Is your sales demo optimized? Sure, you’re confident in your ability to deliver an impactful presentation, but if it’s lacking in any area, then you are leaving valuable leads on the table.
One of the most indispensable tools in a sales team’s toolkit, one-on-one demonstrations – when done properly – engage and entice, identify the customer’s needs, lay the groundwork for interaction, and ultimately increase conversions. As such, they need to be creatively structured in such a way as to be nothing less than an enriching experience for all. You need more than familiar sales-y hubris and a twinkling gimlet eye.
In this article, I’ll cover tips, tricks and best practices to ensure your sales demos are heart-stoppingly compelling. If your faith in your presentation skills is such that you don’t blush about using the word “flawless” when describing them, that’s fine and dandy: but there may still be opportunities, as yet unexploited, to increase the effectiveness of what you’re offering.
After all, a demo can mean the difference between concluding a deal and forfeiting a prospect.
1. Compile insights to prep for your demo
It is all very well and good to present well. But how much do you about the person in front of you? How much do you know about their organization, hierarchy, technical environment, strategic objectives, difficulties or deadlines? Insights inform your presentation, let you frame features in the correct context, fire the starter gun on establishing trust and help you differentiate your offering from that of your competitors. It’s vital to find out what’s important to each prospect before you open your mouth to speak to them.
Remember, customers will only be interested in features relevant to their problem. They do not wish to be spoken at, as you gallop through your well-drilled demonstration without coming up for air. So ask questions without presuming to know the answer (they’ll know more about their problems than you, however much you’ve rehearsed). Take time to learn what matters to them, and you’ll create rapport, the manna which influences all sales successes.
One of the best ways to gain insights in advance is to use a tool like Salesforce. The CRM software is packed with features to enable you to sell smarter, based on insights that connect you to your customer and show them, in essence, that you know them enough to know their challenges and have solutions on hand.
With the Prospecting Insights feature, you can gather at a glance an impressive amount of insights into your prospects, such as business details like location type, size and ownership, financial details like the fiscal year end or stock market exchange and symbol, plus, see who their top competitors are and check industry specific details that will help with your demo and pitch.
2. Use high-quality webinar software
Sometimes a face-to-face conversation isn’t possible, but thanks to modern tech, that doesn’t have to be a major hindrance. On the contrary, webinars are proven tools for accruing leads and nurturing contacts. For example, you can run your sales demo on ClickMeeting, an online webinar platform with numerous features to better serve your message.
Use the software to customize your webinar room and make a great impact right off the bat. You can host polished live demos using audio and video, share screens, capture your audience’s attention with eye-catching slides (upon which you can make notes to emphasize important points in real time) and even implement clickable calls-to-action. It’s also super easy to leverage custom landing pages and registration forms, and you can share content in any format, from PowerPoint and Keynote to Pages and Excel.
Generally, a webinar tool can offer a lot of extra features that can make your demo more interactive and better suited for boosting conversions.
3. Personalize your demonstration
Only by communicating your value proposition in a bespoke way, can you resonate with every audience member. Running through a scripted, un-customized demo might nourish your ego if it’s done well, but your lead will struggle to relate the advice you’ve dispensed to their day-to-day.
An effective sales demonstration is tailor-made for the prospect, and by following tip #1 described above – i.e. relying upon insights you have gathered in advance – you can personalize your demo to fit whoever is in front of you. The prospective customer can then visualize how they would use the solution to achieve better results, and appreciate how the product solves their present challenges.
It sounds simple, but put yourself in the customer’s shoes: what would you want to know? What are you trying to accomplish that the product or service helps with? Do I want to be bombarded with technical mumbo jumbo or a list of features, or do I want to see the product in action? Speak from the prospect’s viewpoint and plant a seed in their mind. Oh, and don’t be afraid to change course if your pre-personalized demonstration is faltering and new issues, objections and information come to light. Be ready to make alterations on the sly.
If you’re interested in creating personalized on-demand demos, check out Consensus, formerly DemoChimp. Via personalized video and documents, your prospect can learn all they need to know about your solution in a way that’s relevant to them. Consensus also help with sales and marketing integration, which brings me nicely on to the fourth tip…
4. Ensure seamless marketing and sales merge
In days gone by, handoffs between marketing and sales divisions were frequently clumsy and beset by overlapping objectives. In modern business, however, there is – or at least there should be – a closer relationship between sales and marketing teams than ever before. The pair work in tandem, and so you should make the most of this in your demonstration.
And when it comes to marketing at this level – an account-based level, to be specific – it’s doubly important that there is a seamless integration between sales and marketing. And even more so, that there is a strong personalization element to the sales demo.
Have your sales and marketing teams start collaborating more closely, as well as sharing goals, objectives, knowledge and findings.
5. Remember the basics
Lastly, I want to talk about a few basic but essential bases and they concern presentation. You might have heard it all before, but it’s worth repeating, because it can be easy to lose yourself in the midst of a presentation and forget to do the simple things correctly.
And so: remember to modulate your tone, emphasizing key points and creating a natural rhythm to your presentation. Keep a glass of water on hand – it’ll help you from tripping over your words, sure, but it’ll also let your concepts seep in and give your client time to reflect.
Use dramatic pauses and hand gestures to accentuate your points. And last but not least, show – don’t tell.
Nailing your sales demo needn’t be an overly complex process. Like any presentation, the key is to get the basics right: know your audience; structure your content; allow room for continual engagement without completely relinquishing the proverbial Master of Ceremonies baton. Above all, position yourself and your service or product as a solution to your audience’s problem.
By doing so, you’ll deliver an unforgettable, Shakespearian performance that provokes deafening applause. Promise.Article written by Lilach Bullock and originally published on Forbes.com
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