Archives for posts with tag: Launch

In our second B2B product launch process step, we looked at the kick-off call and how the project team members shared their expectations and requirements. Now it’s time to do something with those requirements.

The third step is to gather those requirements.

What is your objective for this project? Sure, you want a successful launch, but you need to get more granular in terms of specific requirements that you can subsequently measure to get a sense of how you did when you come to the review stage. Also, these requirements need to work across your launch team. You’ve already heard a range of opinions in the kick-off call. Now you need to consolidate them into a set that works best for the business and get everyone behind them.

Here are some of the basics you need to think about:

  • What revenues are you looking to achieve from the project? This may already be stated in your business case document. Numbers of customers, partners, average attachment rate – number of products per customer – increase?
  • What kind of a launch do you need? A phased, ‘soft’ launch with an extended beta phase and a gradual expansion of availability across customers, prospect groups, regions and so on? Or perhaps a ‘hard, big bang’ launch, which carries more risk but gives you more awareness and a quicker hit?
  • What use cases or scenarios will your product cater to? What kind of customers or success stories will you use to best endorse the launch?
  • What will the product do? What is the scope of the product?
  • What are the specific requirements that each department or function involved in the product will have to deliver to? Development, testing, marketing, sales, product management, operations, professional services and implementation, support?

Once you’ve defined all your requirements for your product launch, you need to socialise them with the rest of the team, and be prepared for some toing and froing, before you have an agreed set. Then you can set about figuring out how you’re going to meet them, which is the topic of our fourth step.

The product lifecycle can be a complicated beast and varies significantly within industries and regions. Not only that, the roles of people in an organisation who either contribute to or manage the product launch can differ quite markedly too. So, with that preamble done, am I drowning a whole series of process-forming posts before I’ve even started?

Not really, no. While job titles and jobs may vary, there are still some generalities and best practices that work for companies selling stuff – products or services – to other companies.

I see 7 broad stages to the B2B product launch process, and I’ll devote my usual post length – long enough to get your attention but not so long as to distract you from other priorities – to each one of them.

People have written 250-page books on managing the product launch. Then again, they’ve done the same for the B2B marketing process, sales cycle, and customer buying cycle, which are other B2B topics that I have addressed before with a total seriesĀ length that wouldn’t stretch to a chapter.

But these aren’t text books. They’re the distilled experiences of mistakes I’ve made, lessons I’ve learned and the wisdom of people greater than I. I hope you enjoy them.