Why does a new product fail to meet its initial sales target- and perhaps stand the risk of becoming thrown out of the market?
What version does product marketing generally communicate to the sales force?
When a product is fresh from the factory, the product marketing department comes up with a sexy version gist about the products fascinating class, style, abilities… all the bells and whistles, and pumps the sales force fat with it.
What do the sales people do?
They become excited about the product and hit the streets with it. On getting to the costumers, they deliver the sexy version gist of the product in the same words as they had earlier been told. Instead of asking questions to develop needs, they jump in with all the exciting features and advantages that the new product possesses. (Does this remind you of ‘that’ too-good-to-be-true-salesman experience).
As you can see, the average number of features and advantages given when selling new products is more than 3 times the level given by the same sales people when selling existing products. This evidence suggests that the seller’s attention is much more on the product than on their customers.
The main issue is the salesman enthusiasm. It has led us to become product – centered focusing primarily on the products features and advantages. This is not an effective strategy for a major sale.
Instead of just giving features and advantages (the sexy version gist) when new products are rolled out to the sales force, greater emphasis should be placed relating the products to problems it can solve. That is, addressing the problems the product solves and brainstorming on the questions that will uncover more problems, because an uncovered problem from the questions asked will create the immediate need your product will satisfy. But it is the realistic version is what we want to see get to work.