How to give a great team demo? Well, we can learn a thing or two from my 3 year old. After all, adults are just big toddlers, and kids have a lot to teach us about emotional connections.
I have two young kids – currently one of them is 3, and the other is 6 months. As any parent can tell you, having kids has changed…well…everything (and mostly for the better). But something I’ve realized, and I’m going to talk about this quite a bit on this blog, is that much of what I’ve learned about parenting is applicable to any other aspect of my life. Including sales.
3 year olds are known for a lot of things. Patience is not one of them. Granted, I’m originally from Boston, a city not exactly known for its patience. And even though my kids were born in Chicago, they can sometimes act like young Bostonians – particularly when they want to get my (or my wife’s) attention. This can be less than ideal if she and I are talking about something important. Or talking about anything, really.
We needed a way to manage this that isn’t “stop talking to each other and talk to the 3 year old.” So we now have a nonverbal method that works quite well (credit to Busy Toddler for this one):
“When you need our attention, put your hand on our arm. We’ll then put our hand on your hand, so you know that we know you’re trying to get our attention. We’ll then finish what are saying, and then you’ll have our full attention.”
Team Selling Situations Require Effective Communication
More often than not, SaaS sales opportunities have multiple people involved. Giving a great team demo often includes, but is not limited to these team members:
- The inside sales rep/sales development rep handles the initial client communication
- The AE (account executive) “quarterbacks” the deal
- The presales person or team (SC/SE/etc) runs the demo and/or the proof-of concept
- There may be a SME (subject matter expert) or product evangelist who serves in sort of a presales/support role
- Bigger companies tend to have salespeople who manage the whole account (something like a “key account manager”)
- If it’s an existing client, there may be a CSM (client success manager) involved
- Sometimes, particularly in later-stage opportunities, an executive from the SaaS company might be involved
That’s a lot of people potentially involved in the deal. And if a lot of them are in the meeting, a lot of them want to talk (my rule of thumb on this, though others may disagree, is that there shouldn’t be more salespeople than clients in the room). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, if there’s no coordination among the sales team, things tend to go sideways quickly – especially if there are reps from multiple teams/products as part of the meeting.
If this were a meeting of kindergartners, you could probably use a “talking stick” (whoever has the stick gets to talk). But with a meeting of grown-ups, this method probably won’t work. But there is a technique you can use for a great team demo, and we employ it at 2Win all of the time: We call it “stand up/sit down.”
Seamless Transitions Between Your Presenters for Better Sales Presentations
We’re pretty strong believers that, if you want to give a great team demo, the rule is “one stage, one actor.” When someone is presenting/talking, that means no one else should be. Because if that happens, it makes you look somewhere between “unprofessional” and “sloppy.”
So instead, here’s what you can do. First, in an in person meeting: Let’s say I’m running the demo, and there’s an AE (sales Account Executive) in the meeting. When the AE has something to say, instead of interrupting, they can simply stand up. I’ll see that they’re standing, which is a cue to me as the presenter that the AE wants to say something. I’ll nod to the salesperson, which is my way of acknowledging that I know they have something to say (kind of like when I put my hand on the three year old’s). Then, when I’m ready, I’ll say something like “salesperson, do you have something to add?” I’ll then sit down, so the focus can be on the salesperson.
When the salesperson is done, they’ll sit, which is my cue that they’re done speaking. I’ll then stand up and keep going. This will look seamless, because it is.
Let’s say I move on from where the salesperson was going to say something, so the comment no longer makes sense. All the salesperson has to do is sit back down, which is their way of telling me that they no longer need to speak, and I just move on.
If you’re in a small room, this may feel awkward, so you might need another cue. Maybe it’s a small hand raise off the desk (not a “teacher pick me” hand raise). Maybe it’s eye contact with a small gesture – a tilt of the head perhaps. As long as both of you know what it means, you’ll be good to go.
All of this will help you deliver a great team demo, and will make sure you look professional in front of your audience.
Seamless Transitions in Virtual Sales Opportunities
If you’re on Zoom/Teams, you can still use this technique, just a bit differently. Instead of stand up/sit down, it becomes mute/unmute. Make sure to have your colleague in a gallery window that you can see, and when they unmute, call on them (when you’re ready). Then, when they’re done talking, they simply go back on mute.
Just like stand up/sit down, if it no longer makes sense for them to contribute, they can simply go back on mute. Again, this will be seamless for the audience.
You can also use chat, but that’s risky. If it’s Zoom chat, I always worry that I’ll message the entire group when I mean to message one person. And, the presenter may not be watching the chat. If it’s iMessage/Slack/SMS/etc, the notification might distract the presenter or the audience. If you’re going to go this route, talk about it in advance, that way the presenter knows where to look, but can also turn on do not disturb to keep distractions to a minimum.
Team Selling FTW
Making sure you’re coordinated during a team demo is as simple as standing up. This technique will ensure your team looks professional, and will keep everyone from talking over each other. Because the last thing you want is for your client to remember your team as “the one that kept interrupting each other.”
If you want to to deliver a great team demo, our Demo2Win! workshop is a great place to start. Click here to contact us, or use the chat. And let us know what you think about stand up/sit down in the comments.