Categories Articles, Sales and Marketing

One of the keys to successful sales coaching is to focus on only one skill with individual reps at a time – dumping a deluge of things-to-work-on on a sales rep’s plate is both bad sales coaching and sales management. Drinking from a fire hose is no way to learn.

However, when you use each individual sales coaching session to work on one specific skill, and then follow-up on the progress of this skill at the next session (or next few sessions), you will start to see demonstrable and long-lasting improvement. To wit, let’s talk about how to improve your reps’ product demo skills through sales coaching.

Start by identifying the problem

The first step is to figure out that the rep needs help with improving his or her product demo skills in the first place. To identify where the area of weakness is, turn to the sales funnel report for a dive-down analysis.

Look at this example above. Nancy Olson converted only 53% of her prospects from the Product Demo stage to the next stage, the Technical Fit. This conversion rate pales in comparison to her conversion rates at the other stages, all of which are at 73% or above. In fact, when Nancy is able to get her prospects near the bottom of the funnel at the Closing stage, she is a wizard, converting 91% of these opportunities. Clearly, her weakness lies with Product Demos.

Now that you’ve identified the problem, you can then go to work helping her fix it. Sit in on some demos with her, both as a silent observer and as an active participant (of course, you have to let the prospect know first that you will be on the call as well). Go over film sessions to review what she did right or wrong. Talk about demo best practices at your next team meeting. Talk about some of the things she should not be doing on a demo, including:

  • Launching into a demo without having a full and nuanced understanding of the prospect’s business problems and pain points

  • Assuming any of the qualifying criteria (BANT) without confirming any of them

  • Giving away free advice quite an agreed-upon verbal contract

  • Ending the demo without outlining clear, mutually agreed-upon next steps

Product demos are as challenging as they are important. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring them in your sales coaching sessions.

Want to learn about more skills to work on in sales coaching sessions with your reps? Download our new FREE eBook on Data-Driven Sales Coaching!

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