Best-in-class organizations bring the sales force and product team into alignment well before the product release date. Consider the five interlock steps between product and sales when you plan your product strategy. For a comprehensive set of considerations to help define your product strategy, download our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017.  Turn to the go-to-market section on pages 138 – 154 of the workbook.

 

Your sales organization can’t make up for poor product strategy. Alignment between product and sales is the key to success.

 

It spells disaster when a product is built and then launched over the fence to sales.

 

The best way to ensure your product is properly aligned with the market and buyers is to speak with your customers and get input from sales. Otherwise, products are created in a vacuum and sales struggles to sell them. The finger-pointing begins and the gap between product and sales teams widens. Revenue goals are missed and expectations must be reset.

 

Best-in-class organizations bring the sales force and product team into alignment well before the product release date. Consider the following five areas when you plan your product strategy:

 

  1. Product marketing: How does product marketing spend time with our customers as part of their market research efforts?

     

  2. Value propositions: Have our value propositions been validated by our customers?

     

  3. Competitive differentiation: Have we determined how our product will beat our competition in the market?

     

  4. Go to market: How do we involve sales and marketing in product launch message development and story creation?

     

  5. Frontline management: What coaching resources are we providing to our managers to reinforce the message down to our frontline reps?

     

If you can’t answer the preceding questions, you have misalignment between sales and product strategy. The implication is that your sales team will miss the revenue number. If you would like help with this topic, visit The Studio, SBI’s multimillion dollar, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art executive briefing center. A visit to The Studio increases the probability of making your number because the sessions are built on the proven strength and stability of SBI, the industry leader in B2B sales and marketing.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Josh Horstmann

Brings a deep level of experience and insight in helping organizations develop and execute their corporate, sales and marketing strategies.

Josh specializes in helping clients solve demanding sales and marketing challenges through aligning functional strategies within an organization. He has worked with clients in manufacturing, ecommerce, software, financial services and technology sectors.

 

Recently he helped transform an international services company ‘go to market’ strategy, which included assessing talent, re-organizing the sales force, increasing team productivity, reducing the cost of sale and aligning the marketing and sales strategies.

 

Josh continues to provide thought leadership to his clients advising them on how to build inside sales teams, develop compensation programs, share best practices on social selling, transform sales organizations, drive demand generation programs and acquire and cultivate talent. Along with this he helps organizations align functional strategies.

 

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