No matter how much time you spend training your reps on the perfect sales demo strategy, they are bound to encounter some less than fortunate scenarios. The good news is, bad demos don’t have to mean a lost opportunity.
Use the following example scenarios and responses to coach your sales reps through typical sales demo issues so they’re prepped for an emergency whenever it hits.
The Technology Glitch
Scenario: Technology has a clever way of malfunctioning when we need it most. Your sales reps undoubtedly know that sinking feeling when their browser suddenly won’t load, or they can’t hear a thing their potential client is saying over the phone. The most important thing to coach your reps on is to not panic. There is nothing more uncomfortable than watching someone absolutely lose it while you wait it out on the other end.
Solution: Coach your reps to remember that these types of problems happen to everyone, including their prospects. It’s a great time to crack a joke and lighten the mood while they troubleshoot the issue. And of course remind them, apologizing is always a great place to start.
The Boring Sales Demo
Scenario: If your sales reps are spending most of their sales demo talking, you’ve got a problem. You need to coach your reps on how to make a boring demo more exciting.
Solution: Train them to notice signs of disengagement from their prospects, and how to amp up the presentation when they see them. If they sense they’re losing interest, coach them to ask more questions, include more visuals, and ditch the statistics. Sales professionals and marketers often gravitate towards statistics because they seem compelling, but the people on the other end disagree. 63% of presentation attendees remember stories versus only 5% who remember statistics. If you can train your sales reps to recognize when a lead is losing interest, they can quickly address the issue and turn the demo around.
The Product Bug
Scenario: There is nothing more embarrassing than talking about how great a product is while it malfunctions right in front of you. It’s hard to come back from experiencing a bug on your own product during a sales demo, but with the right attitude, it can be done.
Solution: First, coach your sales reps on how to diffuse the situation. They should acknowledge the issue, and then use it as an opportunity to talk through your organization’s awesome support process. Throwing in some statistics about how many clients you serve, and at what capacity, will also help remind your prospect that bugs do occasionally happen. Second, show them exactly how they would reach out to your tech support, and how smooth that process is. They’ll likely be impressed that you have an action plan and a responsive team ready for when problems do hit.
The Unprepared Sales Rep
Scenario: Your sales reps thought they knew what they were covering in the sales demo, only to find out their prospect wanted to take things an entirely different direction. Coach your sales reps to gather all the information they can prior to the actually sales demo to keep things from going south. This can mean actually reaching out to the potential client, or doing some light research on their organization.
Solution: If your reps do get caught in the unfortunate situation of not having the right answers, train them on the correct follow up. Have them reiterate what outstanding questions their prospect has during the demo, and then make sure they quickly follow up with a thorough response afterwards. If there’s an opportunity to reschedule the demo, this could a good time to cover what the prospect originally wanted and you could try to invite other key decision makers or influencers now that the needs are understood.
The Misqualified Lead
Scenario: A bad sales demo doesn’t always have to start off bad. Your sales rep could start strong, but quickly realize their prospect isn’t even the right type of client for organization. Even with a lead qualification process, a few bad apples always manage to get through.
Solution: Train your sales reps on important qualifiers so they can determine whether a prospect is worth pursuing before the demo is scheduled. And, make sure your organization has a formal lead qualification process in place. Companies nearly double their lead conversion rates when they have a formal definition of a qualified lead in place. Your sales reps also need to feel comfortable cutting an opportunity loose when it’s not the right fit. They may feel like they’re losing a sale, but you can help coach your sales reps on the important decision making process of knowing when to walk away.
Sales demos are an important part of your sales organization. Help coach your reps to see the potential in bad sales demos so they can save more opportunities, and close more deals.