Why does the sales process often stall after the demo?

The biggest reason the sales process stalls after a demo has just as much to do with the discovery phase as it does the demo itself.

It comes down to THE BIG WHY that’s driving the buying decision. The big why refers to something much higher in the customer organization that’s driving the buying decision, and if you ask the right questions early on, you’ll find it and use it to accelerate the sales process.

Most demos, and the sales processes as a whole, tend to focus on the tactical (and obvious) reasons buyers buy…reduce costs, improve productivity, greater ROI, do more with less, etc.

The Remedy – Asking Different Discovery Questions

The problem most salespeople have in the discovery process is trying to validate that buyers have problems their products solve. Guess what? You already know that because they’re talking to you about your solutions. It’s a pretty safe assumption early in the sales process. Save these questions for later.

The most important question salespeople forget to ask right up front is WHY are those problems critical to solve strategically?

There are top-down strategic initiatives behind every qualified product evaluation.  It’s a matter of asking the right questions (to the right people) and keeping discovery conversations on a business level before moving on to the tactical user issues and products. Those come later.

Once uncovered, these strategic buying drivers become the overriding theme to your sales process, especially the demos. The most powerful demos tie a collection of tactical user scenarios back to the strategic buying drivers. It’s the easiest way to make your products important/strategic enough to drive the sales cycle to a close without getting into feature wars and heavy discounts.

If your sales and pre-sales teams haven’t mastered the discovery techniques of uncovering THE BIG WHY, contact us about a Product Demo Skills workshop and learn how to weed out the tire kickers and accelerate the qualified buyers to a close.

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