Standardize Demo Processes
But first...Story Time
Lets say I just started a SaaS start-up company...
Oh, I don' t know, let's call it Demoflow.
I know... weird, right?
As co-founders, we've done a fantastic job of building a platform and generating sales. Enough so that now we can start hiring a small team.
So we start to hire a few key players to help us expand. Being a sales focused CEO, let's assume I did a great job of building out our first sales deck, which walks through the company, our use-case, features, etc.
The deck is fire. It is helping me and my newly hired AE close deal after deal after deal.
It's pretty easy to maintain the sales assets I created because our team is small, and any time we put out a new feature, I update the deck as I train my rep.
Plus, I'm on most demos, so all of my sales cycles are very "hands-on".
Raising and Scaling
As many SaaS orgs do upon having success, we start raising capital and hiring like CRAZY. I'm talking a 2-3x increase in headcount.
Now I have to hire 20 reps to sell Demoflow over the course of a year. These reps have varying levels of experience within SaaS.
I have the standard product and sales training that I conduct for my new reps. I show them the deck we've been using for a year, how to use it, what to show in the platform, and how you should frame it. This is the only training I can do because we have hiring and revenue goals.
Research shows that within one hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information you presented
Unfortunately, as the quote above and many other research articles suggest... my reps are most likely going to forget what I trained them on.
So what happens next?
Maverick sales reps take the information presented and customize it to themselves and the processes they've done at previous companies. They might change the deck they're showing, not use one at all, or maybe change the flow of their product demo. Altering where to start, what to say, and what the progression looks like.
Disjointed and inconsistent product demos across my 20+ reps, which may or may not showcase the most up to date value of the product. This means that reps default to their most concrete training - product.
This results in "feature dumping" for the majority, which ultimately translates to closed-lost deals.
So, how do we take steps to prevent this outcome and ensure we standardized product demos across the org?
The way I see it, it's broken down into three steps:
Step One: Centralized hub for assets
- The first and most obvious place to start is creating a central hub where all of your demo assets live. This can be sales decks, onboarding documents, case studies, etc.
- Manager: there should be one or a few people who are in charge of managing this and keeping it up to date. I've seen Marketing, sales operations, and sales trainers all be the champion of these assets.
Step Two: Asset creation
- Content creation: This part is way more complicated, but I have a proposed solution to make it more digestible.
- Assuming you have one standard sales deck for presenting your product, I would make a few copies of this deck and customize them to the primary industries you operate in. *creating custom/generic decks will prevent reps from creating new content on their own accord.
- This means customizing the images, language, use-cases, customer stories, etc to those specific industries.
- If you're really good: You could create additional sub-decks within each industry that are catered to different personas. How and what you present to a C-level exec vs. a daily business user should be very different.
*If you struggle with this phase, we can help. Shoot me an email at email@example.com
Step Three: Make them demo ready
- IMHO, this is the piece that nearly every sales org is missing. Taking sales assets and making it demo-ready for reps in just a few clicks.
- For those using Demoflow, it also means including the correct platform URLs and the industry-specific accounts you'd like to show.
- Now, reps can build out a semi-custom product demo with industry specific slides and supporting URLs, which will resonate with their prospect.
Isn't that what we're all looking for? A "plug and play" process where you can insert a new rep and have them quickly and easily conduct product demos that sell. Or ensure that your experienced reps aren't getting lazy in their tenure by going rogue on their product demos.
Plus, in Demoflow, we can check in on all your reps to ensure they're following process.
I used to be one of those lazy reps. This process is bulletproof.