I’ve already given you tips on what to consider before you schedule your next sales demo. So what’s next? Demoing, like your golf swing, is as much about follow-through and maintaining your form after you strike the ball, as it is about setting up your shot.
If your post-demo track record has been a let down, it could be that you’re placing too much emphasis on that single event to clinch the sale. Just like that golf swing, your strategy may need to involve tracking where the “ball” is going and following it up the “course,” instead of just going for a “hole-in-one.”
Here are five important things to consider after you sales demo your product.
1. Be proactive and anticipatory about opportunities to close
Golf courses give you 18 opportunities to get your ball into that hole. There are many players
on all of the holes, playing simultaneously. Consider your buyer’s corporate culture, timeline, and decision-making process not only before the sale, but also during and after. There may be trigger events that move your product or service into, or out of, a top priority spot. Are you ready to act on these factors and impact their decision to buy?
2. Continue to involved your sales engineer in your selling process
Too often, the sales engineer is taken off the shelf, dusted off, thrust in front of the client to sales demo and answer technical questions, and then is retired back to the shelf until the next demo. When you work with your sales engineer as a team from start to finish through post-sale support, you both have a better chance of understanding your customer’s business mindset. Debrief with each other frequently. Grow each other’s sales and engineering brains. In a sense, you are both playing and caddying with each other.
3. Identify additional opportunities within your clients’ cultures
If you are taking turns playing and caddying, it could be that the selling process sometimes resembles a scramble. Which one of you, salesperson or sales engineer, is in the best position to identify new leads within prospective organizations? While you may be focusing your efforts on one group, your golfing team partner may identify other folks who can benefit from your product or service. Then your relationship with your prospect becomes a matter of a multi-license or product sale, instead of a single sale. That shift in how you and your sales engineer are regarded by your prospect may make your solution a priority for them.
4. Develop your prospects as information resources
Keep your eye on the golf ball and never forget you are playing on a golf course. After the sales demo, there’s a tendency to make every discussion you have with that prospect into one which, ultimately, asks a spoken or unspoken question: How close are you to making a decision to buy? Post demo conversations are also an opportunity to showcase your own and your sales engineer’s business acumen. Talk industry and regulatory trending and ask your prospect’s opinion of how these triggers are impacting their own business development strategies. Partner with them as they and their company play on the same golf course.
5. Complete the course together
When your selling strategy involves collaboration between you, your sales engineer, and your customer’s team, you all get to the finish line together. Are the tools (or “golf clubs”) that you are selling able to provide the best means of addressing how your customer is going to play on their globally competitive business “golf course”? You may not provide the optimal solution. However, if your tools provide the most robust, yet flexible, strategies for solving that specific prospect’s problems, then you have earned their business and an ongoing spot on their team.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, catalyzes business transition, startup growth, and professional development. She works with non-traditional sellers, engineers, manufacturers, and technical startups on collaboration strategies that drive revenue. This post first appeared on the salesforce.com blog.