October 28, 2020
“Confidence is a lot of this game or any game. If you don’t think you can, you won’t.”
So said former basketball player and Hall of Famer Jerry West, and while the NBA champion is referencing confidence in professional sports and games, his words stand true for nearly every aspect of our lives. If you don’t think you can, you won’t. That’s what confidence is and it’s a true game changer in basketball, in life and in sales.
Need some more convincing?
Think of a time you had that feeling of success, the moment you said to yourself, “I nailed this.” It can be closing a sale you’ve been working on for a while or completing a good negotiation. Think about the level of confidence you had in yourself in that specific moment - you could conquer the world, couldn’t you? That’s confidence.
In remote sales, and specifically while demoing a product, confidence and the projection of confidence to the buyer are key to closing more deals. During the demo stage, the seller must communicate directly with prospective buyers, speaking to them, explaining the platform and gaining their trust, and confidence, in your product.
But confidence doesn’t always come that easy to everyone, does it?
Today sellers learn everything about the product and have a tendency to memorise their product’s playbook in a bid to feel confident. Like studying for a tough exam, if you cram everything into your head you're bound to get an A, right? Sure, but there are better methods than pulling an all nighter before a test and forgetting everything the moment you finish, and that stands true for demos as well. Especially now, when remote sales demos are the norm due to Covid and WFH, there are more ways to build your confidence, and by doing so improve your KPIs and stand out amongst your colleagues.
It is common theory that the best demos are under 30 minutes. Even if there are many topics and features to discuss, it is commonly suggested to focus on the most important ones and not waste time. Sometimes it is even better to have a “leaner” demo and add information in the follow-up email.
This is why planning your demo timeline is important, and we would even suggest scheduling in time for small talk, questions, explanations of the next step and some extra “miscellaneous” time before the 30 minutes are up.
What does this have to do with confidence?
When you know the order of your talking points, how long you plan to spend on each and which features you want to spend more time on, it’s easier to build your pitch, speak calmly, and project confidence and the feeling of control to those on the other side of the screen. Those extra “miscellaneous” minutes allows you to spend some more time on features if the prospective client has questions without then being stressed for time to finish the rest of the demo and letting it rattle you.
Of course the more demos you lead you’ll gain more of a natural flow and have a better handle on time management, which will also boost your confidence.
On the flip side, if you don’t manage your time correctly you could find yourself struggling to fit in as much as possible at the end. This could shake your confidence, cause you to stumble on your words, maybe even say the wrong thing and convey the wrong message.
There is no substitute for knowing your product and being able to answer any question posed by a client. In software sales, it’s a bit more complicated than just knowing the product, you also need to know how to pitch its strengths and features to different personas who have different needs whether it’s the C- levels, the tech guys, the buyers, the users, and everyone in between.
You have to appeal to many different personas, and do so perfectly.
Which is why you should create sales playbooks that will apply to different customer segments. Make sure to have short and long versions and to A/B test value propositions to see which are more effective in the long run. Starting a demo with a playbook and strategy that have proven successful will help you feel more confident in your product, how you convey your messages, and in turn, in yourself.
As humans, we love stories, it’s why we’re so fond of Netflix.
As listeners we tend to become engrossed in stories rather than a list of features, which means we’re more likely to pay attention to the small details and nuances. This is why stories are key to selling your product, especially during a demo when you have a chance to speak with the buyer. When you think of it, a demo in its essence is a story - it’s the story of your product and you are the writer. Likewise, telling stories of how clients used your product successfully can help build the potential buyer’s trust in your platform.
Once you know the product, you will be able to create your own product stories, to mention different features and statistics (numbers are a good addition to demos to help gain trust).
Knowing your story ahead of time, and ensuring it appeals to the persona you’ll be speaking with, are key to building your confidence.
Prospective buyers don’t want to talk to robots who are reading from a sheet of paper and ticking off boxes. If they wanted to do that, well it’s 2020, they’d talk to a robot.
We’re always more confident when we’re ourselves, not when we’re trying to be someone else.
Remember to be you, whoever that may be. You may be known for your charisma around the office or you may be soft spoken, either way, showing your personality and being relatable will help build a repertoire with the buyer.
There is no substitute for a good connection and fluid conversation that will ensure the prospect
really listens to what you have to say. Adding a personal story that is funny and relatable is a good way to break the ice.
At the end of the day, software demos are about the potential client. That’s why it’s just as important, if not more important, to listen to and address his or her needs rather than just explain about the product.
There is no better way to show interest than asking meaningful questions. Try to listen as much to each prospect’s needs and pains and then use this information to iterate his needs. Once you do this without hesitation, the prospect will truly understand where and what is the value of your product.
There’s a whole office outside of your sales team, and those colleagues are likely doing some sort of demo with another company for a product that will help them in their line of work. That makes them great candidates for A/B testing and unfiltered, confidence-building feedback. Practice with them, listen to what they have to say. You should test every part of your demo with them, from your demo stories to your openers and closers. Go ahead, sit down for a half hour with your CTO and ask him or her for feedback, you won’t believe how much you will learn from it.
Confidence alone won’t close deals, but it’s key to gaining the prospective buyer’s trust, which in turn helps close deals. It’s imperative that sellers find their own voices and build their confidence.
The right technology can also be beneficial, not just technologically to correctly present your product and its benefits, but also to help you focus on the information rather than what’s being shown on screen. Demoleap’s AI-based “co-pilot” offers real-time sales assistance, automatically follows the correct remote sales demo playbook and navigates through the demo, allowing the sellers to focus more on the clients and the stories they’re telling them. Taking it a step further, the platform’s analytics offer insight about each demo, allowing you the sellers to see where you can improve. Continued improvement leads to greater confidence.
Curious about how Demoleap can improve your demo process? Schedule your demo today.
Our limited roll out is launching soon, ask to join our early access list and see first-hand how Demoleap can accelerate your sales cycle.