Personal at Scale: 3 Frameworks for Custom-Built Product Demos
Is your demo script falling flat? Is your prospect coming out of a call with more questions than answers? It might be time to retire your generic product demo. Especially if a/ your product does many different things or b/ your product is used by a broad range of personas. The solution: getting up close and personal with your prospect. Use your call to ask the right questions and build a custom pitch that addresses the prospect’s needs and demonstrate value in their specific context.
Why personalization can – and can’t – scale
Personalization at scale sounds great… On paper. In practice, the two can often seem contradictory. Being scalable is what got you to adopt a one-size-fits-all demo script isn’t it?
The pendulum between growing a scalable business and keeping things personal usually goes too far in both directions. And it’s especially true when it comes to sales. But being scalable doesn’t have to mean repeating the same answers like a robot. The sales leaders we’ve chatted to on our show – Zero to Won – each have their approach to streamlining sales while also leaving room for personalization. And we asked them to share the frameworks they use to personalize their product demos:
#1 SPIN selling – David Apple (Notion)
David Apple, Head of Sales and Customer Success, was inspired by SPIN selling when setting up his sales process. The framework helps guide his team’s product demos at Notion, and previously at Typeform. The term SPIN selling is an acronym for Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-Payoff. Each stage comes with certain types of questions to help with client discovery. By applying the SPIN methodology you should be able to understand:
- Situation: Who you are talking to and where they are coming from. Example question: How do you currently manage X or Y?
- Problem: What the specific pain points they are experiencing. Example question: What’s the biggest issue you are currently facing when it comes to Z?
- Implication: Get the prospect to spell out the stakes that are at play. Example question: If you can’t accurately track Z, what impact does it have on X or Y?
- Need-Payoff: Steer the conversation towards formulating a scenario in which the problems are alleviated, and sketching what a solution might look like. Example question: If you could automate Z, what impact would that have on your bottom line?
Now that you’ve been able to delve into the specifics of what brought the prospect to you in the first place, you can leverage those insights throughout your demo: highlight the right features, frame them in the terms they used to describe them, and show how your product is similar to the hypothetical solution which they described.
#2 The 5 Whys – Martin Duhamel (Front)
Martin Duhamel, Head of Sales EMEA at Front, is a fervent believer in the 5 Whys. The methodology can be applied to many different professions with a view to unearthing underlying issues to a given problem. As it pertains to sales, the framework enables reps to push questioning beyond the basic formulation of the problem as it exists in the prospect’s mind and tackle deep-rooted problems that they may not be aware of. Here’s how it works:
- Step 1: Identify what made the prospect jump on a call with you in the first place. Example question: I noticed you downloaded our eBook before booking a call, what made you do this?
- Step 2: The answer to step 1 will typically be practical – “I’m looking to do X or Y and was comparing different products that could help with that”. Where most sales rep would take note of the intent and stop pushing, the framework requires you to ask “Why” repeatedly to move from practical considerations to high level goals. Example question: Why did you decide to book a call? Why did this feature interest you? Why would it help your team to be able to do X or Y? Can you help me understand why this is important to you?
Once you’ve identified the fundamental problem that the prospect is trying to solve, you can weave that story into your demo and lay out a strategy to solve the practical issue that brought them to you in the first place, while also bringing them closer to their big picture goals.
#3 Bonus: End the call with T.E.D.
You just nailed the demo. You brought in all the right bits of information, answered all the right questions, and even managed to tick boxes that the prospect hadn’t formalized in their minds. However, the prospect has received a lot of information and is struggling to make sense of all of it. You can also apply questions after the demo to help your message settle in! Here’s how the T.E.D. approach works to counter T.M.I.:
- Tell: Ask the prospect to summarize the information they’ve just received. Example question: Tell me how you think our product will help you?
- Explain: Get into more detail, ask them to recall some of the features and how they will help them achieve their goals. Example question: Explain how you think our product will be able to solve X or Y issue?
- Describe: Bring in the benefits, ask them to draw a picture of what their day-to-day would look like using your product. Example question: Describe where you think you will be once our product is in place?
The T.E.D. framework builds on psychological triggers to make sure your message sticks. It also helps you ensure that your champion will be an effective promoter of your solution to other decision-makers by building arguments that pertain specifically to their company. Personal, at scale.