How to Win After The Sales Demo
So you’ve just delivered a great demo to a prospect. You showcased the right features and told a story that resonated with their unique business challenges. Good job - but now is not the time to celebrate. Your demo is only as good as the messaging you share with the prospect after the call ends.
Odds are, your prospect is not ready to sign today. They need to decompress, review the solution with their team and management, and decide if moving forward is the right choice for their business. Your prospect (now your product “champion”) is interested, but they need to take the idea up the chain to get the appropriate approval and budget to move the deal forward.
Until the next touchpoint, you are no longer in the driver seat for the sale. Your champion is now an extension of your sales force. They will be the one socializing your solution with teammates and leadership to evaluate fit and business need. After the demo, your next immediate goal is to empower your champion with the right information to gain internal buy-in. This information provided is critical to ensure that they have the resources and reference material to properly explain your offering and the value it provides. Additionally, this information needs to be readily available and clear so that no extra work is needed from your champion. You are asking a lot of this person already - don’t make them do unneeded work when telling your story.
Build a Relationship
If you haven’t already, connect with your champion on LinkedIn. Sending an invitation to connect is a gesture that shows you want to build a relationship that may last beyond the scope of the deal and is an opportunity to make deeper connections.
From a sales intelligence perspective, this connection gives you additional insight into shared connections and an in to eventually connect with leadership and decision makers at the prospect organization
Use the LinkedIn connection request message as another channel to remind your prospect of who you are and your intentions. However, this is not the right forum to set actions, assign due dates, or push a sale. This is a friendly message geared to get them to accept your invitation.
Craft the Right Email
The email that you send after the demo sets the tone for the remainder of the sales cycle. A follow up email is the resource your champion will reference when socializing your offering with internal teams and decision makers.
When should you send the email?
Timing the follow up email is a balancing act. You need to provide yourself enough time to not suffocate the prospect but you also don’t want to delay too long. Timing this message is an exercise in staying top of mind. Typically, waiting 3-4 hours provides a window where your prospect can move along with their day before receiving a reminder at the top of their inbox with a clear call to action. Of course, there are cases where you would want to share sooner or wait longer as to not get lost amongst conflicting priorities (e.g., avoiding Friday afternoon, Monday mornings, after hours, and weekends).
How long should my email be?
Do not expect your champion to spend long reading this email. They have their own job and obligations that they are thinking about and do not want to add work to their already full plate. A follow up note needs to be concise with clear actions and steps identified. In our evaluation of 95 demos and resulting email follow ups, we saw that a strong follow up note can get points across in 4-5 sentences.
What do I need to include?
A strong follow up email will contain 4 core sections.
A high-level recap of the major takeaways from the product demo
The discussion recap shows serves a few purposes. It first shows a strong understanding of the items discussed. Next, it helps the prospect get up to speed. The prospect most likely has a number of conflicting priories so a recap reminder is helpful. Lastly, an effective recap is useful to help service internal awareness. This follow-up email will likely get shared with a prospect’s team and a recap is an effective tool to get all parties up to speed on items discussed. It is important to keep this concise yet impactful. Using the subject line can be a helpful way to trim down on word count in the body of the message.
A restatement of the business value and identified use case
Speak your prospect’s language. Use vocabulary and talking points that matter most to them. Your prospect is coming to you to solve a unique business challenge. In the follow-up, it is essential to center the dialogue around that identified pain point or challenge to remind them that you were listening and a purpose-build solution exists.
Clearly articulated action items
Most importantly, your follow-up needs a clear call to action and next steps. Without a guiding set of next steps, a prospect’s default action is to do nothing. It is important to keep this ask conversational and not demanding. Prospects want to ignore what you are saying so never give them a reason to do so. Finally, have some sort of timeframe in place. Try to nail down specific dates and times when applicable to motivate the prospect to take action. While not being overly pushy, the purpose of this section is to create a sense of urgency.
A supporting leave-behind asset
Your goal is to provide your champion with the material that they need to close their decision makers. You need to give them the tools to be successful and get the internal buy-in needed to progress the deal forward. This material must be easily accessible and tell the right story on your behalf when you are not present in the conversation.
The Demo Leave-Behind
A strong supporting leave-behind asset can be your key to unlock the door to decision makers within an organization. This asset will be your champion’s reference point when relaying relevant information and business value to teammates and leadership. This leave-behind material must clearly and directly (without the excessive use of jargon or added words) showcase your solution’s value. Trim out unneeded words and language because large blocks of text will lead to confusion and deleting.
More specifically, using a piece of sales collateral that will resonate with a prospect’s unique challenges and use case. A one-size fits all solution does not work here. No two prospects have the exact same challenges or needs. Based on their asks during the demo call or next steps, deliver a piece of content that will make the most sense for their situation.
Lastly, make sure to include a clear call to action with appropriate links (meeting scheduler, website, social media) and sales contact information to get in touch. You never know where this piece of content will circulate inside of an organization, so be prepared for any situation.
Examples of Impactful Demo Leave-Behinds
Leave-behinds can come in a variety of formats, lengths, and styles depending on use case and persona type. All media assets should have a few common threads. First, they need to be high quality. This asset will be representing your brand and should be approved for customer facing usage by marketing. Next, they need to be consistent with your story. The business case and value proposition displayed in the asset should match what you shared on the demo. Lastly, they need to clearly articulate key takeaways. If a busy executive was to spend 1 minute looking at the asset, they should have a clear understanding of the value and steps to get started.
Customer Success Stories
Case studies and customer testimonials give sellers social proof to show that their solution has been validated by other organizations in similar industries.
White papers enable sellers to call out specific product features and use cases in a greater level or depth to provide additional detail and context.
Sales decks are a versatile asset that can be used to provide a range of context for champions to share with internal teams. Often, leave-behind sales decks will be an iteration of the deck used in the discovery or demo call that contains additional text or visuals to work as a stand-alone item without an associated talk track.
Interactive Product Demos
Interactive demos are lightweight product tours that give prospect a hands-on experience to view, explore, and share different features and components of your solution on their own time rather than rely on a sales-led demonstration.
Data Sheets and FAQs
Product specs and FAQs give sellers materials that can answer technical questions and considerations around integration, security, maintenance, and set up.
In closing, the messaging delivered after the product demo will make or break the deal. Once you have finished the screen share and video call, the fate of the deal is in the hands of your champion. It is up to them to get internal buy in and keep your solution top of mind across the buyer organization. Empower your champion by giving them the right tools and messaging that they to be successful to broadcast and evangelize your solution to their entire team.