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Why Demos Fail - Entaktics Report

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Why do demos fail in the B2B customer engagement experience? What makes a superior presentation? What should selling organizations do to adapt to the highly informed, time constrained customer?

Why do demos fail in the B2B customer engagement experience? What makes a superior presentation? What should selling organizations do to adapt to the highly informed, time constrained customer?

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  • 1. ORIGINAL RESEARCH: Why demos fail
  • 2. OBSERVED – CUSTOMER DISSATISFACTION “Buy Side” organizations in a state of malaise with the sales- driven “Customer Engagement” experience
  • 3. IMPETUS Discover: Is there a problem? What is the root cause? What to do about it
  • 4. APPROACH LEAN SIX SIGMA AND LEAN START-UP PRINCIPLES Discussed scope of challenge with 7 industry peers from leading technology and client companies Conducted comprehensive survey to achieve a minimum viable sample of 125 respondents Provide frame of reference on modern sales and marketing practices (The Sales Funnel)
  • 5. ““PEOPLE RUN TO DEMOS BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING ELSE TO DO” Key problem interview insight:
  • 6. TTHE NEW SALES FUNNEL The impact of Social Media, Content Marketing & SEO
  • 7. MORE LEADS, SMALLER RETURNS SOCIAL MEDIA, CONTENT MARKETING & SEO Current state as express by industry “sell side” More leads than ever due to efficient, web-based marketing tools Higher levels of activity Interested parties requesting multiple demos Majority of buyers do nothing, meaning no decision Buyer dissatisfaction with the customer engagement experience
  • 8. ORGANIZATIONAL RAMIFICATIONS Budgets are competitive in “Buy Side” organizations. Unfortunately, seller stories degrade into feature fests that do NOT address the customer’s business challenge
  • 9. BEHAVIORAL SHIFT INFORMED, TIME CONSTRAINED CUSTOMERS EXPECT MORE
  • 10. WHY THE SURVEY? Evolving Customer Engagement experience Misalignment in expectations between buyers and seller Changing business models The need for evidence to make a new case for improving next business practices
  • 11. SURVEY SAMPLE 160 respondents
  • 12. WHO WERE THE RESPONDENTS? An array of roles, verticals and organizational size: Account Executives Business Development CEOS Channel Partners Consultants CTOs Developers Directors Marketing Directors Practice Directors Product Managers Process Leaders Sales Engineers Sales Managers Vice Presidents
  • 13. WHERE RESPONDENTS WORK
  • 14. REVIEW Survey Results
  • 15. BASED ON WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPROVE HOW HIGH TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS ARE SOLD? Do you concur that there is room for improvement?
  • 16. EEXAMINING THE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT EXPERIENCE Solution fit
  • 17. THE STATED MARKET CHALLENGE IS THAT DEMONSTRATIONS DON'T ALWAYS RESONATE WITH CUSTOMERS. WHAT CONTRIBUTES TO A LACKLUSTER EVENT? Mis-alignment between the presented solution against the customer’s unique business situation or circumstance is a primary cause of demo failure
  • 18. WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY ACTIVITIES FOR A TECHNICAL SALES TEAM TO PREPARE FOR A SUCCESSFUL FIRST DEMONSTRATION OF A HIGH TECHNOLOGY PRODUCT? Buying facilitation techniques deployed earlier in the sales process can drive mutual satisfaction and success
  • 19. WHAT ACTIONS SHOULD THE TECHNICAL SALES TEAM PERFORM DURING THE DEMO? Prospects see an array of technologies and solutions in a given month. Have a clear “What is it” statement that is simple and understandable is essential.
  • 20. WHAT ACTIVITIES SHOULD THE TECHNICAL SALES TEAM PERFORM POST-DEMONSTRATION? A problem for the product team. How to interpret reams of feedback in narrative form? Customer engagement teams need to summarize input in a digestible format.
  • 21. WHAT CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES ARE IMPORTANT POST-DEMO? The Sales Engineer is quickly becoming the “rock star” in the new sales process. Beyond technical competence, what business advisory knowledge and skillsets are required? Who is responsible for devising the solution to solve the business problem?
  • 22. UNDERSTANDING The Demo Experience
  • 23. THE PHYSICAL EXPERIENCE OF DEMO CAN'T BE OVERLOOKED. DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES ABSORB CONTENT MORE READILY FROM VARIOUS COMMUNICATION METHODOLOGIES. HOW DO YOU BEST RECEIVE INFORMATION IN A DEMONSTRATION? Consult books “Presentation Zen” and “Slide:ology” for solutions and approaches. TED talks are a model of excellence.
  • 24. WHAT OF THE FOLLOWING DO YOU BELIEVE ENHANCES THE DEMONSTRATION EXPERIENCE? A demo is like a Theatrical Event where the customers are cast members. Details are important. Actors must rehearse and also be prepared to improvise.
  • 25. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS WORTH SHOWING IN SLIDEWARE? Give materials that can help the prospect make the case with their boss. Enroll them in being your advocate.
  • 26. MANY CUSTOMERS SAY THAT THEY HAVE TO SIT THROUGH TOO MANY SLIDES. HOW MANY SLIDES DO YOU THINK MAKES SENSE? IS SLIDEWARE NECESSARY? The message must simply be complete. It’s not the number of slides that makes a difference. It’s about how you can solve the customer’s problem.
  • 27. UNDERSTANDING The Sales Engineer Role
  • 28. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE TECHNICAL SALES ENGINEER IS A CRITICAL CONTRIBUTOR IN THE SUCCESS OF A HIGH TECHNOLOGY ORGANIZATION? So much emphasis is given to conventional selling skills. Very little is written about technical selling. The professional development of the sales engineer is becoming more critical.
  • 29. WHAT COMMUNICATION SKILLS ARE IMPORTANT FOR A TECHNICAL SALES ENGINEER TO DRIVE DEMO SUCCESS? Sellers need to revaluate staffing. The expectations for a strong communication skillset is more important than pure technical ability for today’s Sales Engineers. More importantly, domain expertise, buying facilitation techniques & business advisory capabilities will be required.
  • 30. WHAT PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES OF A TECHNICAL SALES ENGINEER ARE IMPORTANT FOR DEMO SUCCESS? Competence, knowledge and trustworthiness are critical characteristics for hiring managers. Consider a RoundPegg assessment as part of your fit review.
  • 31. DO YOU THINK THERE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE SERVICES THAT WOULD HELP IMPROVE THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE OF BUYING HIGH TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS? Peer coaching and professional development are necessary programs to create a strong, sustainable Customer Engagement culture
  • 32. AADAPTING TO THE NEW SALES FUNNEL Next Practices
  • 33. EVOLVING ACCOUNTABILITIES Duties of Sales Engineers must change
  • 34. RE-CASTING THE SALES ENGINEER ROLE Technical Sales Consultant
  • 35. TEAM-BASED SELLING EVOLUTION OF ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE Selling organizations will need to re-align and introduce a variety of roles to engage the marketplace and meet client needs No single job function will “close” the deal Team accountability Evolving job titles with sales responsibilities Business Development Specialist Social Media Engagement Specialist Business Advisory Director Engagement Manager
  • 36. TECHNICAL SALES CONSULTANT - CHARACTERISTICS Communicator Consensus builder Efficient Energetic Empathetic Knowledgeable Measured Organizer Self-starter Technically savvy Thorough
  • 37. TECHNICAL SALES CONSULTANT ATTRIBUTES Broader Accountabilities Solutioneering Sales Proficiencies & Technical Skills DUTIES Buying Facilitation TOOLS Measured Procedures & Practices Structured Conversations/Analysis Rapid Prototyping MEASUREMENTS Demo to Cash Customer Success
  • 38. ATTRIBUTION YOU MAY REFERENCE THE RESULTS OF THIS SURVEY Data subject to Creative Commons license – Attribute to Doug Liles, Entaktics LLC – The Sales Funnel diagrams were co-authored with Michael J. Moon of Gistics – Sale of content strictly prohibited without license Images are licensed from Fotolia and iStockPhoto – Stock photos and graphics are not sub-licensable Preferred linkback: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dougliles
  • 39. DOUG LILES - CREDENTIALS High technology focus Buy Side Vice President Technology Marketing Manager Sell Side Consultant Business Development Director Account Executive, Agency Channel Director, Partner Programs Sr. Manager, Partner Relations
  • 40. THANK YOU ENGINEERING SALES DIFFERENTIATION
  • 41. ENTAKTICS = ENGAGEMENT Lean Six Sigma Customer Engagement principles applied to business development, product marketing and service delivery for high technology companies TAKT means cycle time Want to improve it? Call Doug Liles VOIP: 303-800-6430 M: 303-547-5846 CONTACT Doug Liles, dougliles@entaktics.com
  • 42. HOW ENTAKTICS CAN HELP RESULTS FOCUSED PROGRAMS – Training Modular approach to customer engagement – Demo script development Writing Rehearsal Coaching – Recruiting Support Profile Development Screening – Sales Operations Optimization Process mapping and measurement
  • 43. SPECIAL THANKS - MICHAEL J. MOON CEO, GISTICS – Think Tank for Innovations in Customer Engagement and the Entrepreneurial Imagination Co-Founder of CIO Salon – Trust Network for Executive Education and Peer Coaching Michael J. Moon – moon@gistics.com – 1 415.509.5023 mobile GISTICS Incorporated – 1 510.450.9999 tel www.gistics.com Editor in Chief 2004 to 2011 Author of widely acclaimed book 400+ Keynotes and Webinars Author of 30+ white papers YouTube: São Paulo 13 April 2011

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