In-person demos have disappeared since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-sales and Sales professionals are headlong in building bridges to customers using virtual platforms, but many of these virtual demos are missing some key components that will transform the event from a good demo to a winning demo. It is stating the obvious that in-person demo practices don’t all translate to virtual. That said, many professionals are executing virtual demos like they did in-person.
When your executives take the virtual stage at your upcoming Sales Kickoff (SKO), a story needs to be told. Here’s the scenario. 2020 has been an unprecedented year and your company is not only standing, it is roaring! Your key metrics are healthy and your forecast is solid. Now here’s your choice. You can either present the usual, charts, graphs and numbers or, you can captivate and engage your sales and client success organizations with a story that paints an image of your past and your future. Guess which one will be more effective?
Virtual Sales Kick Off (SKO) season is about to begin and, if you’re like many powerful sales organizations, you’re looking for big results post-session. In the past, your on-site events were filled with energy and sessions that motivated the team. Here are some ideas to consider that we have found will add some flavor to meat and potato virtual, SKO breakout sessions.
There is a surge of firms offering virtual soft-skills training since the onset of Covid-19 and Social Distancing. If you are considering scheduling your precious and expensive resources into one of these courses, here is a list of nonnegotiables for anyone offering this form of training.
✓Proven Satisfaction Metrics
Courses designed initially for in-person events will not be effective in a virtual setting unless they are entirely re-engineered. Insist on customer satisfaction metrics that compare their virtual training with their on-site offerings. Require that they back up those statistics with their sample size. Anyone can claim a high satisfaction index from one or two clients that are “friendlies.” The satisfaction scores must be within two percent of each other to warrant further consideration of their offering.
Here’s a scenario we’ve all experienced. It is three days before a key demo, and you need the sponsor at the client to follow through on her promise to schedule discovery calls. The problem is, she isn’t responding to your emails or voice-mails. As a pre-sales professional, you know the importance of making those connections and getting your critical questions answered. The salesperson on the account is too busy or distracted to help. What do you do? The answer is all in the subject line…
When I hear that phrase, I remember reading bedtime stories to my sons when they were youngsters. As adults, stories help us understand complex concepts, and just like when we’re younger, they forge connections with the storyteller, open up our imaginations, and help us receive new ideas.
Ever Have a Runaway Demo?
Your salesperson, Emma, has a “hot lead.” Kristian, the prospect and a company executive, wants to make a decision quickly and needs a demo “right away.” Emma presses Kristian to provide time to perform a formal discovery so she can get input from other stakeholders. Kristian asserts, “You don’t need to do that. I have a list of requirements from them, and we don’t have time for a bunch of interviews. That would take weeks. Why don’t you get your demo expert to provide us with an overview and we will guide him or her from there?” Emma accepts Kristian’s request, convinces her to send the list of requirements, and sets up the demo for the next business day.
We believe there’s a goldmine in your current customer base when Client Services Teams have a solid strategy to manage your relationships.
Does this sound familiar?
They licensed your solution, they signed up for a lower tier of users and options, they didn’t really implement it well, they didn’t interact during the subscription, and just before their renewal deadline you received an email informing you that they would no longer be using your platform.
Now you’re in crisis mode with a client you hardly know. You ask for a meeting, beg for continuation, ask what went wrong, offer discounts, etc. The problem was, they simply didn’t use the application like they thought they would and the cancellation is being directed by an executive that no one had met.
“With the right plan in place you’ll get the renewals AND grow revenue long after the sale.”
It’s Q4 and the smaller deals in your pipeline aren’t going to make your year. But, you have a solid chance to make club on the beautiful beaches of Fiji while the rest of us are fighting the snow and slush in the dark days of February. You’ve got one large, highly-competitive deal teed up. It has been a 5-month sales process and you’re having one final preparation meeting before the demo. How are you going to make sure you close the deal?