A Common Mistake from a VP of Sales

I have been selling for many years. As the VP of Sales at XANT, I do not usually give demos of our PowerDialer for SalesForce software. Today, however, I took the opportunity to present to Brian Geery, Interim VP of Sales at Sustainable Minds and a managing partner at Sales Productivity Architects.  Brian was a referral from a friend and sales expert, Trish Bertuzzi of the Bridge Group. I have been evaluating what XANT can do to improve our game and increase our sales growth in 2012.   I figured that doing the demo would not only clear my mind, but also get me close to our product and a prospect.

My demonstration was not as polished as one of my best salespeople, but it lasted the standard 45 minutes, and it covered in content and form, what a standard demo would include.  It was also received favorably with the prospect requesting a formal proposal.   It is good to know that an old dog still can do a few tricks!

At its conclusion, Brian offered a personal critique.  Simply stated, “The demo was good, however, I think you could sell more, faster, if your demonstration was less about what your software does and more about how it solves my problems.”   Brian was exactly right!

Innovative companies often begin creating products that solve a specific business need.  Early adopters experience those solutions through feature benefit demos that solve a particular business problem.  Early products tend to be less feature rich and therefore drive the discussion to business need and ROI benefit offered by implementing.  It works and they buy!

As products mature, so many features are added that the demo transforms itself into a sales training on product rather than what business needs it solves. Brian’s feedback was spot-on.  Effective salesmanship is when our solution solves our prospect’s problems.

We don’t sell software, we automate selling. I’ve upgraded my demo skills and those of my team to ensure that a good demo highlights the 2-3 core problems and demonstrates benefits of the PowerDialer for Salesforce.

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