Your company launches a new product and sales are a complete disaster. Who is to blame? If your company is like most, marketing will blame sales for their unwillingness to champion products with which they’re not familiar and sales will blame customers for resisting innovation and their unwillingness to be early adopters. Who’s right? Neither, says Stephanie Woods, VP sales operations at Huthwaite, a Sterling, VA-based company that works with sales organizations on sales performance effectiveness (www.huthwaite.com).
The problem with most new product launches is that too many organizations use a product-centered launch style that emphasizes the new product’s whiz-bang features and forces reps to memorize and sell those features. Instead, says Woods, companies need to switch to a problem-centered launch – a method that resulted in 54% higher sales at one company Huthwaite studied. Here are four steps sales managers can take to make that switch and boost the sales of new products.