What are the three main deal-breakers in product marketing of a B2B product launch?
I love this question. As PMMs, deciding WHETHER to launch a product in the first place is just as important as an actual launch. When planning a launch, it's important to define hurdle criteria & go / no-go milestones to determine when you launch. You can re-evaluate your launch if any of those criteria are not met. Some of the criteria that I've looked at include:
- Customer impact. If customers aren't able to use it, it's not the right time to launch. In your beta program, you should be asking customers if they are willing to use this feature right away. If there are barriers to adoption identified, then that should be a signal that the product is not ready for prime time. This could be due to a number of factors (the workflows don't work for their teams, they don't trust the data, they're unwilling to budge from their existing system, etc.)
- Timing & availability. If you have a great offer, but your company can't deliver the product right away, you should reconsider the timing of the launch. If you launch pre-maturely, then you get into situations where your prospects and customers are constantly asking yourself for the thing that you promised at launch, which erodes trust in your company's ability to deliver and puts your sales & CS teams in a tough spot.
- Internal readiness. Are you thinking about launching a product in a new geography? What does it take to support that product in that geo? Will it be a good experience for customers? If your product is translated in Spanish (for example), but you have no Spanish-speaking teams on Sales, Support or CS, it may be pre-mature to launch / enter that market.
Like what could cause it to fail?
1. You don't have a handle on the target audience, and what they'll find most valuable about the product, or the frame of reference they hold when introduced to it
2. You don't have an accountability partner in product management that is equally on the hook for the success of the launch
3. You haven't prepared the sales AND support teams to field questions about the launch
In the realm of B2B product marketing, the success of a product launch hinges on careful consideration of critical factors. During the pre-launch phase, thorough preparation becomes paramount. This entails meticulous attention to detail when crafting the execution strategy and dedicating ample time to define the desired direction and measurable KPIs. These defined KPIs, in addition to other benchmarks serve as valuable tools to measure the success of your product launch and assess its performance against predetermined goals and expectations. Some of the deal-breakers I found:
Lack of Market-Fit: One of the key deal-breakers is when the product does not adequately address the needs and requirements of the target market. If the product does not solve a significant problem or provide substantial value to potential customers, it will be challenging to generate interest and achieve success in the market. Conducting thorough market research and running validation tests to ensure there is a strong market-fit is crucial before launching a B2B product.
Inadequate Go-to-Market Strategy: A well-executed go-to-market strategy is critical for a successful B2B product launch. A meticulously planned and executed marketing and sales strategy is essential to drive adoption and maximize revenue generation. It is imperative to equip the sales team with the necessary resources and training to effectively engage customers and secure successful conversions.
Timing and product availability: I agree with @Sherry Wu, timing and product / feature availability play a vital role in the success of a product launch. It is important to carefully evaluate whether your company can deliver the product within the expected timeframe. Launching prematurely can result in customer dissatisfaction when promised features are not promptly delivered.