This is an excerpt from our white paper, Learning Solutions and Your Product Launch: The Secret to Success. Here is a section on designing product launch curriculums:


Designing the curriculum

Every launch curriculum is different, and has different needs based on what learners currently know, what the product is, etc. For some companies, the launch training begins years before the launch meeting, as the audience needs to learn a variety of foundational information before they even get to the new product information. In other cases, the launch training happens in a compact window right before the product launches in the market.

Many companies define a launch with the internal launch meeting: an event several weeks or months before the external launch that gets sales representatives and others ready for the external launch. Given the “launch meeting” model, we find that there are three phases to the launch training that help ensure success.


Prelaunch training

Prelaunch training establishes fundamental facts, processes and knowledge. Take learning facts out of the launch meeting itself – it is not the best use of the face-to-face environment. This phase should also focus on facts that learners need to know, not look up – if they can look it up, teach them the skill of looking it up, and give them the right tools to do so quickly. Don’t waste your time having them memorize things that don’t have to be memorized.

Launch meeting

Spend this time on face to face interaction: practice, feedback, talking, doing. If your learners need to assemble equipment, for instance, have them learn about it in prelaunch – and practice as much as possible – but the real assembly often is best performed in person, where real-time coaches can provide feedback. The same is true for many steps in the sales process – learn about features and benefits in the pre-launch training, but practice putting them together and talking with customers about them during the launch meeting itself. Meetings are also a great place to break into groups, plan customer interactions (including managing objections), practice, debrief and practice again.

Post-launch meeting reinforcement

Arguably, this is the most-forgotten and most-critical part of the entire launch process. The learning doesn’t end until the learner is using the knowledge/skills on the job. If you are able to leave the launch meeting and start selling the next day, great! More often, there will be a space of time before the knowledge and skills will be used, and the post-launch reinforcement is critical to making sure they don’t forget. This is a great time to provide further application and practice opportunities—new scenarios or actual customers.

Even after the product is being sold and used, there is often a more advanced level of knowledge or skill needed that couldn’t be taught in the launch meeting because of time, availability, and brain capacity — now is the time for that training, too. And think about just-in-time reference, and training for people who start after the launch meeting.


Develop reference tools for learners to use to look up the non-critical information quickly and effectively. Ideally, use them in all three phases of training:

  • Prelaunch: have them look up information as part of the prelaunch training; explain them in a staff meeting; ask for feedback on them in preparation for actual field use.
  • Launch meeting: Use them as information sources or proof sources during activities in the meeting; give out “official” versions, whether electronically or in person; practice answering questions quickly using the tools.
  • Postlaunch: send out scenarios for which they have to use the reference materials; gather stories about on-the-job use and share; update and share changes as product and customer information evolve.

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