As much as we prepared for the demo, I came away still feeling like we didn’t do a good job. Cat and Pete were not very engaged and it was obvious that we’re a long way from a sale if they are the gatekeepers of the deal.
Brian was kind enough to share some feedback with me though, and here they are:
- focus on the value and the problems we’re solving for the business. I agreed that I got caught in the weeds trying to show too much that I lost my story.
- Started off well playing “day in the life” but didn’t make it sticky enough. I need to complete the story and get the person feeling like that was really easy! Don’t focus on the clicks and the buttons.
- Anticipate objections & understand the customer as much as possible. This is quite hard to do but an effort needs to be made for it.
- Find a better screen sharing app. I had to keep restarting the app and it was distracting and give them a sense of complexity.
- Reports need to have a story!!! Reports are meaningless unless they have a compelling story behind it.
- Try to include as much customer references as possible. Again a tough one but an effort needs to be made for it.
There are only three things your prospects want to know from you:
- Can your software solve my problem?
- Can it provide a higher ROI than my other options?
- Can it provide a higher ROI than what I’m doing now?
- Don’t demo unless you understand the customer’s business problems and goals.
- Don’t assume.
- Don’t give advice and demos away for free. Use a verbal contract and get something back in exchange. E.g, have the budget owner attend the demo, give us a decision by X date, etc etc.
- Call to action at the end. What is the customer supposed to do or think after the demo. Tied back to the 2 objectives of a speech: 1. solve a problem, 2. do things differently.
Demo tip: what’s obvious to you is more than often not obvious to your prospect.
Customers are not interested in your demo, although they might ask for one, what they’re REALLY interested in is HOW YOU CAN HELP SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS. They could not care less about your product and your company spiel.
Especially for SaaS, demoing features very quickly goes out of date. The customer here is buying much more than just the product. They are buying support, reliability, performance, integration & security as well.
Prospects are making their purchase decision based on whether they think you understand their problems and you have the knowledge, resources and commitment to solve them.
You need to talk about your experience in their industry, about other customers you’ve worked with and their results (ROI calculator and Jerry Macguire results), about the entire scope of your solution.
Successful SaaS sales people provide context. They explain how the solution helps the business, how it solves problems, why it will make the customer more successful.
The winner doesn’t do it with features alone. They win with the story that goes with them!
We had a LM team training session today with almost more SCs than RSEs.
One of the really key points that came up was from Chappo, and he said that “giving a customer a demo is giving them the power to say no”. This made a lot of sense because they can dispute the features and functions of the system till the cows come home (don’t like the buttons, don’t like the colour, your s/w looks the same as the other guys) but if you base your sale on the ROI and business case, it is way more solid and getting them to agree on their numbers means they can’t dispute it.
This was a bit of an unusual sales process. We combined discovery and a demo all into one purely because it’s been really hard to engage with the main key contact (Biz App Manager), so we decided to grab the rare chance where we’d have all the evaluators together in the room at the same time to do it all. I was also a bit bullish approaching this deal because we were trying to displace SV as well. I was keen to “tear shit up”!
It actually worked out quite well. It is important to state that the session is meant to be an interactive one where they should feel free to ask us anything and for us to do the same. We had a good mix of IT, Finance and IT/Finance people in the room – which was great! The session was extremely candid and interactive and you could see their eyes light up when shown the value propositions of our solution. Some people instantly “got it”! They could see the future – just like SAI.
The demo went really well because I did some careful planning on how to position specifically against SV – understanding the competitor and uniquely differentiating ourselves. I feel explaining what a report is and what it means is extremely important.
At the end of it all – BW is proven right again. No matter how good a demo is, it doesn’t seal the deal. Starting to have a tremendous amount of respect for BW. It all came down to the business case again. We need to help them build the business case and work on the commercials to make the switch attractive. The cost of change – the benefits of change MUST outweigh the cost of change!
Going into this demo half blind as we didn’t do a full discovery prior. Nevertheless, the information provided in the RFP document contained enough info and I nailed the “objectives” page in presso. Always a good sign when they agree with the list, the sequence of priority, and nothing to add.
We had the CIO, Head of Treasury, Project Manager and Financial Transformation Manager in the room with just me and my Sales guy.
Demo went pretty well and client was really interactive. This session was a little bit unique because the CIO kept asking our opinions and what we’ve seen from our experience and all that. I think sometimes we don’t leverage our expertise and authority as the world’s leading vendor enough. We focus too much on the product sometimes and forget that it’s not about what the product can do, but it’s about how our product solve their problems.
I think clients want to learn from us and from other companies. They want to know what their peers are doing and don’t want to be left behind. They have a problem and they’re looking for someone to show them how to solve it – the product is secondary.
Closing, feedback from them was really positive but I’m not sure if it was compelling enough or not.
- Leverage our experience and expertise as leaders and experts more – show them how to do things the right way.
- Focus on solving their problems, not showing off our product.