Listening to your Sales Team on Product Market feedback

I’ve always been a big believer that your sales team feedback is a critical learning tool for your company. Whether it’s startup, turnaround or established organization gathering, filtering and acting upon feedback you receive from sales is critical. Sometimes they’re your best source for the voice-of-the market and the voice-of-the client. Here are some steps I encourage my clients to do capture sales feedback.

Gather their feedback through open-ended questions. These are fairly straightforward but can reveal powerful understanding. Here are some examples:

            -What do our customers like the most about our Product?

            -What do they like the least?

            -If they could improve the Product in a meaningful way what would that be?

            -What do they like about our competitor’s products?

            -What, if anything, do they hate about the competitor’s products?

Next Filter the feedback by bringing some of the necessary business accountability into their answers. Here are some examples:

-If you were the CEO or Head of Product and could only do one thing what would it be?

-If we were to build that how much additional business could you get?

-How would this distance our product/company v. the competition?

-How would you market this improvement to the product?

Finally, it’s time to Act on the feedback. You’ve asked for their input, you’ve filtered their responses now you must act on this. Stating the obvious this is critical to your sales force believing you are listening, believe you value their feedback and usually is a rallying cry for the sales team to become even more supportive of both the CEO, Head of Product and the company.

This isn’t rocket science but it does amaze me how few companies do this at all or do this well. They feel they have all the answers or sales aren’t sophisticated to provide the necessary feedback as reasons for not taking the Gather, Filter, and Act steps. The key is asking the right questions, filtering for detailed clarity and then acting on the feedback. It’s powerful in its simplicity and the insights you will compile.