Early in my B2B software sales career, I ran into a competitive situation that turned out to be a major learning experience. If you’re a Sales Leader at a company that sells B2B software, you’ll enjoy this.
I worked for SoftPoint Data Systems, selling software that helped pharmacists improve the prescription fulfillment process. Everywhere I turned, prospects would tell me, “No thanks, I bought a system from Thom Finn.” (Name changed to protect the innocent.) Thom worked at Script Systems, a primary competitor.
I always found it interesting that pharmacists would say
they bought from Thom Finn; not Script Systems.
I later learned it was because Thom showed the pharmacists how to solve their business challenges. As such, they felt they were buying from Thom, a trusted advisor, not Script Systems, an anonymous company. Realizing I couldn’t beat them, I persuaded SoftPoint’s CEO to hire Thom. (Hey, got any better ideas?)
With Thom on the team, I learned his secret. It was the effectiveness of his software demonstration.
How Thom demo'd
Thom would take out a stack of six prescriptions that he'd collected when visiting the pharmacy.
Wow. While I was merely demonstrating how my software worked, Thom was demonstrating how his solved real business problems (and cost justifying along the way).
If you want to help your Reps to sell more, be sure they are demoing how your software solves business problems and makes financial sense, and not how it works. Showing how it works is training and training should take place after the sale, not during it!
Sometimes, prospects do ask “How do you?” questions. For example:
Of course, your Reps need to be able to show people how to use basic features, but it is more important that they can demonstrate how your software solves the business challenge!
What you can do today
List five business challenges that your software solves. Roll out an incentive program for the best “problem solving demo” and watch your team’s demo-to-close ratio improve!
Thanks for listening. I'd love to hear your thoughts.