Tag Archives: Product Development Team

A Helpful Checklist for a Successful New Product Introduction

30 Jan

Start with a Business Case for the Product

Did you do the work upfront to confirm that it makes sound business and financial sense for your company to introduce this product (or service)? That upfront work is a business case and plan for the product.  You should answer these strategic questions in the business case. How does this product address the market / customer needs?  What can your company deliver uniquely with this product that no competitor can?  Do your core strengths support this product?

It’s critical that you accurately and honestly forecast the sales you plan to generate fromTwo business people giving a high five for success this product, projected product costs to determine the gross margin as well as any additional operational (or other) headcount required to support the projected revenues and new business/customers.

Pull together a cross-functional product team that has the knowledge to provide the data needed to develop the business case. Some team members may only be needed on occasion (sales management, finance, manufacturing, marketing communications) while other members are core to the business case development, engineering, operations, product management and product marketing.

With the product business case completed, you have the information needed to move forward. Next have management review and approve the business case.  Having their buy-in will ensure that your product receives the resources and support required to be successful.  In most companies, this is a requirement.

Checklist for a Successful New Product Introduction:

1.  Beta Test the Product. Work with a few of your trusted key customers to trial and provide feedback to get the ‘kinks’ worked out from both the product and operations side.

2.  Back-end Processes. Ensure the back-end processes are in place and the internal operations teams (customer service, help desk, etc) are fully trained on the new product.

3.  Customer Feedback Loop.  Make sure to set up a process for customer feedback both for the beta test and after the introduction.  The feedback loop for customer issues and comments should include the core product team  who is responsible to evaluate and resolve.

4. Sales Training.  Your sales channel should be fully trained and all support materials completed.  This includes customer presentations (pitch deck) for the sales team, internal website updates.

5.  Marketing.  Is the launch planned and ready to go?  Is the website updated?  Are the product materials, such as manuals, technical white papers, and product FAQs completed?

If these can be answered with a YES, a successful New Product Introduction can be the result.

Anything you’d add to this checklist?

Resources:  Big Picture Questions to Ask When Launching a New Product, Alex Gammelgard, Arena

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