Key to each presentation is what your audience will remember after you leave. People are wired to remember stories, and experiences. Effective teams involve stories/narrations in their presentations. Here's how you can do it.
High performing sales teams reps high impact questions early in the cycle. They are quick at identifying opportunities that have the meat.
Here's my list of effective sales questions. NOTE: Don't try and memorize this. Feel the impact as you read this and make it a part of your sales lingo!
1. Who in the business is impacted the most, by this problem? Understand who’s ultimately going to pay the $$$.
2. Who in senior management is aware of this problem? How big is the problem? Does it have management attention?
Your message is the key to your competitive differentiation. A message that isn't delivered well or is confusing, can undue months of sales efforts. Good sales teams know that well. They take orals coaching seriously.
In the enterprise software business we often get only one change to prove our capabilities. There is no place for the runners up and the winner takes it all. While there's a lot written about the topic like this article I found, here's my ask of my presenters:
I recently read a great book called "Just F*ing Demo!: Tactics for Leading Kickass Product Demos". Indeed, a well crafted agenda is the key to all good product demos for the exact same reason. It follows the YOU-THEM-YOU approach
The best sales teams are prepared to asks pointed questions, validate hypothesis early of the demonstration. It starts with having a compelling AGENDA slide that speaks to what's in it for YOU the customer. I wrote up on those lines:
Cost of Status Quo is the most important information you can capture when you are prospecting. Why? Most people will NOT make a decision to change if they don't quite understand the cost of the problem. Yes, your solution is important, and yes price is probably important too, but until a prospect agrees they have an issue, and they understand the cost of the issue, you will likely not sell them a thing.
How do you approach the subject of Cost of Status-quo? I am glad you asked.
Enterprise sales is all about establishing trust. We buy from those we trust. We trust those who care, talk their way, feel their pain.
Prospects believe those who talk and relate to them in a familiar jargon. Yet few in software solution sales speak the customer's language. We stay comfortable selling technical merits because that's what we know best.
Most sales teams have a listening problem. They want to be heard, as if they are on a stage... And that kills deals!! Here's a way to identify and fix this proactively.
1. Identify team mates who can't shut up: The experts on your team who want to prove themselves. Make a deal with them, they will only talk in reference to a related client problem we have solved. No deep end technology of solutions discussions, please!
2. Develop and agree upon the "shut up" signal. This is critical rule; It should be well publicized to the sales team, that non adherence to the rule should have disastrous consequences. My rule is, I want my team mates to look at me once each minute to get my clues.
There is NO silver medal in sales! The winner takes it ALL. So I want to know my chances of winning quickly . Over the years, I've learned a technique that maximizes my chances of winning.. that I'd like to share with you.
It all comes down to SCOTSMAN:
Solution - Can we technically / physically meet the need?
Competition - Who is our real competition? Is it internal politics or an incumbent? Does my competition have an unfair advantage against me?
Only Me - what does the client perceive is unique about us?
Timescales - Is it too near or far for us to be involved now? Why will they buy from us now? What's the Compelling Reason to Act (CRA)?
Size - to small or to large to be viable for us? Can we handle this alone? Should we partner, or go alone?
Money - do they have sufficient real, spendable budget? When is the last time they spent money on something like you are selling to them?
Authority - what is the decision making process? Who is the influencer and who is the nay sayer? Who's opinion matters? Who does the main budget holder like?
Need - What are they looking to achieve? What is the cost of NOT doing anything
Winning lost business back is an art and a rhetoric. Here's how you can do it..
1. Wish the prospect well and request a debrief, learning session
2. On the call, listen a LOT.. Re-articulate the prospect'd reasoning, and propose a hypothetical win scenario for your service. Get agreement.
Q: How do I know if the Sales person knows the right people in an account?
Few Startups invest in hiring seasoned inside sales teams and that's a mistake.
Your chances of success are far lower than established companies so you need to prospect a LOT more and be ready take failure on the chin. No one is better at handling rejection and at building sales momentum than an experienced inside sales team.
Let's face it.. Everyone likes getting a deal but few of us are comfortable negotiating, or worse getting negotiated with. We all need this skill and with practice we can get comfortable with the act.
Elements of a "good" deal to happen:
1. Both the buyer and seller leave feeling good after the deal
2. The buyer gets the seller referral, repeat business
4. The seller sees value of a larger deal in the near future.
For this, sellers should plan (and practice) upfront for negotiations. Here's how I do it.
A sales team will never have it's act fully baked. But the clients don't know that unless you make it obvious. Who knows they might not have their act together either. Just feel the waters, and stick to a published agenda for the call. As long as the sales team doesn't talk over one another, has a strong alpha leading the team and the clients learning something new that helps them do better in their jobs, you'd come back. Just make sure there's a follow on note going out after the call stating what was discussed and next steps, task owners with timelines to act by.
No one likes to call in cold but at some point it has to be done to draw eyeballs! especially when your brand isn't well established. How else would the world know you existed? But there is a science to the mad-ness that can make you be of value to clients so fewer of them hangup on ya! So here's my approach.. I've added a sample script below..
# 0 Prepare upfront and practice a lot:
#1. Speak less but site numerical evidence, that counts as more: Tell them as little as possible. Talk about a relevant pain and how you have address it for others. Short sentences.. Talk no more than 30-seconds in one go. Ask a question soon after.. make them participate and feel in control.
NOTE: The learnings from this blog site are not a substitute for a training course; training courses are not a substitute for working together in the field. If the content here resonates and you want to explore further, give me a call.