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Majority of companies today spend more money and time on teaching sales reps about how to do product demonstrations then how to manage opportunity conversations.  Equally, sales reps are more confident with conducting a product demonstration than having a value building conversation.

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How can you fix this?

First, help your sales reps learn how to be confident in having conversations on topics such as tangible and intangible value, strategic positioning, top line vs. bottom line impact.  This type of knowledge is more challenging but the return will be much greater.  In a study conducted by Corporate Visions, they asked a group of executives to compare the importance of product presentation vs. opportunity conversations.  Forty percent agreed that opportunity conversations added more value than seeing a product demonstration. But they also found that this type of conversation created the most anxiety for a sales rep.  Why? Well I’m sure it’s because they were not given the skills needed to have these types of conversations.

Force Management created a great white paper titled “OPTIMIZING SALES EFFECTIVENESS THROUGH VALUE AND DIFFERENTIATION” and state in there that Value Messaging is being audible-ready to define your solutions to customers’ problems in a way that differentiates you from your competitors and allows you to charge a premium for your products and services.  So teach your sales reps how to do this without going through a product demonstration.  Once you have given them the knowledge of how to do this, then you need to give the sales reps a chance to practice executing this.  Helping your reps get past being nervous and shy about having these conversations takes practice.  Whether it’s conducting face to face role-playing, or using something like our conversation simulator, the only way they will become confident and have impact is through practice.  Make sure to try to trip them up in these practice sessions.  All the time and research you have put into passing this knowledge off will be wasted if you never give them the chance to practice.