What wins you more deals?
Posts about sales demo:
SaaS vendors typically choose one or the other when it comes to socializing their tech to buyer committees: show a demo account over zoom, or set them up with a real working trial of your tech to use. And historically, we've lacked any other option.
But here's the new movement in B2B SaaS:
Keep offering that real trial. (~25% of your prospects will take it.)
Then, offer a "zero barrier of entry sandbox trial" to the other 75%. It's enough to keep the convo going, enable them to "show" your tech off to their team, and then use it to loop them into the real trial later (if you even need it at that point).
Years ago, someone told me you needed a primary CTA on your website. If a prospect is interested and wants to learn more, your CTA should tell them exactly what they need to do next.
Well there’s a problem, Goldilocks... It looks like you only have two choices!
You can go “Free Demo!” and have sellers jump on the first call to handle inbound. Or you could offer a “Try now!” and let prospects install and test straight away.
Of course, the 'get demo' button is too cold. It’s going to annoy prospects that want instant gratification. And your 'get started' button is crazy hot! It’s going to annoy anyone that can't navigate the install and set it up in under five minutes.
Where’s the “just right” approach?
Like so many things in 2020, the way buyers buy has changed completely.
We talked about this on a Sales Hacker webinar last month - here’s a quick rundown.
The bottom line? People aren’t going into work anymore. And they might not be going back to the office for a long time. They’re staying home. Or, like me, they’re moving to a completely new location - and then they’re staying home.
There’s been a mass migration out of expensive, dense cities like New York and San Francisco, and people aren’t coming back anytime soon. They’ll stay in “Zoom cities” like Tahoe, and this shift to a more manageable work/life balance might well be permanent.
That means they’re out of your physical area, and they might even be in a completely different time zone. Reaching them is much harder than it used to be.
So what does this shift mean for the new buyer journey? For vendors, for sellers, for marketers? What are the new norms you need to know?
“Give to Get” gives your prospects an excuse to get lost! Why? Read on -
I can’t credit one single source for teaching me about Give to Get. Google it and you’ll see 3.7 billion results (I’m not joking). Every manager I’ve ever had taught me to use it. Every sales book has some form of it too. And scroll the LinkedIn thought leaders and you’ll inevitably find the give-to-get logic permeating ‘how we do it.’
What is it?
Give to get is a simple concept. My favorite summary comes from Robert Cialdini when he talks about the basic law of reciprocity. Imagine you’re walking into a big building with a huge set of glass doors out front. Someone in front of you reaches the door first and holds it open for you with a smile. “Thank you,” you proclaim, as you suddenly reach a second set of doors.. Double Doors!
We talk a lot about the theory of demos - the right way and wrong way to do them - on this blog. But I recently had a purchasing experience that really threw the whole into sharp relief.
Let’s call it a tale of three demos. It was an illustration of the issues we talk about here that was almost too good to be true, because the whole experience varied so widely. What I, as our Ops founder, wanted and what the vendor sales teams offered me sometimes seemed to be totally at odds with each other.
My background is in sales, so I’m used to looking at things from that side of the table. But recently I needed to buy some software to help us coordinate with our tech team, so I got to see the other half of the equation.
And boy - it was all over the place.
A couple weeks ago, I posted on LinkedIn about a dynamic duo I knew - an AE/SE team that was unstoppable. One of my followers recommended an awesome podcast on the same subject, from the PreSales Podcast team.
So I thought I’d share my notes from the podcast - and all the aha! Moments it gave me about the SE/AE relationship. Let’s go!
Leading and Learning
The AE/SE relationship is important - they’re different roles, but with the same ultimate goal - making a sale. Learning a few tips for working together smoothly, and how to see things from the other perspective, can make everyone’s job a lot easier - and more fun too.
If you had to lay down some basic rules of the road for demos…. Could you do it? Would you come up with a tight, functional system where everyone adopts the script, has the collateral they need, and everything gets updated in line with new product releases?
Last week, I wrote about my favorite AE/SE pair - Devin and Julian. I told a story about one of the best working relationships I’ve seen for AEs and SEs. The post inspired some of you to reach out and share your stories. My question was on the working relationship between your sales people and your sales engineers. Here are some of my favorite quotes!
Quotes From the Field
Here’s what you shared.
My first quote came from the product leader at a company that is in half our stacks right now. He shared,
“We sell to sales, so our sales reps give great demos that really resonate from a 'day in the life' perspective. But once we started moving upmarket, it became clear that we also needed SEs on calls.”
Nobody owns your demo.
Sure, you have a demo. And someone built it. Maybe someone even scripted a talk track or built a PowerPoint deck too. I mean, your demo exists… but does anyone actually own it?
Lack of ownership in your demo leads to inconsistent talk tracks and a bad buyer experience, which of course leads to lower win rates and lost revenue. It also makes for misaligned expectations with your prospects, with repercussions that extend well beyond lost deals. Specifically: churn and brand damage.
What’s broken? Well, everyone I’ve met assumes that someone else is on it, so in the end, nobody owns it.
As a friend of mine in Product Marketing put it:
“Nobody wants to own the demo. It’s thankless!”
But just because it's a complicated, shared responsibility does not mean that leaving it up in the air is acceptable. The largest and most mature enterprise companies assign true ownership of their demo, and the time is long overdue for small and mid-sized companies to get the memo.