“One thing that’s really important for sales teams to consider as they’re doing this is to be careful with the customer and inside company information that you might have access to, especially when it comes to demoing your product or showing information about what your product can do.” – Evan Powell in today’s Tip 1521
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Evan Powell. Evan is a Co-Founder and Head of Operations at Reprise. His background building and scaling SaaS companies spans positions with Glasswing Ventures, F-Prime Capital, and InsightSquared. Evan studied International Finance at Tufts University and received his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Here he is:
Evan Powell: I came from sales, and I know that as a salesperson in an engagement with a prospect, our goal is to satisfy their needs, make sure that we’re answering all their questions, giving them all the information that can help them make an informed decision. But one thing that’s really important for sales teams to consider as they’re doing this is to be careful with the customer and inside company information that you might have access to, especially when it comes to demoing your product or showing information about what your product can do.
Accidentally or deliberately showing information that could be considered confidential, aside from all of the potential legal issues and contractual issues with your customers that could create, it also might not be as helpful as you think it is. This actually happened to me recently. I was taking a demo with a vendor, and I asked the question on how their product could do a certain thing that I needed. And they said, You know what? I don’t have this in my demo environment, but let me show you. I had a customer who implemented that way just last week, and suddenly I was looking at customer data. And while it showed me that the product could actually do exactly the thing that I wanted it to do, it also showed me that I needed to be nervous about doing business with that vendor because it might be my data on that demo next week. And we ended up not moving forward with them after that.
And so it was the thing that this is a well-meaning salesperson. The data wasn’t particularly crown jewels confidential, but it was just enough to give me pause and end up going with a competitor. And so I think it’s really important that as salespeople, when we’re in those kinds of engagements, we slow down, take a second and think, hey, is this actually going to help me move forward with this prospect? Or am I reflex trying to help them and doing something that could create a problem for me or my company or just me in this sales engagement?