Success of Sales Enablement Team & Product Launches

Product launches are typically make or break times for most companies. It is the perfect opportunity for the Sales Enablement teams to pitch in strongly to enhance the objectives. A field ready sales team gives a 30-45 head start for achieving the product transition objectives.

Challenges

  • Face to Face training happens in a distributed fashion – over time
  • There is a plethora of communication. The sales enablement team needs to cut through the clutter of communication to the field to get their attention
  • Need to communicate #What_is_in_it_for_you

Smartphone-based force multiplier

Smartphone-based field enablement is a powerful force multiplier for new product introductions. A sustained program through smartphones from the Sales Enablement Manager will help in the acceleration of the field knowledge levels.

Seven Steps to a mission-ready sales team

  1. Set up objectives:

    Objective of the product launch readiness exercise: Set up clear metrics in terms of

    • # People to be certified
    • Field Knowledge levels
    • Key messages to be pushed
    • Audit scores that are expected

This is typically done about 30 days before the product launch.

  1. Alignment with the CSO:

    Getting their “buy-in and support” for the objective is key to the success of the campaign.

    • Messaging support: Can the Product Manager appear in a 2-minute video about the importance of the product
    • Review cadence: Can the CSO review the field team and managers on the adoption of this training

Getting the management stakeholders aligned is key to a sustainable campaign.

  1. Program Communication:

    Create a memorable branding for the training program for the product ramp. Create communication around the branding to the team.

    • Name, critical milestones, mandatory completion dates
    • #What_is_in_it_for_you if you complete, and if you don’t complete.
    • Set up a clear communication cadence for the duration of the program
  1. Content structure of the smartphone-based program

    • Video from the CSO on the importance of the product
    • Product training structure: Positioning of the product in the portfolio, the Target audience definition, 3-minute elevator pitch, product features in detail, product assets and data sheets, objection handling, competition handling, closing process for the product, other process related inputs, summary
    • Retail set up, equipment set up, demo set up, merchandising requirements
    • Product demo videos from the Product Manager
  1. Continuous assessment and certification:

    Memory needs constant reinforcement. We have observed that 4 levels of reinforcement are required for the field teams to sustain their memory on the product features.

    • Conduct assessments on Day 0, Day 10, Day 20, Day 30 of the launch
    • Day 0 assessment: After the completion of the above training program
    • Day 10 assessment: Timed assessment with randomized questions to check the field knowledge score.
    • Day 20 assessment: Open book assessment, with multiple submissions that pushes every user to get 100% before submission. This will ensure that they know all the relevant answers – even if they have to refer to their notes for it.
    • Day 30 assessment: Final assessment where the field teams compete for high scores and glory. This will set up the pass criteria.

On completion of the course and the assessments, the salesperson can get certified on the product. A certification by Day 30 is mandatory for the field sales person to sell the product.

  1. Discussions: 

    Set up discussion forums around the training and assessment. This is towards:

    • Provide clarifications on key questions that field teams might have
    • To address ongoing sales situations like sales processes, competition
    • To motivate and rally the engaged sales personnel
  1. Leaderboards and contests:

    • Set up ongoing leaderboards – leaderboards can be organized by teams (instead of one at the national level) to provide higher level of motivation
    • Set up contests and prizes (typically e-com vouchers) to incentivize the team

Metrics

You need to set up clear metrics to be tracked as part of the program:

  • Number of sales personnel, (retail outlets) engaged, by region for training
  • Number of sales personnel certified
  • Final knowledge assessment score levels

F2F Reinforcement:

A face to face reinforcement within the first 1 month of launch is also usually part of the plans. The F2F messaging need to reinforce the smartphone-based training.

Audit:

Companies have quarterly audit processes to verify field team readiness. The audit needs to be designed to evaluate the efficacy of the mobile sales enablement program.

Product Launch Tailwinds: 

Dozens of factors have to come together for product launch success. Getting the distributed sales team ready is one of the most critical aspects of the CSO, Product Manager, and the Sales Enablement Manager.

A smartphone-based field sales enablement program to inform, train, assess, engage the interest of the field sales team will put in the much-needed tailwinds behind the product launch.

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Ideas for salesperson enablement at Launch & Ramp Up stage of product lifecycle are here.

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2018-03-21T05:47:18+00:00

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