“You might have the easiest-to-use product. You might have the best product, but it’s really hard for the customer or buyer to understand that if you’re only relying on a demo.” – Mark Roberge & Stevie Case in today’s Tip 1600
How do you beat your competitors on product demos?
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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 a new podcast called The Science of Scaling. It’s hosted by Mark Roberge – who you might know as the founding CRO at HubSpot, co-founder of Stage 2 Capital, or as a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School. Each episode of The Science of Scaling gets super tactical on how to scale your sales and revenue. And episodes feature this really unique, “stop the tape” feature where Mark literally pauses the interview to jump in with a deeper breakdown of the different points being made by the guest. You’ll hear that happen here as he talks with Stevie Case, The Chief Revenue Officer at Vanta:
Stevie Case: It is shockingly hard to convince buyers even when you have the better product. And we faced that problem because a lot of these competitors came on the scene. They had great marketing. To your point, they had a flashy demo. They really cherry-picked proof points that made it look like they were growing much faster than they really were. The thing we finally landed on that worked was a handheld trial guided by our SEs where we allowed prospects to do a seven-day try it before you buy it with three SE-driven check-ins.
One of the things we knew is that a lot of these competitors did not have the ability to do a trial at all. They had technical blockers, and we used that to sow FUD to say if they won’t let you try their product, what are they actually hiding? It’s all sizzle, but there’s no meat. And then two, if they did in the rare case, let them do a trial, they would see because they spent more time, the depth of product, they would see the quality was better with Vanta. So that move doubled our win rate. So when we run a trial, we went from about a 35-40 % win rate, depending on the month, to more like a 70-80 % win rate. And that was a game-changer for us. It also started to address that issue on our team of confidence, because then they saw when prospects actually try the product, they also tell us ours is better. And so it was this like, Oh, I guess it really is better. We believe now because the prospects are telling us that was a key inflection point.
Mark Roberge: This is a key point to highlight for a variety of reasons. First, yeah, you might have the easiest-to-use product. You might have the best product, but it’s really hard for the customer or buyer to understand that if you’re only relying on a demo. Even though you out-engineered them, they can out-demo you. Relying on a trial really helps to mitigate that risk and align your sales process with your strength. Whether that’s ease of use, best product, best design, whatever. Stevie does a great job here.
The other thing that I want to highlight is how well she and her team are executing the trial. All too often, salespeople think, I put the buyer in the trial. The product is going to sell itself. It doesn’t work that way. Before you put them in the trial, you need to define success. Yeah, we can do a seven-day trial, but what is it that you will see after the seven days that will make you buy this product? And do I have your commitment? That’s a key scaffolding around the trial experience. The other aspect here, the other technique here is what we call a give-get, where we are happy to give things to the buyer, but we need to get things in exchange of equal value. A seven-day trial with all these sales engineers is a big give. The get I could ask back is, do I have access to your CFO to go through an ROI presentation after? Do I have your verbal commitment that you will sign this contract? And Stevie and her sales team are executing these trials exceptionally well.
Scott Ingram: You can listen and subscribe to The Science of Scaling now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere else you listen to podcasts and of course, we’ve got those links for you at DailySales.Tips/1600. Once you’ve been over there, be sure to come right back here for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!