Your sales teams are crucial for Go-to-Market success.
You can spend hours upon hours nailing your product’s positioning and messaging, but all that hard work can be undone in a matter of minutes. If your sales teams don’t understand your product or how to act on it, you risk losing sight of your launch’s progress and your teams’ efforts.
But don't worry - there are ways to align your product marketing and sales teams.
In this article, we’ll share tips on how to:
And much more.
So, read on if you want to discover strategies to enable your sales teams for a more unified launch.
Use real-life anecdotes
Telling salespeople your new product or feature is great and that your audience will love it is one thing, but your target market telling them is another.
At the end of the day and the most basic level, sales reps’ only aim is to sell. The more convinced they are that what you’re telling them will help, the more likely they are to listen.
And what illustrates that better than active testimonials?
So, if you have a beta version that’s been rolled out to X number of customers, pick their brains, compile their feedback, and let them do some pitching for you.
If you don’t have any pilot results, the next best alternative is your data. Presumably, you ran some research before going ahead with the new product or feature you’re about to launch so use those numbers to back yourself up.
For example, going in with this:
“Our research showed 65% of lost customers didn’t convert because we didn’t have this feature. Now that we have it, the odds of closing deals will improve.”
Is way stronger than:
“We’ve decided to add this feature to product X, and it does this, this, and this…”
The fact is that showing your customers that you’re directly engaging with their feedback means you’ll land better sales and build brand loyalty. And, when it comes to your sales teams knowing how to craft their pitches, go in with a role-reversal approach.
This time, you’re the sellers, and they’re the market. Sell your product or feature to them and see what works.
Make it interactive
So, to our earlier point on role-playing!
Instead of speaking to your sales team for 15, 20, or 30 minutes, mix it up by incorporating a bit of role-playing. It'll be more engaging, help them contextualize what you’re telling them, and offer some practical pitching tips, too.
Tip #1: Make sure the people involved in the role-play are enthusiastic and up for it. Two people begrudgingly and half-heartedly acting in front of a room of sales reps won’t yield the results you’re after. So try setting clear expectations and creating an open environment where people can feel comfortable while still learning how to sell better.
Tip #2: Consider using your reps as the stars of the show. We’ll touch on this in more detail a little later on. However, salespeople are often more likely to listen to other salespeople, so capitalizing on this might make everyone more receptive to your efforts.
A lot of sales departments gamify their targets and day-to-day: “the first person to reach X sales might get an early Friday finish.” Or, they might have an ongoing, quarterly leaderboard, and so on.
If it works, it works, so get on their wavelength and consider adding an element of gamification to your launch. For example:
- The first rep to make $XXXX in sales gets a $100 voucher, the second $75, and the third $50 or
- The rep at the top of the deals closed leaderboard at the end of month one gets half a day in lieu.
Use your imagination, factor in what works best for your set-up, and - of course - remember to run your idea by the departmental heads first.
Split it up
From features to pricing, sales enablement collateral to demos, there’s so much you need to communicate with sales teams before launch. So, instead of overwhelming them with info in one not-so-swift swoop, consider breaking it into weekly sessions on specific subjects.
- Week 1: product features, benefits, and pricing
- Week 2: messaging, positioning, and marketing
- Week 3: sales enablement collateral, etc.
Your teams will surely be hard at work and focused on several tasks at once, so try to keep each meeting clear, useful, and short.
Star your salespeople
Rightly or wrongly, salespeople can be more inclined to pay attention to their own. Ultimately, who better understands the ins and outs than your sales teams?
Whether we agree with it or not, it makes sense to take whichever approach will be most effective in getting your teams on the same page.
In practice, you could look to do this in one of two ways:
Sticking with the role-play idea, recruit people from sales instead of using people from your product marketing team. Just make sure you clue them in on the product or feature in advance!
Get your reps to deliver all or part of your meetings. If you go with this tactic, ensure you properly train them beforehand, and you or someone else from your team is present. This is just so you have someone who can check if your team sticks to the script and has support if any questions arise.
One last thing worth considering is which salespeople you choose. To be truly effective, the person/people you pick should be top performers and well-respected among the team.
Lead by example
Okay, so this one might sound basic, but it’s important. If you want your sales teams to be excited, you need to emit that same energy - and that means showing you’re genuinely pumped.
Being a great presenter is a skill. It’s cliche, we know, but practice does make perfect. So use your launch meetings as an opportunity to grow, and the more you do, the better you’ll be.
Here are a few quick-fire tips to help you nail the essentials:
- Do a practice run before you stand in front of sales.
- Come prepared with a few prompts as a safety blanket.
- Sit or stand upright, use gestures, and be mindful of your facial expressions.
- Speak confidently and loudly (without bellowing!)
- Make eye contact with those in the room.
- Ask questions to get people involved.
Ask for feedback
This will help salespeople feel invested in the process and like they have a say.
Remember, though, that just because you ask for feedback doesn’t mean you have to act on it. If you don’t, however, be sure to thank the person anyway and explain why their comments aren’t being taken any further right now.
Now you've got your salespeople onboard, there's one less obstacle between you and Go-to-Market success.
Aligned product marketing and sales teams = better customer win rates, more upselling, and, ultimately, more revenue. What's not to love?
Worried you're not getting the most out of your Go-to-Market teams? Upskill and align your people with Go-to-Market Blueprint courses. Or why not attend one of our in-person events - like #GTM24 LA - to connect with some of the best GTM professionals?