MANAGING THE BUSINESS OF SOFTWARE

How do your buyers learn?

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When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt.—Henry J. Kaiser, American industrialist, father of modern American shipbuilding

When shopping for a product that requires some serious consideration, like a car or furniture or exercise equipment, I take someone along to run interference for me. I just do not want to deal to a sales person until I'm ready.

Here's why: I learn by reading and observing, not by talking. Yet the typical sales person just yaks and yaks, usually about things that don't interest me.

Has this happened to you? 

As you develop your product personas, think about how they prefer to learn. Are they inclined to read and research? Or do they prefer to examine and discuss? Your sales team should be armed to handle both types of buyers. 

I recommend sales tools that the buyer can use, such as worksheets and assessments, as well as promotional pieces the buyers will use for their internal selling. When I find my sales teams talking over the worksheet, I figure I need to rethink the piece so it can be used without commentary or sales assistance.

Going on calls with sales people is a great way to evaluate how well your sales enablement tools are working. In fact, validating your product message and your sales tools may be the primary reason product managers should go on sales calls. Sure, you might accidentally learn something new, like a new industry issue or an unarticulated product requirement, but that actually occurs very rarely. 

Your product and sales tools should speak for themselves. In the language of your buyers. 

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How do your buyers learn?

 

When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt.—Henry J. Kaiser, American industrialist, father of modern American shipbuilding

When shopping for a product that requires some serious consideration, like a car or furniture or exercise equipment, I take someone along to run interference for me. I just do not want to deal to a sales person until I'm ready.

Here's why: I learn by reading and observing, not by talking. Yet the typical sales person just yaks and yaks, usually about things that don't interest me.

Has this happened to you? 

As you develop your product personas, think about how they prefer to learn. Are they inclined to read and research? Or do they prefer to examine and discuss? Your sales team should be armed to handle both types of buyers. 

I recommend sales tools that the buyer can use, such as worksheets and assessments, as well as promotional pieces the buyers will use for their internal selling. When I find my sales teams talking over the worksheet, I figure I need to rethink the piece so it can be used without commentary or sales assistance.

Going on calls with sales people is a great way to evaluate how well your sales enablement tools are working. In fact, validating your product message and your sales tools may be the primary reason product managers should go on sales calls. Sure, you might accidentally learn something new, like a new industry issue or an unarticulated product requirement, but that actually occurs very rarely. 

Your product and sales tools should speak for themselves. In the language of your buyers.