Monday, November 5, 2012

Discovery Documents – For New Product Launches

I can visualize folks in marketing cogitating over plans for a new product launch…

“Ok, let’s see…  We have our checklist for our upcoming product launch:

-          Website info – check!
-          Down-loadable collateral – check!
-          Competition comparison – check!
-          SWOT analysis – check!
-          Features and benefits – check!
-          Press release – check!
-          ROI calculator – check!
-          Product overview presentation – check!
-          Demo script – check!
-          Field sales training presentation – check!
-          …”

What’s missing from this list? 

Discovery Documents – the list of questions and topics that sales and presales people need to perform adequate Discovery for these new products.  Far too often these documents are either missing entirely – or are laughably light.  I once saw a set of “qualification questions” that was limited to “Are you looking for a new ‘blank’ system?” 

Discovery Documents that are useful for sales and presales people may need to include sets of questions around the following four basic areas:

ü    Who?
ü    How many?
ü    How often?
ü    Pain points?
ü    Workflow?
ü    Needs/requirements?
ü    Delta?
ü    When needed?
ü    Do nothing?
Critical Business Issues:
ü    Why?
ü    What’s driving this?
ü    Who’s driving this?

And that’s just a starting point…! 

Discovery is often where sales are won (or lost).  Equipping the field with strong Discovery Documents is an integral – and critical – piece of the new product launch.

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