Timing and insight are everything.
As a sales engineer or sales operations professional, you have a critical role to play in helping the sales organization deploy the demo appropriately.
However, are you given that opportunity or marginalized from the customer acquisition process?
Consider the frequency that sales engineers are applied-as-needed as the ultimate solutions to closing technical deals. Also consider whether these important professionals are operating with a handicap because of absence of accurate sales operations insights on the part of the sales team. As a result, sales engineers deliver the demo prematurely, often to individuals with no decision making authority, and without breadth and depth of insight into customer context.
Are you collaborating with the right resources to make sure the demo hits the right target at the right time?
Integrated, continuous communication is critical for overcoming demo mindset. To determine how healthy your sales organization is, download this Complex Sales Performance and Sales Ops Checkup.
Is demo mindset the default option for the sales team?
Let’s face it. Technical decision makers are intimidating and demanding. They should be. The scientific method is part of their business DNA. As a result, they immediately ask specific technical and engineering questions at the start of the customer acquisition process.
For starters, scientific methodology is these decision makers’ way of determining whether or not they are wasting their time with you and your company.
However, as a result of being intimidated, some sales professionals develop demo mindset. These nervous (and sometimes neophyte) sales people abandon the sales process when skeptical technical decision makers’ questions gain velocity.
As a result, sales teams elect to skip a vital step to healthy sales performance.
When sales people ignore one of their best internal resources, the sales operations folks, they weaken their credibility and prolong the sales cycle. Their timing is off. They lack essential market and customer information which undoubtedly always surfaces during meetings.
Consequently, these overwhelmed sales people develop demo mindset. First, they rush to schedule the demo. As a result, sales engineers demo to client-side engineering or IT personnel. However, more frequently than not, these professionals are not in a position to do anything more than recommend to their managers, who may not be present.
By relegating the fate of the sale to sales engineers, sales people lose control of the sales process. They lack confidence in their own abilities to address technical decision maker’s questions. However, this scenario typically raises even more questions from features-and-benefits oriented staff who may not understand how to derive value from the demo.
As a result, the sales process gets stalled or derailed.
Do you depend too much on a demo mindset to close the deal?
Here are three articles to catalyze you to overcome this unhealthy sales habit. Not only will you gain the confidence and acumen to remain involved in the sale. In addition, you will engage sales operations and sales engineering resources early on in the sale. No more last-minute drama.
Need additional insight in making your team more collaborative, productive and profitable? Take the next steps!
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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. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.
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