dangers when launching new products and services on the market.

    I bring to your attention a translation of the article by Jill Konrath from “Selling To Big Companies”. On her site you can find a lot of materials for consultants, entrepreneurs and sales specialists who help to conclude contracts for large amounts with large companies.

    The article is devoted to the launch of a new product or service in the market.

    The original article can be found here
    translation of the project Liveidea.ru
    Quick start!

    Avoid Most Mistakes Associated with New Product or Service

    Releases This article was published in a special issue of the Growth Guide in CityBusiness: The Business Journal in April 2002.
    New products or services are the lifeblood of any young company. If successful, the company can break into new markets, jump over former competitors and reap abundant harvest of profits.
    However, many new products do not justify the expected results in the first, most significant, months after their release. In the modern economy, when the “window of opportunity” is open for no more than a few months, this can be a real disaster.
    Over the past decade, I have been working on introducing new products and services to many companies. Some of them were incredible success; others were a cruel disappointment. Whenever sales fall, companies decrease production or slow down the market.
    If you intend to introduce a new product in the next few months, do it right. Do not repeat such irreparable errors:
    1. An unconvincing sentence.

    This is the worst enemy of all new things, but the most frequently repeated mistake. You may think that your new product is technically perfect, something exceptional or a gift for modern civilization, but this does not mean that the rest of the world will agree with you.
    The rule “If you did this, they will come” does not work in the modern market. You must describe clearly and indicate merits. Words like “faster,” “solid,” “advanced,” or “best teamwork,” are meaningless trash.
    In order to stand out among market offers, the merits of your offer should be directly relevant to the case. You should describe in detail and clearly how you improved operational efficiency, reduced costs or opened up new opportunities. Tell consumers exactly how you are improving their loyalty, or describe their competitive advantages. Explain loudly and clearly. Your customers do not realize this themselves, often they are too busy.
    Technical companies - beta testing is an excellent tool for you, often used very poorly. Use it to understand how to sell to your customers. Find out what problems your product helps, their branching and interconnection, as well as the merits of their solutions. This is invaluable information that you may miss when you test the product.

    2. Inadequate addressing of offers

    Tempted by the huge potential of the market, growing companies prefer not to limit their freedom. However, in fact, a lack of focus increases costs.
    Since the product is constantly being improved in accordance with the many needs of customers, the cost of development soars to heaven. Thus, the final product completely does not meet anyone's needs. Trying to be comprehensive, marketing programs such as advertising, public relations and related are diluted and sprayed too much to be effective.
    To increase your chances of success, focus on small market segments. Focusing, focusing, focusing. Learn the best you can about targeting a customer. Understand what matters to them, how they buy, how they say they read, what meetings they attend.
    Clearly describe your target consumer sales company and do not let it sell to one-time customers. Settle in your chosen market segment first before expanding into others.

    3. Inadequate sales tools
    In today's competitive market, if your sellers do not have the right tools and techniques, they enter the battle unarmed. Just a beautiful brochure will not help.
    What does the seller need? You should start with a review of what potential buyers actually live, including their problems, participation in the business and how much they are willing to pay for the changes. Add 10-15 good questions to help discover and explore needs.
    Be sure to provide them with competitor analysis that describes both strengths and weaknesses. Build a consumer-oriented presentation in PowerPoint. Create an easily modifiable proposal template with a management review, analysis of the current situation, recommendations, implementation of the plan and investments.
    Take the time and money to do it right right away, or you will have to pay for it later when the sales do not reach the desired level.

    4. Incomplete sales process

    If you are a member of the business-to-business market, it will take you three months or more to complete the sale. To succeed, you must sell in consultation. However, at the launch stage, the consultative mood of most sellers evaporates without a trace.
    With unlimited enthusiasm for a new product or service, they suffer the worst form of verbal incontinence. They spend more than 80% of the time of commercial calls talking, talking and talking. What are the results?
    A potential buyer asks “How much does it cost?” And, since the seller has no unmet needs or an established price, the cost is always too high.
    A potential buyer asks “Could this be (something insignificant)?” Trying to find a reason for the refusal. As soon as there is something missing, it becomes a mandatory requirement, and the transaction is not completed.
    A potential buyer says: “Oh, that’s really impressive. I’m sure it will sell well. ” However, he thinks to himself, “But not here.”
    As a result, a successful sale can make you wait for months or not take place at all. Annoyed sellers blame marketing specialists for the overpriced or insufficient quality of the product, and the latter object that the inability to interest people is to blame. I am sure you have already seen this situation.
    How can this be dealt with? At the meeting devoted to the release of a new product or service, pay special attention to the discussion of the needs of the buyer, the decision-making process and the purchase. Discuss what key questions may be asked.
    Brainstorm to decide what to do if sales don't go well. Disable PowerPoint brochures and presentations from the very first commercial calls. And use the principle of feedback when communicating with customers - this will help you stay open to their needs.
    5. The first call - to the best customer

    Tick-tick, tick-tock ... You are still counting the days when you can tell your most promising potential customers about your new product, right?
    Slow down, not so fast. When you start selling something new, there is always a learning curve. The temptation is too great to give out a “mountain of advantages” and raise objections that you cannot overcome later. So you will only cause confusion with your presentation, and your answers to unexpected questions will sound like a complete nonsense.
    So don’t even think about starting with the most promising customers. Start with the second category. Practice until you can maintain focus on the client, not the product or service. When you finally smooth out all the roughness, call your best customers, you are ready for it!

    The next time your company launches a new product or service on the market, do not rush to set the internal deadlines for which you need to meet deadlines. Do everything you need to avoid the common but often catastrophic mistakes described above. And you will see a big difference in sales results.

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