At CONSENSUS™, we talk a lot about demo automation, what makes a great demo, how to leverage your demo in social media, how to make your live demo more effective, etc. Something we haven’t talked much about is how to use Consensus, or more generally, demo automation tools, for sales prospecting. In Leveraging Your Product Demo With Social Media, we talked about how the product demo is traditionally used in the mid-to-bottom level of the funnel interaction; the sales person has qualified the prospect, understands their needs, and delivers a presentation that outlines their product benefits and positions it clearly in the prospect’s mind. However, with demo automation, sales teams are able to move the product demo up the sales funnel and use it as a prospecting and qualification tool. Before we jump in, let’s look at a quick refresher of the sales funnel and the idea behind Sales 2.0 (experts, feel free to skip to the prospecting methodology).
The Sales Funnel
The image above represents the current sales and marketing funnel. Marketing comes in the form of content, advertising, grassroots movements, viral campaigns, etc. It creates impressions on individuals and blankets them with the product’s value proposition. Hopefully, your value proposition will motivate them to make an inquiry - this is where the consumer enters the sales funnel. Sales and marketing teams then move the customer through or out of (you don’t want to sell to a customer that won’t convert) the sales funnel as fast as possible. Depending on the product, this process can take a long time.
Ideally, the sales funnel would operate in the following way: individuals become aware of your product, self-educate and self-qualify, and convert into customers quickly, with minimal marketing or sales interactions. With sales, marketing and demo automation, this is becoming more and more of the reality. Each tool supplements the other and creates a well-oiled automation machine.
The Sales 2.0 funnel automates the repetitive sales and marketing processes. It allows sales consultants to focus on customer engagement and closing the sale. It allows marketers to gain and nurture leads. The human-touch points on the funnel look a lot like the ideal sales funnel. Prospects communicate with a live representative when they are ready to evaluate or make a purchase decision. Sales and marketing automation have been around for about 15 years, but demo automation is relatively new. Demo automation streamlines prospecting, qualification, and deal closing. How does it work?
Prospecting and selling with demo automation
We’ve found a 4 stage methodology for prospecting and selling with demo automation that works wonders.
Demos are key education pieces for prospects and can be tailored to multiple stages of the customer buying cycle. Introductory videos are built to communicate the main value proposition-the WIFM (what’s in it for me?) and introduce the prospect to your product and its general, top level, benefits. Outbound prospecting teams and marketing teams connect with contacts and invite them to watch a short product demo. These invitations can be in the form of web CTA’s, cold calling, emails, etc. The key is to communicate the value of your product and why the prospect should watch a short demo video. Demo automation allows for all of the benefits of asynchronicity: prospects can self-educate at their own convenience while sales teams are freed from repetitive sales conversations and can focus on increasing sales caseload.
Outbound messaging invites the prospect to watch the demo
Prospects can then share the demo within their organization. The demo has integrated share buttons and CTA’s, which make invitations to share more actionable. As the demo is shared, additional prospect information is recorded and delivered to the sales team.
Prospects share the demo with the buying panel
The end of the demo gives prospects the option of scheduling a conversation with a sales consultant, downloading a whitepaper, or subscribing for future, value based, content offerings. The prospect becomes a qualified opportunity without having to speak to a sales consultant. If they are not ready for a sales conversation, they are entered into nurturing email campaigns. Its a perfect example of sales 2.0 at its finest.
This is where things get really interesting. With demo automation, as soon as viewers watch the demo, their preferences, watching behavior, and position on the buying panel are revealed to the sales consultant. Additionally, prospects can enter enter comments at the end of the demo, communicating to the sales consultant where they are in their buying cycle.
Data can be used to score opportunities and prioritize follow up calls. Consensus has an integrated lead scoring tool which simplifies this process. Both prospects and sales teams benefit from information gains and are prepared for meaningful sales conversations.
When customers meet for their scheduled meeting, they are fully prepared to engage with the sales consultant. Both parties are able to have a productive conversation where questions and objections are handled immediately. The sales consultant can jump in and immediately tailor the conversation based on prospect preferences.
Deals close faster with personalized content, the elimination of repetitive sales processes, and tailored sales conversations. Prospects are allowed to self educate and qualify themselves, moving them into, or out of, the sales funnel faster. Again, benefits of asynchronicity are seen across the board, faster education, higher engagement, and increased conversion.
We have found a lot of success in this methodology and believe that demo automation is the next big thing. We hope you take advantage of this approach in your sales prospecting and find equal success.