The role of a Product Leader is dynamic. Listening to the market, monitoring competitors and developing new products are core responsibilities. They set the organization up for growth.
Yet, one of the lesser associated responsibilities of a Product Leader is translating those core competences into driving revenue. Specifically within existing customers. Most Product Leaders are excellent at getting a product developed and launched. But where Product Leaders have an opportunity to differentiate themselves is unlocking the cross-sell and upsell potential within the existing customer base.
The way Product Leaders go about doing this is by activating their resources. Many of a company’s resources, and budget, are allocated to the Product team. So how a Product Leader uses their resources to both develop products AND generate revenue is a critical question.
To generate revenue, Product Leaders know they need to overcome one of the biggest challenges after launching a new product – accelerating product take-up.
Accelerating Product Take-Up
Product take-up is the degree to which a new product is purchased and used. This takes time and is the biggest challenge a Product Leader has after launching a new product. There are many reasons why product take-up might be slow – poor sales enablement, product bugs and marketing gaps all are possibilities. Unfortunately, regardless of the reason, when take-up is slow products are often deemed “unsuccessful” by the rest of the company.
This is precisely why Product Leaders need to think about things differently. Instead of living with poor take-up, best in class Product Leaders activate their resources to accelerate product adoption and usage.
Activating those resources – people, money and time – does not need to be difficult. The primary objective is to allocate members of the Product Function to situations where can have an an impact on generating revenue. This often means putting members of the Product team in the field with Sales and Marketing; they can serve as a subject matter expert, lead product demos or create fantastic enablement content.
And when it comes to where the Product members should focus, the existing customer base is a better starting point than with new prospects. Selling to existing customers is, on average, 5x-7x easier than selling to new prospects. So, a good approach is identifying those customers that have a high propensity-to-buy the new product and matching them with the right product resource to support the sales and marketing team.
Case Study: Activating Resources to Cross-Sell a New Product
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Roughly 12 months ago, one of our large Enterprise software clients was rolling out a new product. The product was developed for a new persona and was intended to open up new buying centers. The Product Leader in place had been there for 5 years and had a team of 30 underneath him.
This was not the first launch the Product Leader had gone through. And his previous attempts were not as successful as intended. Take-up was generally slow and the sales team was not equipped to sell the new product.
When it came time to rolling out this new product, the Product Leader opted for a different approach. He aligned himself with the Marketing and Sales leaders before launch and agreed to allocate 20% of his team for 6 months post-launch. The aim of doing this was to increase take-up in the existing customer base. The people he allocated were those who could interact effectively with customers and were capable of working with the marketing and sales teams.
By activating his resources, the Product Leader experienced a different outcome than prior launches. Take-up with existing customers happened quicker, and the revenue forecast for the new product was achieved. The marketing and sales teams responded well to receiving support. There was now an activation motion that worked and would be the blueprint going forward.
As you will see from the case study, the results generated were meaningful to the organization and to the success of the new product.
Get Started Activating Your Product Team
It’s most important that Product Leaders are thinking through the right questions when considering how to activate their resources. Questions such as:
- What can the Product team do differently to drive revenue?
- What type of resource is best suited to support that effort?
- What percent of their time will be allocated to that effort and how will that be managed?
Ultimately, it is everyone’s responsibility to drive revenue. The Product Leader can contribute to this differently than the traditional ways. It is all about identifying ways to activate their resources, support the marketing and sales team, and improve the ability to capture additional customer potential.