Last week, a selling founder that I advise asked a question I get surprisingly often – “I lead a sales demo in a first meeting, it feels pretty good, and then the prospect goes dark. Why?”
This scenario is the result of two harsh realities:
To overcome these challenges, modern sellers do NOT resort to old school trickery (“I just won’t demo during a first meeting.”) but rely instead on Discovery and Data.
The misstep many sellers make when pressured to show the goods early in the sales process is to roll out THE demo - a generic feature dump that always “feels” good, because most sellers can effortlessly speak to all of their own product’s bells and whistles.
However, these demos uncover nothing about the prospect, and thus fit said prospect’s unique needs about as well as the quintessential wedding tux.
To win in 2017, high performers must break THE demo into … demos (plural) – multiple demos each with a specific goal, customized to fit the person and point in time.
The first demo in this cadence should be a Discovery Demo – a conversation with the product as a backdrop that uncovers the critical intel (the prospect’s challenges and opportunities) needed for the increasingly relevant follow up demos.
Here’s an example demo cadence:
With multiple discrete steps in this demo cadence, each with a specific goal, modern sellers turn to “leading indicator KPIs” rather than “feel” to optimize performance.
Using my example demos above, one could track:
These very simple measures provide powerful insight into which components of your demos need improvement.
Say that a given seller runs 50 Discovery Demos, which lead to 20 Executive Demos (40%), which lead to 16 Tactical Demos (80%), which lead to 14 Implementation Demos (88%).
Clearly this seller should dive deeper into those 30 Discovery Demos that didn’t convert to Executive Demos for deeper analysis:
If this seems overly simplistic … that’s the point!
Selling is a high stress activity, and many get so caught up in the grind-it-out tasks and distractions that they miss the opportunity to let actionable data and process guide them.
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