A big percentage of marketing and sales work can and should be done as projects. These are jobs where a specific product, system or other deliverable must be produced by a specific date within a specific budget. One of the most challenging of these is a project to launch a new product – the focus of this book. Here are some of the things that must be ready on the launch date:
- the product itself including packaging, documentation and demonstration packages
- product support, including trained people and tools for customer support,
- broad-based promotion such as print ads, articles and white papers, website use, publicity releases and trade shows
- focused promotion efforts such as telemarketing, direct mail and seminars
- fully-trained salespeople to meet sales goals, guided by a sales management process
- a sales support organization ready to handle lead management
- pricing schedules along with contract terms and conditions
- marketing intermediaries, such as distributors and resellers, along with a group ready to train and support them, and
- a company-wide understanding of how customers benefit from the new product and how employees can play a role in the success if the launch.
It is the author’s conviction that success in performing sales and marketing work is enhanced when formal project management methodology is consistently applied. So the early chapters provide the reader with perhaps the most clearly articulated project management methodology that can be found anywhere. At the end of the book he applies the material in the previous chapters to managing new product launches. The reader will find a very ample list of launch program tasks and see how they are related in work breakdown structures. Further, there is a set of Launch Readiness Checklists and instructions on using them to control product launch projects.