Thursday, January 18, 2018

Guest Blogger Paul Pearce on: This may be the reason your demos are failing!

There is likely one critical reason your demos are failing!  Regardless of the sales methodology you use there is one critical sales skill that is required to win and it is paramount in every sales situation. 
As presented in Richard Smiths recent post “Demo Disasters - Why poor discovery leads to miserable fashion shows,” a company could have likely sold Richard before the demonstration began and it would have only took one small thing to do so.  This small thing happens to be critical to ensuring a great demo yet is something many sales team fails to do properly.
Discovery!  Sales Discovery when done well is one of the largest attributes to a winning demo and a successful sales campaign.  It goes beyond marching through the prescribed list of technical questions pulled from the company’s sales repository.  Great discovery questions lead the client into a deep conversation about their perceptions and opinions about how a solution will work, the implication it will have on them personally as well as what it will do for their organization.  It asks a series of insightful questions that allow the client the opportunity to share their vision. 
“My sales rep does discovery though and passes the information along.”  We always appreciate working on qualified deals so be sure to thank them for that.   As SC’s though, we need to take it a step further.  Once sales qualification and the typical Budget, Authority, Need and Timing (BANT) questions are addressed winning teams dig in further. 
There is an art form to asking questions and learning the motivations and drivers behind a client’s response.  Yet advanced questioning and discovery topics are not typically taught in SC training courses.  Applied Discovery skills are perhaps the most important criteria in becoming a high-performing senior presales professional or sales executive - and for achieving Presidents Club consistently  because it supports the artful representation of value, based upon each individuals and organizations unique needs in your solution.  It allows for the personalization of your message and demonstration.
“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper questions to ask.” – Albert Einstein
A wise (and very successful) sales mentors once told me that selling and demonstrating is one of the easiest jobs in the world.  He said that when you ask the right questions all you need to do is repeat the information back to the client.  When done effectively they will think you’re a genius.
If you are giving the same demonstration over and over again you are destined for low close rates and a churn and burn demo schedule that is ineffective.  However, if you want to take your demonstration skills to a mastery level, start with discovery and advanced questioning skills training.  It’s is the skillset that differentiates Demo Masters from median performers and the skillset you can use at any stage in your career.
To learn more about increasing win rates and mastering discovery and demonstration skills, contact the fine folks at the Second Derivative (  The Great Demo! Master Series and Master Certification Program takes the introductory Great Demo! training to the next level expanding on the concepts needed to build a Great Demo! and significantly increase your technical win rate.
Happy selling folks!

Paul H. Pearce

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