Many people will be very familiar with the following question from the product team: “Why is sales always nagging about needing a product roadmap?”
In some companies, this may not even be an issue. Those who take product roadmaps in sales for granted may stop her and not read further. But especially product teams in IT startups might ask themselves this question more often. At least that is my personal experience. However, the sales team does not want to be annoying at all, but simply wants to acquire more new customers and, above all, retain existing customers to ideally sell them more in the future.
The competition never sleeps
How often did it happen already that a customer suddenly and unexpectedly drops out? For the customer, this did hot happen at all at a sudden and unexpected, because he has already been looking at several products of the competition for some time. In the end, he decided for one of these products. Why? The most obvious reason is that the customer gets a better product, perhaps even at a better price. But very often it is also because you yourself could not credibly present to the customer how the product he is using right now will develop going forward. Especially with products that create running costs, such as SaaS solutions, this is always an issue. And that is exactly why sales needs a roadmap.
The roadmap as an important sales tool
A product roadmap is one of the most important tools in B2B sales. It helps to acquire new customers by convincing them that they are dealing with a reliable partner who has at least a clear medium-term and ideally also a long-term strategy. However, a roadmap is at least as important for existing customers, so that they do not spend too much time on evaluating other products and at the same time realize that you keep up with the competition or, ideally, you are even ahead of it. Roadmaps are also an excellent reason to talk to customers on a regular basis. Which customer would be reluctant to receive a personal roadmap update? These roadmap updates are then a great way to learn even more about the customer’s needs, which in turn can be incorporated into the next roadmap planning cycle.
Sales and product teams move closer together
Ultimately, roadmaps also bring sales and product development closer together. This is because, as already mentioned, sales and likewise customer support receive valuable input on a daily basis, which is then incorporated into the product roadmap. Ideally, sales will able to even gain some customers as beta testers, who can then intensively test new modules and new functionalities to provide valuable feedback before the new product version is actually launched. What could be better for a customer than to be actively involved in the development process of the product he uses? Besides that, the sales department will also understand the challenges within product development much better and will therefore not constantly ask impatiently why everything always takes so long.
So, dear product teams, sales does not want to be annoying at all. Just talk to your sales colleagues, then the roadmap will work out too 😉.