Hey Reps – Ditch The Demo!
Did you read the title and think: “our sales team would never ditch the demo – it’s awesome!” Well we’re not saying you can never show a demo to anyone ever again, we’re saying only show it to the right people at the right time. If you’ve kept reading up to this point, stick with us and we’ll explain what we mean.
Don’t Lead with the Demo
Demos are great for the people who want to learn about a tool or software. It allows the buyer to assess the capabilities of the tool and understand its ease of use. Demos aren’t great, however, in uncovering business problems. If you jump too quickly into the demo, you may risk spending time trying to solve a problem the customer doesn’t have or doesn’t care about.
Ask Questions and Listen
Before diving into your usual rehearsed spiel, take a step back to just listen. Discovering the customer’s business problems is key. Even if the customer states their problem explicitly, a good sales rep will dig a little deeper. The ability to identify, quantify, and solve business challenges is what separates a lackluster sales rep from a great sales rep. Once you can identify their issues you can focus the demo on illustrating how you can solve their problems.
If the conversation is going well, you can ask if they’d be interested in setting up another call to go through a demo. If they decline, it doesn’t mean you’re out of the race – they may have already made their decision based on the conversation and answers you were able to provide.
Know Who You’re Talking To
Are you meeting with an end user or a decision maker? A manager or a VP? Knowing who you’re meeting with matters and should shape how you discuss your product or service.
An executive will most likely never use the tool you are pitching and therefore doesn’t care what the tool looks like. They may want processes to be faster, to save some money, and decrease the number of mistakes. Focus your efforts on how the product can make their organization more efficient, instead of wasting their time running through a demo.
Conversely, someone who is an end user and influencer when it comes to purchasing new technology would be the perfect candidate for a demo. They need to understand how this new tool would be better than their current tool, and would be interested to see the ins and outs of the solution.
See we didn’t bash demos completely! While demos are important to show off your solution, it’s better to build a strong relationship foundation with the customer to understand their pain points. On your next sales call, try putting the customer first by asking the right questions, listening, and knowing your audience. Doing your homework ahead of time and being dynamic on the call will show the customer you’re committed to solving their problem and not just pushing a product.