Alex Tisserand, Managing Director Sales Development and Support
Geneen Baynham, Business Development Manager (Project Management for the DSG initiatives)
A worldwide leader in complementary analytical technologies, Waters designs, manufactures, sells and services innovative science solutions to support customer discoveries, operations, performance and regulatory compliance.
New Product Launch Success: A Sales Playbook Approach to Enabling the Waters Sales Team
The highly skilled sales team at Waters possessed a keen lab-level understanding of customer needs. Among these users, they increasingly encountered customers doing research on their own and contacting Waters late in the buying process. This highlighted the need to engage higher in accounts, especially when launching new products. Traditionally, the company prepared for product launches by equipping the sales team with features and functions. For executive-level conversations, they needed a new approach to enablement—an approach focused on the objectives, challenges, and needs of higher-level audiences.
Elevating customer conversations above end users
The sales team at large was very comfortable talking to the end user — lab workers and chemists who would actually be using the analytical equipment and are interested in features and functions. However, new business growth required higher-level conversations with executives, labs and manufacturing facilities.
Accelerating sales success following launch of new products
Waters is continuously releasing innovative new technologies necessitating a new sales enablement approach that would lead to early sales momentum.
Closing the gap between marketing and sales
The marketing and sales enablement teams recognized the need to help the sales force understand and use customer-facing messaging content and tools as well as ensure a high degree of practicality for every-day sales conversations.
“We normally start talking to the sales force, most of the time about the product itself and then after that talk about the customer and why they need the product. With the new methodology created with DSG, we have changed the way we talk to customers. Starting from the customer’s world and relevant Waters insights we go on to talk about the expected results. Only then do we talk about the solution and the product.”
Alex Tisserand, Waters Managing Director Sales Development and Support
DSG worked with the Waters team to establish a playbook approach for sales messaging content and tools to accelerate new product time to revenue and more effective conversations above the end-user level:
Content Creation: Collaboration between diversified individuals within the organization to identify what matters to each customer audience and build out talk tracks and whiteboard tools for reengaging those individuals early in the buying process
Playbook Development: Creation of sales messaging playbooks and rich media for 2 new products vPlaybook Conversation: Conversion of the content and tools into an interactive digital playbook using DSG’s vPlaybook web app
Training Materials: Development of curriculum for global sales messaging training at regional product launch events
Localization: Translation of the sales messaging for six languages
“For me, the key success factor is not just the numbers of systems we’ve sold which has been ahead of goal. It is also the time we saved during the introduction by having a Playbook that enabled us to deliver the whole message including the complete package with ideal customer profile, industry trends, objections, customers challenges, talk tracks, and a whiteboard tool.”
Gaining the trust and respect of the team to speed adoption of the new messaging. By connecting, listening and building relationships, DSG was able to collaborate more effectively with the sales team.
Providing flexibility in how content and tools were created and deployed. DSG adapted to the internal environment at Waters to best help them create and implement the right messaging by product for the key customer audiences. This included equipping a cross-functional commercialization team to train the global sales team on the messaging.
Showing a new way of delivering messaging. By challenging the sales team to think differently about the sales conversation and how to lead with insight vs. leading with product pitches and questions. Together, Waters and DSG were able to tangibly change the way Waters salespeople approach the customer.
“The playbook is a nice tool for salespeople. They keep using it because it's the right set of content and practical guidance to refresh the memory during the weeks, months, and quarters after a training roll-out.”
Introducing a new product worldwide within a short span of time is no small undertaking, but Waters is seeing the results from the hard work. By the end of the quarter in which the 2nd new product was released, the sales team had already surpassed sales projections and had a healthy pipeline filled with leads at various stages of the buying cycle.