed about the buyer’s company, industry and market.

To say the least, the process for educating the customer and informing the sales team is an entirely different story then simply producing product brochures and feature specification handouts.

Sales.  New product launches often fail to deliver expected results because the sales force isn’t able to sell the new product.  Money and time is spent on R&D, manufacturing, packaging, and marketing but the investment in improving the skills of the sales team to sell the new product is simply not commensurate with the overall effort. Specifically:

  • Companies don’t focus on developing the sales skills, don’t train the sales force in applying the product and competitive knowledge in the sales setting, nor do they do a good job of reinforcing the training that is received by the sales force – so very little of the new product training “sticks.”
  • Sales managers don’t properly coach sales reps to sell the new product. Some lack the skills to coach their sales teams while others don’t know the best practices for selling the new product any better than the sales team.

The result?  Sales reps have difficulty selling the new product so they just go back to selling what they know. When the results are compounded – the dreams for the new product success never materialize.

How might a company turn this result around? Train your sales force then launch the thumbnail-do-not-leave-your-sales-team-behind-new-product-launch-infographic-100-300product rather than launch the product then train your sales force.  For some specific best practices take a look at this infographic.

For more information about launching new products download our whitepaper –  Don’t Let Your Next Product Launch Fail.

Don't Let Your Next Product Launch Fail

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About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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