Most new product launches fail to meet their full, forecasted potential. These launches often fail because companies take their new products to market with the same sales org structure that was built to sell their legacy products.
Evaluating your current sales org and how it will support your new product launch begins with our Sales Org Design Evaluation Tool. In this tool, you will find 6 common B2B sales org models and when each should be deployed. You’ll also find 6 key questions to ask as you begin to take a fresh look at your org design. As you answer each of these questions, consider how you would answer them post-launch.
A new product launch can mean many things to your company. The new product may be a simple complement to your existing offering. The new product line may open up an avenue to opportunities within a new vertical. Or, the launch of a new product might represent the beginning of a revolutionary new age for your company. In any of these cases, the launch of a new product should drive you to re-examine the way that your sales team is structured and how you’re going to market.
Here are a few examples of the implications a new launch can have on the optimal sales org structure:
- If the new product opens up a new opportunity for up-sell and cross-sell to existing customers – you should consider a hunter/farmer model in which a sub-set of your sales force is dedicated to selling the new product into your existing customer base.
- If your new product opens access to a new industry vertical, you may choose to move to a vertical specialization org structure where every sales rep is dedicated to a specific industry segment, aligning reps to the verticals in which they have the most experience and expertise and aligning your best reps to those verticals with the greatest potential.
While most product launches are evolutionary in nature, a revolutionary product launch redefines what your company is and who it is selling to. And if your new product line is truly revolutionary, then this very likely calls for a revolutionary shift in your org structure.
Some examples of a revolutionary product launch include:
- If you have traditionally served small businesses exclusively, and a revolutionary new product launch will open the door to the enterprise space, a simple tweaking of your org structure is not going to be sufficient. You may instead need to build an org structure based on a stratification model and will likely need to build a team of enterprise reps from the ground up.
- If the new product is a 180-degree departure from your existing product suite in terms of functionality, a new org structure built on product specialization will help you to achieve scale much more quickly than if you had to enable the entire rep force to sell this new product.
In any case, you should be planning ahead right now for any new product launches that are in the pipeline for the next 6-18 months. Org changes take time, and flawless execution is the product of robust planning. If you wait until the launch of the product to begin making structural org changes, your launch will fail and you will miss the opportunity to move quickly into the new space and gain a foothold before your competitors have a chance to react.