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Why isn’t the sales team selling our new product?

This is a question that is asked by business executives every year. The company invested lots of time and resources to bring a new product to market. R&D invested hundreds of thousands of dollars creating a product that should far exceed anything in the market today. Product Managers have invested hundreds of hours developing marketing collateral and product training. And sales reps have invested days out of the field mastering the features and benefits of the new product to share it with their customers. Yet the product still fails to reach the targets established by the company. Why?

Well, before we share with you a few insights into our research, you should rest a bit, because you’re not alone. In fact, according to a Forbes Magazine, evidence suggests that close to 80% of all products launched into the market will fail, and according to a study published in Harvard Business Review, only 3% of new products will achieve their revenue targets.

It’s the blame game

Whose fault is it really? Is it Marketing’s fault for not providing the proper collateral or training? Is it the sales team fault for not investing enough time to understand the products unique differentiators or not spending enough time focusing on the product in the field? There is typically a lot of blame going around when revenue targets are not achieved.

Our research indicates that neither group should take all the blame. The problem simply comes down to the fact that both teams were making too many assumptions. We have found five common and dangerous assumptions.

The Five Dangerous Assumptions are:

  1. Assuming the current customers are the best targets
  2. Assuming the key influencers involved in purchasing the new product were the same key influencer involved in other purchases
  3. Assuming the decision criteria customers will use when making a decision to buy the new product are the same criteria they used in the past
  4. Assuming the sales reps know the common objections, they will face when selling the new product and how to effectively handle them
  5. Assuming the sales rep understand the market shifts and how they impact the new product

When Marketing and Sales can avoid making these assumptions, the chances of winning market share and growing revenues quickly with a new product increase dramatically.

You could read our white paper to delve deeper into these dangerous assumptions.

This article is written by Steve Gielda and first appeared on LinkedIn.