What are your best sales enablement practices for a product launch?
Just like in marketing, sales enablement is all about knowing your audience. At the top level, that means understanding what motivates them (i.e. closing more deals, expanding existing customer base, etc.), and tailoring your enablement to help them understand how a new product/feature will help them achieve those goals. To refine this, I like to bring sales stakeholders into the enablement creation process so they can advocate for their team's needs. The side benefit of this is that it gives your enablement program a better chance of success.
Additionally, remember that there are different audiences within a revenue org. It's not just salespeople, there are often technical sales and customer success personas. In some cases, I find it helpful to break enablement into those smaller groups to cater to their specific needs. For example, sales aren't as interested in the technical nuts and bolts of a product or feature, but for technical sales it is crucial they understand the inner workings to build effective demo stories. For that reason, I often have separate "technical enablement" sessions to best meet those needs, as opposed to trying to lump everything together and risking the chance of losing people along the way.
Finally, I think we sometimes forget that humans all learn in different ways, and none of us fully understand something the first time we learn it. For those reasons, I try to find ways to present information in different ways, and not be afraid to repeat myself in various forums. For example, some people might learn best visually with slides, others might be auditory learners and love a podcast-style training session. And no matter the mediums you use, be sure to share them widely across various channels (email, Slack, sales enablement platforms, etc.).
One of the biggest pitfalls I see in product launches in underestimating enablement. Don't skimp on this, you want to make sure your customer facing teams are armed with right tools to take your product launch to the next level. A solid enablement plan will stem off these 4 questions:
1. WHO is the internal audience? (SDR, AE, SE, CSM, Segment)
2. What do they need to KNOW? (Timelines, expectations, goals, FAQs, etc.)
3. What do they need to SAY? (Messaging, discovery questions, business value, etc)
4. What do they need to SHOW? (Deck, demo, etc)
By enabling the right teams with exactly what they need to know, say, and show, they should be ready to sprint and handle anything that comes their way.
First, the sales team needs to know what is launching and when so they can make appropriate plans to incorporate it in their sales conversations. To facilitate these conversations, the choice of tools and practices should be tailored to the product's complexity, the sales cycle, and the team structure.
Clear Early Communication: Ensure the sales team knows what is launching and when, enabling them to plan their sales conversations accordingly.
Training: Provide in-depth training on the product, including its features, caveats, and functionality.
Sales Deck: Equip the sales team with a sales deck that outlines key talking points and messaging to effectively communicate the product's value.
Competitive Analysis: Offer insights on how your product differs from the competition in the market. Highlight the incumbent, feature gaps, advantages, and parity.
Battle cards: Summarize competitive analysis and key points in easy-to-reference battle cards, aiding the sales team in their conversations.
Sales Script and Role-Playing: Provide sales scripts and conduct role-playing scenarios to help sales representatives practice and improve their sales pitches.
Lead Generation Forms: Offer lead generation forms, if appropriate, to capture potential customer information during sales interactions.
- Don't do what hasn't worked in the past. Do a quick audit/ survey with teams and understand what are the most-utilized and successful assets available and training formats so you can automatically have the trust of the team.
- Experiment with resources that you know your prospect will find value in, not just your sales team. e.g. "We need one-pagers". No one looks at PDFs anymore. Can you create a landing page that tells a story that they can tell, or a quick video that gets decision-maker buy-in without having to sit through a demo.
- Iterate. Listen to feedback, track usage, and iterate post-launch until you see adoption and attributed sales revenue moving (or at least signals of associated success).