GrandView Blog
What Product Management/Marketing Can Do to Overcome the Eight Most Common Barriers to Accelerating Sales Revenue PDF Print E-mail
 
 

As I reviewed the eight most common barriers to accelerating sales cycle, I identified a number of actions that product management and product marketing can take to help accelerate the sales cycle.

Due to the time constraints of the webinar, I wasn’t able to delve into these actions in much more detail, so with this blog post, I want to provide links to additional resources that will provide you additional guidance and insight into these topics.

  • Understand key issues/pains/goals/needs of buyers. (click here)
  • Create a well-defined and focused market plan (target segments, buyers, messages). (click here) 
  • Understand and map the “buying” process. (click here)
  • Enable the sales team and channel to properly sell your products. (click here) 
  • Build sales and marketing tools that help move leads to prospects and help prospects make buying decision.
  • Define a lead qualification/scoring system. (click here) 

If you do these things I’ve identified, you’ll be able to establish yourself as a “market expert” and significantly enhance your relationship with your sales team or channel which will lead to improvements in the sales cycle and increase revenue.

BTW – if you know of any other good resources, please add them to the discussion listed below.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 13:52
 
Nothing Happens Until Someone Sells Something - Best Practices to Enabling Your Sales Channel to Effectively Sell Your Products PDF Print E-mail
 
 

This week’s GrandView guest post is by Tom Evans , from Lûcrum Marketing and brings over twenty years of successful hi-tech business experience helping start-ups as well as Fortune 500 companies create and launch winning products.. He is recognized for building product management and product marketing organizations from the ground up that develop market-driven technology solutions, create compelling go-to-market strategies and build strategic partnerships that drive revenue growth in the US and global markets.

by Tom Evans

Web Site: http://www.lucrum-marketing.com/
Twitter: @compellingmktr
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/thecompellingmarketer

My experience in product marketing has shown me that we in the product marketing role quite often are not doing enough to help our sales team or sales channel be successful.  Our typical approach to helping is to provide a new salesperson with some marketing collateral and a product presentation and then wish them luck as they look for prospects and try to close deals with anyone that listens.  This approach is sufficient for the star salespeople as they intuitively know how to talk with the right potential buyers about their problems and then show these buyers how to solve these problems with their products or services.  But unfortunately, this only represents about 20% of salespeople.  The other 80% of sales people need more training and coaching to be successful and we as product marketers need to help them be successful.  This is the process of “Sales Enablement”.

What happens when we don’t engage in the sales enablement process?  Sales people pursue opportunities that don’t fit well with your solution, speak with the prospects that aren’t really decision makers, sell solutions that you don’t really have and the list can go on.  But the overall resulting impact is wasted time and effort in pursuing the wrong opportunities, confusion in the market place and poor sales results.

The most important goals of a strong sales enablement program are too ensure that:

  • The sales team clearly understands the target market(s) that they should be selling.
  • The sales team understands the target buyers and their business challenges.
  • That this understanding is shared by all market facing team members (sales, marketing, executives, etc.).

There are many sales enablement tools that you could create, but the core tools that I recommend include:

  • Product Backgrounder – This is used as a quick reference for the sales person to quickly understand the key aspects of the solution to help guide them in their sales pursuit or to easily discuss the product at a high level.  At a minimum, the product backgrounder needs to include a succinct product description, definition of target markets, market challenges your product address, typical buyers and their main concerns and finally your market messages (e.g., positioning statement, value proposition, etc.).
  • Needs Discovery Grid – This is a tool that helps a new salesperson to carry on an intelligent conversation with an executive level buyer and to uncover the challenges they are facing.  You need to develop one for each buyer profile in each target segment.
  • Executive Level Presentation – Once you have uncovered the needs of the executive level buyer, this is a high level discussion that explains to the buyer that you can solve their problem and helps reinforce the key messages and benefits of your solution.
  • Message Driven Demo – Too many demos are about showing features and don’t really show how the solution solves the buyers business problem.  A message driven demo tells a story that demonstrates how the solution addresses the buyer’s problems and reinforces the key market messages.

For examples of the Product Backgrounder and Needs Discovery Grid, please follow this link.

Once you have completed these sales enablement tools, you need to train the sales team/channel to properly use these tools.  Because it’s difficult to get the attention of salespeople, you must have an executive level commitment to this process to ensure sufficient commitment from the sales team.  This is not a one-time event.   On a regular basis you must remind the sales team of these tools, retrain as necessary and test them to make sure they understand how to use them.

To wrap this up, the product manager/product marketer must be the market expert and own the message.  They are then responsible to make sure that all market facing personnel in the company know how to communicate the message.  But in the process of doing this, do not take on the attitude that PM knows and everyone else doesn’t.   This is a 2-way street and you need to solicit and incorporate feedback and new market information from other market facing colleagues and continually strive to improve on your sales enablement tools.
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 September 2011 11:54
 
Insights are the Most Valuable Ideas for Product Managers - GrandView PDF Print E-mail
 
 

This week’s GrandView guest post is by Scott Sehlhorst, who has been helping companies achieve Software Product Success for more a dozen years. Scott consults as a product manager, business architect, and business analyst. He has also worked as a technical consultant, developer, project manager and program manager. Scott has managed teams from 5 to 50, and delivered millions of dollars in value to his customers.

by Scott Sehlhorst

Blog:    http://tynerblain.com/blog
Twitter:  @sehlhorst
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/sehlhorst

 

Intellectual Property. The legal jargon definition of this term has come to effectively mean “something I’ve patented, copyrighted, or hold as a trade secret.”  A more general interpretation is “an idea.”

The Value of Insight as Intellectual Property
Last week, the folks at Ryma Technology Solutions invited me back to present another webinar as part of their GrandView Product Management View webinar series.  (My previous PMV webinar was on Kano Analysis). Thanks to Val Workman and Bradley Kravitz and Johnny Russo for the invitation, and for making it a great experience!

The main idea in the presentation is that your understanding of your market is the information that is most valuable.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 April 2011 15:43
 
10 Dynamics of Effective Agile Organizations - GrandView PDF Print E-mail
 
 

This week’s GrandView guest post is by Mark Ferraro, a transformation practitioner with Redpoint Technologies. He has over 10 years of information technology experience from many aspects of the software development value chain.


by Mark Ferraro 

Blog:    http://blog.4ro.com/
Twitter:  @mark4ro
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mark-ferraro/6/2b8/2a8


Over the last ten years, I have been focused on helping organizations transform their principles and behaviors toward more agile ways of operating. The ten dynamics discussed here call out consistent patters I have discovered in this work.  Organizations demonstrating these dynamics have consistently demonstrated higher levels of business agility.

Transforming organizations to a healthier balance of these dynamics provides a natural win-win scenario that provides significant improvement to the bottom line while at the same time improving the morale and the quality of life of the employees. Ultimately, this win-win condition allows the enterprise to more effectively compete in their chosen markets.

This work has included lots of different types of organizations. I’ve had the opportunity to work with manufacturing companies, insurance, education, publishing & printing, financial, and technical companies. I’ve also worked with organizations at various levels of enterprise agility. Some well down the road to increased business agility and with others just getting started with their transformation. Additionally, it’s quite common for divisions and departments within organizations to be at different levels of agility. For example, work within a multinational bank demonstrated wide variance between their private banking and investment banking divisions.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 September 2011 11:58
 
Tribal Leadership in an Agile World - GrandView PDF Print E-mail
 
 

This week’s GrandView guest post is by Si Alhir, a well-known expert in the GrandView Community and a frequent presenter in GrandView’s popular Product Management View webinar series. For over two decades, Si has helped companies synergize business and technology around proven best practices. In this post, he defines and discusses Tribal Leadership in an Agile World.


By Si Alhir (Twitter: @SAlhir), web: http://salhir.wordpress.com/

Tribal Leadership is a proven transformational process and leadership model for fostering organizational health, which leverages natural groups to build thriving organizations by focusing on language and relationship structures within a culture.

Agility is a value system that emphasizes people, results, collaboration, and responsiveness involving self-organizing cross-functional teams that constitute an agile enterprise. Scrum is a framework that organizes work for maximum efficiency and effectiveness based on the Agile value system using three roles, three ceremonies, and three artifacts.

Using Tribal Leadership’s cultural stages, we can recognize the stage of a team or organization. Using Tribal Leadership’s triading, we can foster greater agility. And using Tribal Leadership’s tribal strategy, we can leverage that agility toward an outcome.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 April 2011 15:44
 


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