All the best sales advice out there, from Entrepreneur to Sales Hacker and HubSpot, tells you to have a plan. Create a process. Stick to a strategy. But what about when a rigid structure starts to hold you back?
In today’s sales ecosystem, teams copy each other extensively. Salespeople all read the same blogs, attend the same events, and mimic each others’ tips to the point where executives bemoan “receiving the alligator email again.” Amidst this clutter, a firm process may only ensure that you get ignored just like everyone else.
As a sales consultant, help your reps and be bold—think differently—and try sleeping through a demo.
Not every customer needs a full-fledged demo
No, of course, we’re not actually advocating sleeping on the job. We’re suggesting you do less work and allow customers to consume the information whenever they please, with asynchronous video.
While your customer watches your pre-recorded custom demo, you could be anywhere, like focusing on more important demos. Which begs the question, if this works (it does), then why do we give everyone big, full-length demos anyway? For the same reason, Americans are stuck on the Imperial System or why Australia’s Supreme Court wears powdered horsehair wigs: it’s just how things have always been done.
But, as any seasoned sales consultant will tell you, not every customer needs a full-fledged demo, just as not every lead needs to be grilled by a junior SDR. Often, salespeople’s processes put prospects through the ringer and leave them exasperated, wanting to buy but unable to accelerate things.
Today’s customers, who are unequivocally overloaded with messages and short on attention, demand a more personalized sales process. They don’t want to suffer endless emails to coordinate a demo time any more than the sales rep wants to push the sale back another week or you want to perform a demo that you’re not sure the customer needs.
In these moments, you can grant everyone’s wish with asynchronous video. And if the customer bites and is intrigued, they can schedule a full demo, and come to it prepared with real questions and a real agenda. And if they don’t bite, and don’t need a full demo, and move on through the sales cycle anyway, everyone wins.
Asynchronous video, used as a pre-demo qualifier, can:
- Speed up sales cycles
- Better qualify prospects
- Save time for everyone involved
- Free up sales consultants to focus on more important tasks
And here are a few ways to use it:
4 types of micro-demo video content
1. Micro demos
Micro-demos are exactly as they sound: miniature demo recordings. Prepare for them by having the salesperson ask, either on the introductory call or in an email, what features the customer would like to see. Customers don’t always know the answer to this, but it gets them thinking and forces them to do some pre-work. On occasion, however, it will lead you to strike qualification gold.
For example, if a prospect confesses, “This is actually to help convince my boss,” you can record a highly persuasive clip for that express purpose and allow them to pass it along, penetrating the account much more quickly than if you had performed a demo, learned about the recalcitrant boss, and then scheduled a second “executive” demo.
Record a miniature demo that strikes a balance between answering their questions and leaving them wanting more.
If your customers need a high-level conceptual demo of something that’s been covered in a marketing webinar, chop up the webinar and send the customer a truncated version. Add custom recordings of yourself explaining why you selected these clips. Tell them beforehand why it’s relevant, add explanations in the middle—perhaps jumping to their website and highlighting features—and then end with a summary.
3. Customer service tips
Is the prospect’s concern less about the technology and more about the level of service they’ll receive? Do what you’d never do on a demo and have someone from the customer service team record it with you. Together, you can deliver precisely what they need to hear directly from the person who will be taking care of them.
4. Team downloads
If your customer is primarily concerned about technology, security, or your roadmap, rope in experts throughout the company. You need not even be present for these—if everyone’s using a simple video recording tool, you can solicit 1-2 minute segments from a variety of people throughout your organization, including executives or sales leaders, and combine them into one, powerful, company-wide micro demo. And perhaps best of all, you can save these clips and rearrange or repurpose them for future deals.
Lead with personalization, not process
Not every customer needs a demo and not every sales consultant needs to give a live one. Help your salespeople stand out and better utilize everyone’s time with micro-demos. If you perfect them and use them to weed out unnecessary demos and all the scheduling headaches that entails, you may find yourself working so efficiently that there’s nothing left to do but slip away, book a conference room, and take a much-deserved nap.
Chris Gillespie is the writer and founder behind Find A Way Media which helps great businesses create killer marketing content. Based in Brooklyn, Chris spent years selling SaaS technology solutions and now helps those companies craft their content marketing strategies.
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