Closing a sale or securing investors for your startup is often all about “The Sales Demo.” You and your team become laser focused on getting people to agree to listen to a presentation of your product or service. To ensure the meeting is a high value opportunity, and not just a chance to hear yourself talk, you must be on the same page as your prospect.
Here are five things to consider before you schedule your next demo.
1. Take your prospect’s perspective.
What do you expect them to do with the information you provide during your demo? If you want them to take out their pens and immediately sign a contract, you may be selling to your own expectations instead of your clients’.
2. Determine if you are solving the right problem for your prospect.
Have you thoroughly researched their case before you scheduled the demo and asked for their business? Don’t just give your prospect a menu of potential options and ask them to select. Be prepared to make recommendations, based on your knowledge of their context.
3. Generate the right questions to ask.
Work with your sales engineer to identify the types of questions that will engage all parties seated around the table or computer screen. Combine your knowledge of your prospect’s business case with your recommendations for helping them solve their key problems.
4. Be prepared for your solution to be perceived as disruptive, costly, or risky.
Making a decision to purchase or license involves a change to your customer’s status quo. Customers will conduct their own due diligence. What type of responses can you prepare that minimize their perceived risk? Your responses should fall into the category of how well you understand their business case, revenue history, and customer base. That will demonstrate to your customer that you have done your own due diligence as well.
5. Focus on moving towards next steps in the buying process, not a final decision.
There will always be trending factors that can legitimately prevent you from closing the sale. Your prospect isn’t obligated to share these with you. If you and your sales engineer conducted due diligence, these factors won’t be a surprise to you. The sale doesn’t stop at the demo. It’s only your signal to stop selling and start collaborating.
Babette Ten Haken is a catalyst, corporate strategist and facilitator. She writes, speaks, consults and coaches about how cross-functional team collaboration revolutionizes the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) value chain for customer loyalty, customer success and customer retention. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ programs draw from her background as a scientist, sales professional, enterprise-level facilitator, Six Sigma Green Belt and certified DFSS Voice of the Customer practitioner. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.
This post first appeared on the Salesforce Blog and is reproduced with this author’s permission.
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