Skip to main content

Use Cases for Sales Enablement

The sales folks in your organization need to connect with customers by addressing their specific situations and problems. Arming sales with use cases and scenarios can help.

The idea is to document use cases and scenarios for all situations that a qualified lead might face. When a sales person is on the phone with a prospective customer, she then can not only tout benefits of the product, but she make those benefits tangible and clear by applying them to the prospect's situation.

Fleshed-out use cases and scenarios contain the following information that is critical to a sales person interacting with a prospect:
  1. Description of the functional goal of the user. The name of the use case/scenario should convey what the user wants to accomplish. An explanation of the context and the reasons is also helpful.
  2. User interactions with the product. The step-by-step description of how the user will interact with the product to achieve her functional goal.
  3. Preconditions and postconditions. Conditions that exist before and after the user has interacted with the product as described in the use case/scenario. Preconditions and postconditions indirectly capture the nonfunctional behavior (usability, performance, etc.) of the product.
But keep in mind that most of what your sales people should be doing is first asking questions to understand the customers' situation, problems, the implications of those problems, and the need/payoff associated with the problems. Only then can they identify the use cases and scenarios that are truly compelling to the prospect.

Laura Patterson has more on use cases for sales enablement here.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Spreadsheets Suck for Prioritizing

The Goal As a company executive, you want confidence that your product team (which includes all the people, from all departments, responsible for product success) has a sound basis for deciding which items are on the product roadmap. You also want confidence the team is prioritizing the items in a smart way. What Should We Prioritize? The items the team prioritizes could be features, user stories, epics, market problems, themes, or experiments. Melissa Perri  makes an excellent case for a " problem roadmap ", and, in general, I recommend focusing on the latter types of items. However, the topic of what types of items you should prioritize - and in what situations - is interesting and important but beyond the scope of this blog entry. A Sad but Familiar Story If there is significant controversy about priorities, then almost inevitably, a product manager or other member of the team decides to put together The Spreadsheet. I've done it. Some of the mos

Stop Validating and Start Falsifying

The product management and startup worlds are buzzing about the importance of "validation". In this entry, I'll explain how this idea originated and why it's leading organizations astray. Why Validate? In lean startup circles, you constantly hear about "validated learning" and "validating" product ideas: The assumption is that you have a great product idea and seek validation from customers before expending vast resources to build and bring it to market. Indeed, it makes sense to transcend conventional approaches to making product decisions . Intuition, sales anecdotes, feature requests from customers, backward industry thinking, and spreadsheets don't form the basis for sound product decisions. Incorporating lean startup concepts , and a more scientific approach to learning markets, is undoubtedly a sounder approach. Moreover, in larger organizations, sometimes further in the product life-cycle, everyone seems to have an opinio

What Product Managers Can Learn from the Apple iPod

The Story When Apple unveiled its iPod digital music player back in October 2001, I dismissed it as a  parity product . I already owned the Cowon iAUDIO CW100 MP3 player, loaded with my favorite tunes. There was Apple, generating great hype over the iPod as if it were a breakthrough product. The idea of a portable digital music player was nothing new. The first mass-produced MP3 players came out in 1998. In late 2001, the concept may have been new to a lot of Apple customers, but it wasn't new to me. I proudly showed my MP3 player to friends when they gushed about the iPod. Thus Apple's iPod was not an innovative product in and of itself. Years later, however, I realized the significance of ecosystem of which the iPod was a part. Apple had released iTunes (with technology purchased from  SoundJam MP ) and created the iTunes Store for finding and downloading music. Unlike Napster , it was a safe and legal way of distributing and acquiring music. The prior way of playing