How to Create Products that Sell

What happens when a product launches, but the sales don’t ramp? It is often difficult to isolate the exact cause…

Are the product capabilities wrong?
Are we targeting the wrong customers?
Is our messaging wrong?
Is our selling process wrong?

At this point, there is usually an executive declaration that the problem is probably a combination of the above, which in reality is a thinly veiled admission that “we really don’t know.” This declaration also starts the timer on the ultimate question– will you figure out the real answer before you run out of money?

The timely discovery of the right answer is the thing that separates the start-up successes from the failures. One researcher found the most dominant factor in predicting start-up success was whether or not sufficient cash remained - after the first product release - to develop, launch and sell a revised offering.

This all happens because most technology start-ups approach product definition and product launch the wrong way. Sand Hill Partners finds quick answers to the above questions through a rapid-results methodology called the Breakthrough Product Model. It determines and tests the minimal product capabilities, target customers and messaging required for success. The process is designed to be performed in an emerging market before product development even begins; however, it can be successfully applied post-launch to quickly ascertain what must be done to fix anemic sales. Completing this process during Stage One will by itself dramatically improve the odds of business success, not to mention increase company valuation for financing.

The process leverages unique but effective methods for engaging the desired customers so they reliably guide us to a precise spec for the minimal solution that delivers the coveted Purchase Order. An especially important nuance in this process is knowing how to get past the customer “wish list” to accurately prioritize the capabilities and features to reveal what is really required. The process tests:

  • Customer pain – is it real enough, felt enough and sufficient enough to sell into and build a business.
  • Messaging – What words capture the problem and solution to capture attention.
  • Available solutions and compelling price-points
  • The minimum capabilities that make the product viable and sellable.
  • The roles at the customer which will typically be involved in the buying decision

The entire process can be completed in as little as 3-5 weeks. Contact us to schedule a more detailed discussion of how Sand Hill Partners can help you create a successful start-up and a great company.


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