There’s a fascinating case of a group of brilliant scientists in a company’s R&D division who could not communicate their new inventions to the marketing department and, thus, exciting products were being left out of the development pipeline.
What was the problem? The scientists kept talking about technical features and not consumer benefits, so marketing couldn’t figure out why any customer would care.
This is a cool illustration of what could happen when trying to close sales deals in software demos: too much focus on the specs and not enough on the client. Don’t let this happen to you.
To help you out, in this article I will describe how to close more B2B sales deals during a software presentation.
Yes, I’m repeating myself, but this warrants it. It’s easy to get caught up with all the amazing features of your software and start clicking on every button to daze your customers - but they only care about what the product can do for them.
Focus on providing value, not training people. That’s why your demos should be short, around 15 minutes of quality content and then another 10 to 15 minutes of Q&A.
Closing B2B sales deals in today’s competitive market can be challenging. The secret is to do your homework beforehand and discover your customer's needs and pain points.
During the qualifying process, you should have identified those needs. Now, during the demo, your job is to effectively communicate how your software solves those needs.
Ask lots of questions and engage your customer when addressing those needs. For example, here’s a possible scenario:
Sales rep: “I understand you’re losing a load of opportunities every day because you don’t have a team in place to chat with all your web visitors. Is that right?”
Customer: “Yep, that’s right. We’re overwhelmed with new business and we lack the resources."
Sales rep: “When you begin working with our managed sales chat team, they will respond to sales queries on site, generate leads, and manage all the processes and technology for you.
Having a team there to quickly interact with leads, while they’re on your website, will boost sales, and your team will be free to continue with their priorities.
Of course, our managed team doesn’t have to be available 24/7, but you can use chatbots.
Would you like me to show you how the chatbots can help qualify leads as well?"
See what’s going on here? You’re using the intel gathered through the qualifying process and you’re speaking their language. You did your research and know the words they used when describing their needs - use those words and phrases and stay away from technical jargon about your product.
If you need to use technical jargon, use theirs. Get acquainted with your prospect’s language by reading their website and blog posts and make that part of your demo.
The secret here is to customize your software demo to every single prospect. That means you’re not reading from a script but you’re asking questions, learning on the go and adapting your presentation to the responses of each individual prospect.
Once you’re done with your presentation, ask the closing question and don’t be afraid of sealing the deal. If you showed them the benefits and added value, they should be ready to buy.
Here are some examples of closing phrases you can use to know how the prospect is feeling about the deal:
- “It seems like our product is a great fit for your company. What do you think?"
- “When can we begin implementation/training?”
- "If you don’t have any more questions or concerns, perhaps we're ready to get started."
- “I know you have other commitments after this call, so perhaps we should start talking about the actual agreement.”
- "Let's talk about pricing."
Remember the scientists who couldn’t communicate their research to the marketing department? A team of consultants came up with a creative solution to their problem: the billboard technique.
A highway billboard has only two seconds to communicate an idea effectively, so it must be clear, concise and motivating. Typically, a billboard has only three elements: a headline, a visual, and a reason-to-believe or call to action.
The consultants asked the scientists to ditch their features-ridden PowerPoint and instead write a consumer-benefit headline. Then they asked them to create a visual that helped reinforce that benefit, and create a reason-to-believe the headline. The results were incredible. This simple technique solved the R&D scientists’ communication problem and allowed them to push their inventions through the company’s development pipeline.
Can you think of some ways to improve your communication during your demos so you can sell more?
There are many ways to close sales deals, but the secret is to focus your demo presentation on the particular benefits for each prospect. It takes a lot more work than the one-size-fits-all type of presentation, but it’s worth the time and effort.
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