Launch a Product – Step 3: Sales Enablement

This is the third in a blog series on How to Launch a Product.  The first concerned defining the product, the second was about pricing and this post is all about Sales Enablement.

One of my favorite events every year is Sales Kick Off (SKO).  SKO provides a great forum for sales enablement but it should be happening throughout the year and certainly with every product or significant feature launch. Let’s explore the key elements for successful sales enablement.

  1. Image Source: cases– this cannot be overstated. Product Management needs to provide Sales with scenarios or use cases where the product will solve a real business problem. These use cases need to be simple to understand and easy to remember. The use cases used in Sales Enablement do NOT have to be exhaustive as that would be difficult and too much for sales to digest. They need to be simple and educational. With a proper grounding in ways the product could be used, the Sales force is armed to go out in the marketplace and find similar instances or even more complex scenarios.  Product Management needs to provide Sales with simple examples so they stay engaged, pay attention and remember the products capabilities when they are in front of that sales opportunity.

  1. Pre-sales material– Sales Enablement should provide the Sales force with easy to access materials to use in the pre-sales process. Most often, these artifacts reside on a portal or intranet and they can include collateral, presentations, competitive information, data to use in overcoming objections and, of course, the use cases described above. The point of this information is it must be sales-friendly (short and to the point) and easily found and downloaded during the sales process. No sales person should have to spend too much time trying to find things. Materials should be at their fingertips when and where they need them.  The product launch Sales Enablement session should clearly outline what is available and where it is housed.
  2. Pricing and Contracts– with a product launch, it is Product Management’s responsibility to make sure that the pricing is defined and approved and the necessary contract documents are ready for use. In the Sales Enablement session, those documents should be referenced and any important nuances should be specifically called out.  Ideally, the use cases mentioned above would be presented with the associated pricing so the Sales force can see how the pricing elements are applied. The location of this information needs to also be easy to find and to use. Whether or not it can be collocated with your pre-sales materials will depend on the nature of your business and how sensitive pricing and contract terms are. Collocated or not, this information needs to be easy to find and easy to pull into the sales process as soon as the Salesperson thinks its appropriate.
  3. Sales Process and Onboarding information– a good Sales Enablement session will also include information about the actual sales process and how onboarding will work.  This is especially true with complex products or where a migration or conversion is concerned, but it is always helpful for Sales to be able to walk a late stage prospect through the implementation steps. As part of a product launch, this is another area that Product Management needs to oversee to ensure that the Onboarding process flows are organized and documented and the responsible parties are all aligned and ready to take care of the massive influx of new customers that the product launch is sure to generate!

If your sales enablement session for your product launch includes these four things, you will be well on your way to ensuring great success for your product!


Originally posted on a now defunct site on 4/2/13

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