• Avoid Web Demos Early in the Sales Process

    Do you wish more of your qualified opportunities would move farther down the sales pipeline?

    I would assume the answer is yes.

    Part of the sales process for most technology companies is to conduct a web demonstration to a prospect or a group of prospects.  In my experience, this demo usually happens very early in the relationship building stage, at a critical time when the two companies are still rather unfamiliar with each other.

    The problem with web demos is that they are often too one-sided, where it’s heavily focused on the more fine details such as capabilities and features.  I’ve been on plenty demos that I would even classify as straight-up boring.  I’ll stand firm in asserting that the first few meetings and calls with a client should be all about understanding the prospect’s company, their environment, and what they truly need and desire in order to help accelerate them to the next step and solve whatever business pains they are experiencing.  The inner workings of technology are great, and at some point prospects will obviously need to understand the details of the solution or product, but from a strategic standpoint of building relationships, it just dulls the experience. It isn’t personable – it’s numbers.

    The personable sales reps who engage their audience and consciously focus on understanding their prospects will close many more deals than average reps who approach their prospects with a pre-regimented web demo strung with the hopes that will suffice to close a deal.

    I’m not saying to ditch web demos and throw them away, but rather I want to shed new light on the concept and to challenge sales reps. Do you really understand your potential client before you give a web demo? If the answer is no, then I suggest holding off on it.  Wouldn’t it seem genuine if you told a prospect, “I would love to show you a demonstration, but first I’d really like to understand your environment and some of the issues you’re facing so I can align that to my web demo and really highlight some areas or features that could really help you out?”  Your intentions are good and not generic, and you’re making the effort to build a relationship first.

    When do you think demos should be included in the sales process?

    Mike Ricciardelli is Manager of Client Operations at AG Salesworks.  To view all company blogs go to AG Salesworks blog site.

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