Two Ways to Launch a New Service Through Sales
Launching a new service can be especially challenging for a sales organization. Frequently it’s the sales team that’s given the responsibility of marketing the new service, finding leads, nurturing those leads, then moving them through the sales process. This was a situation one VAR presented to me.
Sales reps know what to do to close a lead. It’s their primary responsibility. Lead generation, though, often creates a conundrum they don’t know how to handle.
As I listened to the VAR I realized that there were two different directions I could recommend:
- The lead generation aspect, where you’re more like a marketing person and you create a lead generation strategy, then execute it to get leads.
- The prospecting aspect, where you’re more like a salesperson prospecting to find leads.
Many VAR sales reps we work with have combined marketing and sales roles. When launching a new service, they have to determine what strategy will get them the leads they need in the time frame they want them. Some VARs want to see their new service generating large numbers of leads quickly. That’s frequently the case when you’re reselling someone else’s service and little additional technical skill is required. Others recognize they have to move slowly to allow their technical delivery staff to ramp up with the new service.
So the first step is to determine how quickly you need leads to meet your revenue projections, then choose the appropriate strategy.
Lead generation campaigns are great because they are a long-term strategy and include nurturing. However, they do require creating a plan, writing the content and executing it. The neat thing is that when sales reps call contacts from your email campaign, they have some awareness of you and your solutions. However, this is a longer-term strategy in terms of producing new leads.
Prospecting is great because sales reps are talking with people and setting phone or in-person appointments right away. Sales reps schedule prospecting into their calendars, and with training, can do it very successfully without the fear of cold calling.
The ideal launch strategy is a combination of both. Start with prospecting if you need to generate leads immediately. Then begin simultaneous lead generation campaigns. This way you’re producing leads right away while building awareness for long-term lead generation.
Whichever strategy you choose, if your sales reps have never done it before, or haven’t been successful doing it, be sure to provide them training to do it effectively. Both lead generation campaigns and prospecting require specialized skills to produce the number of leads you deserve.
Contrary to what many people think, sales reps don’t just know how to cold call, articulate the value of a solution, or write a compelling email campaign. These are learned skills. So set your sales rep up for success with training before you launch. You’ll discover that your new service will meet your launch expectations when you choose the right strategy and train your reps to execute it.