Tag Archives: process

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: http://www.sideraworks.com/social-business-and-a-culture-of-enablement/Use 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.

Leadership Traits – Nature or Nurture?

I have been thinking a lot about leadership lately and I have been fortunate enough to work for some amazing leaders – two that come to mind specifically who have shaped my career, urged me to take wise chances and made me a better person, in addition to a better employee.  I also had an recent college graduate ask me what it took to be effective in a leadership role.  I really had to think about it and my conclusions are contained in this blog.  There are loads of books written on this very subject, so I will add my observations to the wealth of research and opinions out there.

1. Process Information Efficiently – all of the leaders that I have witnessed in action are extremely smart. And it isn’t specifically

Image Source: http://www.agemattersclinic.com/UW-Dementia-Website.php

Image Source: http://www.agemattersclinic.com/UW-Dementia-Website.php

book-smart or street-smart, but they all have the ability to process and assimilate information very quickly.  They can take two seemingly unrelated data points and see the connective tissue that everyone else misses.  They can thoughtfully consider a catastrophic situation and figure out a way to manage through it.  They can ponder a decision and see multiple ways that it might impact future events.  It is really remarkable to watch, because an effective leader is always thinking, they don’t take anything at face-value, they ask insightful questions and often, they truly are the smartest person in the room.

2. Excellent Ability to Recall – if you pay attention to the effective leaders that you have come across in your career, most have an excellent memory.  Most leaders can recall numbers – $2.5M in revenue for that product, a 41.5% margin, a $25.89 stock price – and they can pull these numbers into a conversation at a crucial time.  This is not to suggest that they know everything and never refer back to notes or get data from their teams, but most leaders can recall the relevant financial information for their business and can use that data when they are processing information very quickly (see above).  They can also recall conversations, decisions, attendees and dates.  This ability to recollect pertinent information sets true leaders apart and enables them to make decisions and move forward more quickly than the masses who must look up the facts before they can proceed.