Bringing a new product to market is a learning curve for any organisation. The salesforce initially cannot to cover its own costs, let alone carry the remainder of the organisation. However, over time, the organisation learns how to sell, perfects its offering and builds up case-studies of success, becoming more efficient and eventually profitable.
The challenging thing is that the most valuable enterprises are the ones where a totally new product is brought to market. These product owners find it very difficult to differentiate between a great product that is still learning and a product that will never get to profitability.
As the bridge between Sales, Customers and Product owners; Marketing should be the core driver of this learning activity, tracking the progress and efficiency of the salesforce so a realistic projection of costs before profitability can be put forward.
Product marketing and marketing communications should ideally be the center of learning activities during the initiation phase. Marketing leadership is responsible for bridging the gap between customers, sales reps, and the engineering organization. Everyone on the marketing team has to be knowledgeable about the product technology, able to understand customers and their needs, and proficient at communicating with renaissance reps. But success in this role requires more than just an understanding of the languages of these disparate groups and individuals in the company. It requires substantial credibility to convince customers, sales, and engineering that their needs will be accurately communicated to the other parties.