Disciplines: 13 of 21 – Make sure they know your product cold.
(And how it warms up to the competition!)
Product and competitive knowledge just get you in the door. If your salespeople cannot explain and demonstrate the benefits of your product and why it is superior to the competition, do not put them in front of a prospect. This is not to say they have to be perfect right out of the gate. Nobody is. But they do need to be able to get through the fundamentals of a demo and completely deliver a benefit-oriented presentation.
Set up times for your sales reps to deliver the presentation to you and their peers. I cannot think of a better time to use video. Having your reps watch themselves on video will uncover a lot things they are probably not aware of; nervous twitches, saying um a hundred times, etc. It will also uncover how well they know your product. Make sure to ask product feature questions and listen to make sure the reps to answer with a benefit-oriented reply. For example; “Our product does 300 megaflops a second and the reason that’s good for you is…”
When it comes to the competition in the presentation, there are couple things to keep in mind:
- Make sure you know the benefits in your presentation are winners compared to the competition. You do not have to say, “… compared to XYZ company”. If you are in a competitive sale, your prospect will have the list of features for your competitor. Simply emphasize strongly your position in that area. It is a subtle way to put yourself ahead of the competition.
- Do not directly bad mouth the competition. Even if they ask. Go over why you are the best choice for a particular feature, and their company as a whole. If your reps do back mouth the competition you may think it is effective, but your reps will come off as sleazy.
Part-Time Sales Management