Seven Traits Successful Account Executives Use to Ensure Their Sales Pitch is a 10/10
I review literally hundreds of hours of recorded discovery and great AE demo calls as the CEO of an On-Demand Inside Sales Coaching Company.
We have found that successful inside salespeople are often quieter, more introverted people.
In this article, I’ve listed 7 habits in an AE demo that we all should have to help us be successful in life and work.
1. The Most Effective Sales Pitch
Before I give you some insider tips on how to make your best sales pitch, let me tell you what not to do. Don’t discount the power of live face-to-face interaction.
When you visit customers, would you sit across from them and talk through the wall?
Video is an excellent way to build trust, credibility, and rapport during a screen share.
And here’s the thing…
Video is usually the best way to get in contact with someone. If they turn on their video, you’ll be able to see them and read nonverbal cues.
Eye contact is important during the hiring process. It can’t be achieved through audio alone.
2. Fewer PowerPoint Presentations, More Demonstrations
We all know the feeling of sitting through an AE demo call with too many slides and wishing they would just get to their point.
I am not sure what you do, but I can say with certainty that this article is probably not relevant to your job.
The power of a great AE demo is better than the use of a static, 5-word, 5-bullet point slide.
You should start your presentation with a couple of slides to give an overview of the company and its features, but after that, it’s best if you quickly move on to showing them what your product can do.
Imagine if you went to a car lot and the salesperson took you away for 25 minutes of PowerPoint before getting to see the actual cars.
That would never happen, right? Why not? You’d be thinking “Just show me the damn car!”
So how do you think your prospect feels when they are being talked to for the first half of an AE demo and then shown slides?
A lot of people think that the buying process for a car and one with complex enterprise solutions is different. But in both cases, you need to decide what your budget can afford.
I get what you’re saying, but I still don’t like the idea of sitting through a long PowerPoint for an enterprise solution before actually seeing it. You just need to make sure your slides are very intentional and that they’re maximizing their time.
I want to make sure you think about this, but if you still feel it’s necessary then that is your choice. At least use these tips so they are engaged with what I am saying.
3. Boost Your Discovery Prospects
Many great AE’s rely solely on the notes from the SDR to go into their AE demo, and they don’t take much time for preparation.
The best AE’s take an opportunity before the AE demo to learn more about what they need. This way, when it comes time for a call, they can address their needs.
RELATED: The Solution to the SDR-to-AE Handoff Problem
My tip: Have your questions written down in checklist format. You never know when you’ll need them, but it’s better to have them ready at all times!
It’s important to be prepared for an AE demo. You should have all the necessary materials and know your content inside out.
Make sure you are prepared for this conversation with questions ready to go.
4. Make In-Depth Check-Ins
It is important to keep in constant contact when presenting remotely so that the prospect can feel engaged and know what you are talking about.
This focus on diversity should also include asking, “Any questions about that?”
The best salespeople take a few seconds to pause and restate their points in the demo.
I’d like to pause here for a minute and check-in with you. What are your thoughts on this feature? How would it work for you, compared to what you currently have? I think we could expect feedback from users about the quality of this new solution.
5. Act Like the Expert that You Are
If you are in sales, The Challenger Sale is a must-read. It’s about how to be successful by thinking differently.
This book claims that one of the six differentiating traits for a top sales professional is their ability to offer something unique and valuable to clients.
Replayz data shows that diversity is important.
A Product Marketing Manager (PMM) is someone who has a lot of contact with potential customers. They may speak to 100s of PMMs in the course of one year.
A lot of times, a company will sell to one or two PMM’s per year and they’ll only speak for 30-60 minutes about their pain points.
You’re the expert, so you know what to do.
You’re able to understand their challenges, and can empathize with them. You also know how your product has helped other people in the past solve these same problems.
I believe that the best way to sell is by listening and understanding what they need, not just selling them something.
They now see you as a helper, not just someone who is constantly bothering them with sales pitches.
6. Increase the number of customer testimonials
The most powerful way to get your point across is by telling a story. This will make people remember what you said.
The best account executives we coach at Replayz always tell 3 or more customer stories during a 50-minute Discovery Demo.
Where can you find good stories?
Once a week, ask the Customer Success Rep to come and share three new customer stories with your sales team.
I used to call my old customers every month or so, and it helped me create great stories for prospects.
7. Wrap Things Up With Ease
It’s a best practice for a great AE to get the next call scheduled with the prospect. That should be table stakes here — you have to do it in order to succeed.
But as all top salespeople know, if they want to make a sale then they need to ask the prospect what their decision-making process is like.
I hate when I hear salespeople asking the customer, ”What would be a good next step?”
When you ask a question like that, it puts all the power in their court. The best sales pitch is one where you’re asking questions to see how they feel about things first.
- Many people are interested in the decision-making process of companies, so they ask this question.
- “What are you doing to diversify your company?”
- The decision-making process is a conversation between the hiring manager and department head.
- “Who is in charge of the budget for this?”
- “Do any of those people above need to see this demo, or would you like me to talk with them?”
- “What is our solution’s progress so far?”
…and here’s a bonus: try the old trial close!
You’d be surprised how many times I see top AE’s get a yes when they just ask. Granted, this is more relevant in an environment where the sale process is more transactional.
I would ask my prospects what they thought about the next steps, and then I’d propose them. This makes it more of a collaborative process than if all decisions were up to me.
These tips are meant to help you sell more. If any of these points feel uncomfortable for you, try them out and see how they work.
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