Lack of Discovery & Process
When your Presales team is getting a ton of pressure from sales leadership that their demos are not focused on pain, based too much on feature / function and not based on value, it’s usually a sign of a larger problem in the sales organization. Namely a lack of discovery and process. It might also be a sign that the organization doesn’t view SEs as a strategic function, they see them as a group that conducts demos.
❗❓ What? You’re not taking any responsibility for your Presales team. Feature / function demos are the death of a Presales org. Hear me out.
🤝 In complex enterprise sales, the success of a sales rep is directly related to their Presales partner and vice versa. Reps don’t close multi-million dollar deals without a high performing Presales partner that demos to specific pain and value and becomes a trusted advisor with the customer. And of course, you have an entire team of people that impact the success or failure of deal - from business development to value engineering, services, customer success and more. No one closes enterprise deals alone.
🔍 So, what does this have to do with discovery? A demo is only as good as the discovery that is performed and the pain that is uncovered. Dashing to demo, not genuinely being curious about the customer and their business, and not asking the right questions to uncover pain and short circuiting the process leads to poor demos. I’m a firm believer that we should Always Be Discovering in an opportunity, it never really ends until the deal is signed.
⏯ And what about the process piece? Sales is all about behaviors, both for the buyer and seller. Trying to perform any complex task without a predefined process is wrought with peril. And it doesn’t allow you to scale as an organization. Everyone wants an easy button to get a sale done. However, you need a thorough process that includes multiple discoveries, internal preps, dry runs, and multiple demos to multiple stakeholders. Being able to push back on a process is much easier than pushing back on an individual. When you push back on an individual you get labeled as hard to work with and not a team player. When you push back on the process you are helping drive accountability and ensuring that no stone goes unturned to delivering a value-based demo focused on specific pain.
👉 At the end of the day instead of pointing fingers, focus on a better process + better discovery = more success for your sales team. We should remember that we win as a team and lose as a team, no one team or person should take the brunt of a loss and no one person should take all the praise for a win.
🐺 As Rudyard Kipling says “the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack”