How should I prepare for a mock sales presentation? #Q&A

How should I prepare for a mock sales presentation? #Q&A

By Zeeva Viola | March 27, 2017

Question:
I have had an in-person interview with a web/mobile analytics company in San Francisco, and they want to bring me back for the final interview and a presentation of their product as if I’m presenting to and pitching Amazon (hypothetical scenario). Their product measures activities that users take on customers’ sites. The presentation is for the analytics company’s CEO and their head of Solutions (head of sales). I am interviewing for a hunter/farmer hybrid sales role and I have one week to prepare. I should assume this is the first meetings, so I haven’t had a chance to go through the “Discovery” phase.

What should I do to prepare? How long should my presentation last? What questions should I ask? How much time should I spending asking Discovery questions beforehand, presenting, and closing?

Answer:
The purpose of the presentation is to identify if you can sell, not whether or not you can stand in front of a room and describe what happens after you click a button.

“Sales is a conversation.” From: The very most basic things your company needs to know about sales

Center your presentation around discovering, developing, and satisfying customer needs, not around clicking buttons. Here’s a few ideas to help you get there:

1. Find out who will be in the room from Amazon and where the company is in the buying process. The best presentations/demos I’ve seen include specific references to individual buyers present. For example, would there be only technical people, only marketing people, only executives, or some combination of the three? Is this an early sales stage presentation to identify if your technology is worth a full scale review, or is this the final technical demo so that the Economic Buyer will approve the 6-7 digit expenditure?

(You mentioned the presentation is for the CEO and Head of Sales – I wasn’t clear if this was from the company that is interviewing you, or for Amazon. I’m assuming it’s the company that is interviewing you.)

2. Then structure the presentation around the needs that the product is addressing for each individual buyer. Look for opportunities to pause and create interaction and conversation.

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3. Keep the demo as short as possible – avoid the “Harbor Tour.” Read more at SecondDerivative.com.

4. If the CEO and Head of Sales are the attendees, think like they would want you to act. No one closes a sale because of a great presentation. Sales are closed because the selling company clearly identifies, articulates, and addresses the client’s needs. End of story. You won’t earn points because you’re a great speaker or because you covered all 35 features of the software.

5. If the presentation attendees present questions and objections that you can’t answer, first ask them – “Why is that important to you?” so you can identify the root cause, and secondly, ask them if such-and-such feature is critical to the purchasing decision.

6. Build in clear action items and takeaways during and following the presentation. For example, at the end of the presentation, I can see the attendees saying something to you like – “That was a great presentation. We’ll share it with our team and get back to you.” Stop right there and begin asking questions – “What criteria will your team use to evaluate?” – “Who else would be involved? I’d like to talk with them personally.” – “How will you handle questions or inquiries from your team that might be hard to answer because they relate to technical details of our product?” – “Because our solution is so deep in functionality, what’s the best way to schedule 15 minutes with each person on the team?”

7. Prepare purchasing questions related to the purchase of your product. For example – “While you’re considering our platform, what other purchases or business decisions coincide?” This will uncover the macro view these executives will take, instead of treating you and your product in isolation. Maybe the adoption of your product will enable the executives to enter a new market. Maybe they think with the right marketing platform, they can launch a new product. Maybe they’re unhappy with their website conversion rate and your platform will help them achieve a higher conversion rate leading to $X in new revenue.

Lots more to cover – I hope this serves as food for thought. Send me a note here on Quora if you want some more help.

EDIT:
Just came across this article from Sean Murphy based on a real-world advisory project he led. The case discusses a software demo approach: For New Products, Prospect Objections Are Valuable Data

**This Q&A article was originally posted on Quora. Check out Scott’s Quora page here.