Use more analogies in demo and presentation. Why? A well-crafted analogy will help convey the value of the solution with ease. It helps the audience remember the ideas that were presented during the demonstration/presentation.
It is vital for a Solution Engineer to resonate with their customer’s requirements and pitch their solution with the help of a story or an analogy.
What is an Analogy?
An analogy is a form of comparison to provide a better explanation for a point. A common analogy everyone recognizes is “Mary had a little lamb. Her fleece was white as snow.”
Why use an Analogy?
During presentations, I havecome across many solution engineers explaining features which the potential customers were never able to relate to. They leave confused after listening to the presentation.
Some Engineers improvise by sharing statistics. However, customers tend to forget these stats once the presentation is done. They don’t carry anything useful.
Hence, analogies during a presentation helps your customer remember a story which in this case is the story of your product. The key idea is to present an analogy that fits your story, which the customer understands.
A Few Analogies
Here are a few analogies that I have used based on my current experience in presales.
1.“Forums are like Facebook: Customers canshare their views or voice their opinionsas a post and viewers can reply to the post as comments. So it is one to many communication channels.”
Everybody knows Facebook. So, it becomes easier and memorable.
2. Channels which users can use to reach support to help solve their queries are like Transport: It facilitates movement from point A to point B via different media. Here the transportation media could be Facebook, Email, Twitter, etc..but the information (issue) should reach you (support staff).
3. Audit logs – The word “audit” means “to hear”, logs means “record of the event”. The audit logs are like the history of events that happen in a day/month/year.
4. SLA – The SLA is like an “alarm clock”, where you can set the deadline. If the time hits, then it will ring so loud.
5. Automators – The automators are like “automatic cars” when you put the key and start the car and the gear is in the drive mode, the car automatically moves. Here, “starting the car with the key” and “having the gear on the drive mode” are rules, which automatically leads onto the car movement.
Since there isn’t a single analogy to fit every situation, the key is to adapt our analogies to fit the scenario in question. And, it’s important to change analogies over time as well.
Presales are an integral part of the Sales team. With the rise of digital transformation and SaaS, the role of Presales has become pivotal to business. Presales are SMEs who add value to the business (both to the customer as well as the organization) by providing expert technical advice throughout the Sales Process, thereupon influencing Sales.
In our previous blog, I have discussed the importance of presales. In this one, I would like to share the five key ingredients to become a successful Presales Engineer.
Understand the product from Customer’s perspective
There has been a tremendous shift in buyer’s behavior in recent years due to tighter budgets, increased competition, mobile habits, social media influence, unknown natural disasters and pandemics, and so on. To combat these, you need to understand why your customers buy what you sell, the value the product is going to provide, and how they make buying decisions.
So, understand your customer’s business and their respective industry trend. Assume, you are interacting with an E-commerce company, it is imperative to provide examples from their industry to establish rapport and then offer them the proof of concept on how your product could help their business.
Analyze the business with a ‘Why’.
Personally, I start any interaction with a Why? I attribute this behavior of mine to Simon Sinek. I believe that if the WHY question is addressed, then it is easy to get to the core of their business structure and requirement.
Analyze “Why” your customer needs a product like yours. This would help you to understand their requirements better and achieve the goal sooner. Having addressed this, you should be in a better position to pitch how well it will solve the challenges faced by their business.
Plan the roadmap
You have got the opportunity to get to the core of their problem by answering the WHY. Now, it is time to set the agenda right and plan the route.
Before the meeting, prepare an agenda to set the expectations right with your customer. This will help you to gather the information you will need during the business. Start working on a flowchart or mind map. This will help you, deep-dive, into your solution and keep you aligned with their customer business.
In today’s world, it is not possible to ban product demos. Customers have reached out to you to know more about the product and your organization. They want to see what the product offers. But, it doesn’t mean you have to spend the next hour or so boasting what your product can offer.
Break the ice with pep talks and try to find a common ground where you both get comfortable. This helps your customer to get into their comfort zone. Now, make demos successful by addressing the use case that was talked the most during the discovery phase. Show what is critical for their business instead of showing all features.
Winning demos begin with the most valuable part instead of building up to it.
Create your customer playbook
After the demonstration, every customer will have the question on “What next?”. Surprise them with “The Playbook”
A well-developed “Playbook” empowers and engages customers at every step of the buying journey and increases the likelihood of them reaching that winning moment. It prescribes corresponding workflows and sequences that have the highest likelihood of driving positive responses and business outcomes.
The sales playbook is a vital resource to help maximize sales efficiency.
When you have presales with the above skills, you build a strong platform for the organization and helps the business grow.
If you want to discuss more on this topic, you can drop your comments. We will definitely get back to you.