Unleashing the Power of Sales Demos
In episode 96 of Pit Stops to Podium, we sit down with Mor Assouline. Mor is a multi-talented professional who wears various hats in the sales industry. He serves as the Founder at FDTC (From Demo To Close), a Sales Coach at FDTC University, a Strategic Advisor at Vajro, and a Sales Instructor and Mentor at Six Figures. Mor's wealth of experience and expertise promises an enlightening discussion for our audience.
In today's episode, we'll delve into the captivating world of sales demos and how they can be utilized to drive success. Our primary focus for this episode centers around unlocking the potential of persuasive sales demos. We'll also explore the nuances of understanding the different personalities of your prospects and discover how to leverage psychological insights to enhance your win rates. Mor will also share some valuable insights and strategies to help you achieve an outstanding 50% close rate in your sales efforts.
If you’re ready to learn from one of the best, then buckle up and hold on!
Balancing Discovery and Demo for Sales Success
For SMBs, discovery and demo should always be combined. For mid-market and enterprise, they can either be split or combined, but you should always prioritize discovery.
Distinguishing Great Demos from Poor Ones
A great demo is specific enough to the buyer where they can see the product/service solving their problem (although maybe not exactly how). A great demo is like a movie trailer in that it's not too long, and short enough where they want more of it.
A great demo doesn't show all the features of a product, but rather just the ones that will solve the problems of the prospective buyer.
Maximizing Demo Impact for Faster Sales Cycles
When a prospective buyer says they would like to buy your product in the future (maybe 2 months down the line), ask them why not later than two months. The buyer will end up giving reasons why need it sooner rather than later and will sometimes end up talking themselves into buying it sooner than the original date they gave you. This tactic is sometimes referred to as "unselling".
Connect with Mor
Brendan: Hey everyone, welcome to Pit Stops to Podium, the RevPartners podcast where we talk to execs who've competed and won in taking their companies from high growth to high scale. My name is Brendan Tolleson. I serve as the co-founder and CEO of RevPartners and I'm delighted to have with me today, Mor Assouline for this episode of Pit Stops to Podium. Welcome, Mor.
Mor: Thanks for having me.
Brendan: Yeah, we're excited to have you. It's going to be a really fun episode as we get into how to run effective demos. But for those who may not be familiar with Mor, Mor is the founder from Demo to Close, otherwise known as FDTC. And Mor, this is a great opportunity, I think, for you to share a little bit more about FDTC, as well as the origin story. How did you come up with the idea? What gave you the expertise or the background to say, hey, this is what I want to pursue?
Mor: Yeah, absolutely. So, From Demo to Close is a consulting, advising, training, coaching program for the B2B service side. So I work with early stage startups, founders, for go-to-market sales, so building out sales playbooks, improving sales processes, people, et cetera. And then there's another leg to the business, which is the university. It's my coaching program, specifically built out for account executives. Every week we meet. Once a week on Zoom, there's Slack, there's course content, there's material, there's resources. So I'm like their virtual coach over Zoom, but we meet once a week. So that's what the business is. So it's first specifically for B2B SaaS. The origin of this is I prior to even, so the business has been around for about two years. Prior to that, I was a VP of sales for a couple of SaaS startups. And prior to that, I actually, my first job out of college was a sales job and I quit the first day. That was way back when. And then first day, I didn't like say how scared. It was a cold calling job. I needed a job, took the job, got the interview, did well in the interview. And I didn't actually, I've never really done cold calls. And then I just freaked out. Total cold feet. And then I told the founder, I'm like, I'm so sorry, sales isn't for me. And funny enough, sales is for me. I got back into it after doing cold calling and door knocking as a realtor at Keller Williams, and then got into tech sales over 10 years ago, and then they have been ever since. And so all the companies that I've worked for, they've all been, you know, they're not like Salesforce or Oracle, these big names. So it wasn't as easy to sell because nobody's heard of the companies before. So you had to get really creative on how to sell. And that's a challenge, but it's also an opportunity because then that's where you build out your sales skills. But majority of the revenue that we've closed came from the demos that we gave, meaning you had to give a demo in order for them to see the value in order for them to close. Even some of them were sort of like some PLG companies. And so that means I had to get really good at doing demos. And then when I hired, I had to get really good at training reps to do demos. And I did that multiple times where the worst salesperson on team closed 50% of their demos, the best salesperson closing between like 70, 75% of their demos and when I launched my business, it was specifically focused on demos. But then the truth is demos don't close on the one call. They close after the call. It takes time. If it's mid-market enterprise. So the entire business is predicated on how to do demos, but really how to actually move deals forward via discovery, preparation, multi-threading, building up playbooks. Yeah, so that's the origin. Now I'm here.
Brendan: I'm excited to dive into that topic because there's a lot to unpack there, especially for our audience. It's a fascinating story in terms of quitting your first day because you're worried about cold calling and now seeing what you're doing for your career. So that's a fun, full story. Well, more before we get into understanding some of those actual insights that our audience can take around how to be effective at running demos, we'd love to just learn the personal side of you. What are those passions, hobbies, interests that you have?
Mor: Yeah, I like this question because it's, you probably don't get this response as a common response. When I'm not working, I'm working. I enjoy working. It's a hobby of mine. I really enjoy it. And what that looks like, it may not be like doing coaching calls, but it is probably writing content on LinkedIn. I love writing content. I love copywriting. I used to be a copywriter before I even got into sales. I worked at Zimmerman Advertising, which is one of the largest in Florida. And so I'm copywriting, I'm reading. I'm rarely just doing nothing. So my passion, work, I guess.
Brendan: Okay. What is the last book you read? Could be work or could be for fun? Well, it sounds like that's for fun for you, but what do you read or what would you recommend our audience to read?
Mor: Yeah, so if you're in sales, I think if you're in sales, you should study psychology and copywriting. I think you find a lot of things in there because it taps into human psychology. But I'm rereading now, I've just reread Expert Secrets from Russell Brunson and then Traffic Secrets just came in the mail. So I'm just starting to read that. And it's more so like tapping into, like I'm big into marketing. I'm probably a marketer trapped in a salesperson's body, which I think could make me a good salesperson because of that. But that's what I'm reading now.
Brendan: That's great. All right, well, more let's since your passion is work, let's talk about work. And so what you know, what your passion about it, well, there are a lot of things within you mentioned, messaging and marketing, but ultimately supporting sales teams. And that demo being a critical part of determining success or failure within that sales engagement really driving that I don't know if you actually may as a debatable question is a demo and SQL or an MQL but really driving it from sales interaction to close, making sure that conversion rate is high. Let's start here. Before we get into what makes a great demo, how do you, like for reps or SDRs or anything about sales teams, is discovery and demo separate or are they part of the same conversation or can you do both? How do you think through that?
Mor: I hate using this answer because it's an annoying answer, but it depends. So it depends on, are you SMB? If you're SMB, then I think majority of the time it should be combined. When I say majority, I mean like all of the time. Your outliers, well, you'll separate them because the discovery went really well and really deep where you don't have time to do a demo and then you schedule a secondary demo or secondary follow-up, that's a demo. So SMB should always be disco demo combined always, in my opinion. When you're getting into more mid-market enterprise, then you can make the strong debate that, hey, you can split them, or you can combine them. But you should always prioritize discovery. So if you typically do a disco demo in one, if you're an enterprise or mid-market, and you're not done yet with it, the discovery is really deep, the prospect is really engaging, and he's answering the questions, don't rush out of discovery so you can do the demo. So in that case, I would say separate them. But short answer, SMB, combine them. Mid-market enterprise, there is no wrong answer really. It really depends on where the conversation is going. I think it also really depends on, if your website has a book a demo or a schedule a demo, the buyer expects to see a demo. So if you start that call, that call is really only a discovery. You're not aligning to what the buyer's expectations are, which you lose the buyer on. You lose the trust credibility. So give them a demo, give them something.
Brendan: Yeah, I think it gets to your back to your marketing perspective. Like, hey, be consistent with whatever your messaging is that what you experience as a buyer. Okay. I think it's helpful. And also, I'm also curious to hear your perspective on who is responsible. We can make it out later, but I think it probably depends on oftentimes I've seen this probably because I've been more mid-market and above, but as a sales engineer, responsible as a rep responsible, I think there's always sometimes that lack of ownership creates a really poor experience, but maybe we'll get in that in just a second. What makes a great demo versus a poor demo?
Mor: I'll give you a perfect analogy metaphor. What was the last movie you watched in theaters?
Brendan: In theaters, well, the last movie, it's been a very long time. So I'll go with, I have three little kids, so it's hard for me to go to the theater. The last movie I watched was Remember the Titans with my wife, because she has never seen it before.
Mor: That is a long, long time ago.
Brendan: Well, no, that's not the last movie I saw in the theaters. That's the last movie I watched. Yeah, yeah, that would be very sad if that was the last movie I saw in theaters. That was like 2002. Ha ha. Ha ha ha. I'm killing your metaphor analogy, it sounds like. Ha ha. I'm, oh, let's go this way. Last movie I saw in theaters was Top Gun.
Mor: All right, let me ask you a question. Before you watched, when you went to see the movie in theaters, was that the first time you've watched it somewhat, or did you watch a trailer in advance?
Brendan: Trailer in advance.
Mor: So that is what the demo is. It's the trailer, not the movie. So what makes a great demo is it's specific enough to the buyer where they can walk away from it saying, wow, this can solve my problem. Not how it could solve it, like this is exactly what could solve my problem. The movie itself, the actual full movie, is the prospect becoming the buyer and the customer. And that's the onboarding and the training. So a great demo is like a trailer. It's not too long. It's long enough to get the prospect to know exactly what they need and to align it to their problems. And it's short enough where they want more of it. So that means demos shouldn't be too long because then you get prospect burnout. So in order to do that, you need to prioritize discovery. And the way I used to say when I used to sell software, I'd tell buyers, I'd say like, Hey, Brendan, my number one goal is to show you how to solve your biggest problems in the shortest period of time. And that's what I'm gonna show you today. And that means if you have one main problem and I have a software with 50 features, but out of the 50 features, there are only two in there that can solve that one problem. That's what I'm demoing. I'm not demoing the 49, 48 others.
Brendan: Yeah, I love that. I don't know if it's a metaphor or analogy. And I'm glad I gave you one that was in the theaters and not just remember the Titans because it really wouldn't have worked. I mean, I think people get it, but they also still fall into the temptation that they're to show them everything. But you get to that point, the less is more, focus on the three things that people will buy. Why do reps struggle with, like why don't they do that?
Mor: For many reasons. One, their discovery is too shallow. And so when they do a discovery, they ask one or two questions, maybe they don't ask enough questions, and they start the demo, they don't know where to navigate because they don't have reference to navigate. They don't have the paint to navigate, not enough of it. And so like, oh, let me start showing you the dashboard and the settings. And then they just go through the demo. That's one reason. Number two, it's maybe their managers or whatever, if they're working in like a early stage company where there's a founder only. The founder is really gung-ho about their product and really excited and they're like, you gotta show them this, this is where it's at. And that's not really relevant. And so they just, they're following orders or they were trained to do it that way. And so sometimes it's all three.
Brendan: I like that. I mean, it speaks into you truly need to understand your customer. And there are a lot of reasons why people don't, whether that's because of poor discovery or poor training by the manager.
Mor: Poor discoveries are very, it's like one of the most, one of the most common things even in companies that have sales enablement built out, the discovery is just not there.
Brendan: Yeah. And I, um, I would love to also unpack another topic, which is, so there's some of these things internally that they can control, right? In terms of process enablement, uh, how did it run effective, uh, discoveries, but there's also like, how do you manage personalities? And so that's one more of the external piece, but as you're talking to reps and coaching them, how should they be mindful of the buyer that they're talking to? And how should they not only tailor it in terms of the need the business has, but also just the personality of the person they're talking to.
Mor: Yeah. So that's probably where the marketing head comes in and how I think about it. And so I think every company should have this sort of baked in and many don't. And they only have it for sales if they do have it. But buyer persona, so what are the titles? You should have a buyer persona matrix, which is the title, the role of the prospect, what their dislikes are on a professional level, and then what their dislikes are on a personal level. What triggers them? What they like? For example, if you're selling to a CEO or an SVP, what they dislike is maybe long-winded answers. They just get to the point. And so maybe storytelling is not an ideal strategy to use with that type of buyer. Potentially, you'd have to map it out for your own buyer persona. For example, if you're selling software to an antiquated industry like construction, then you know that a founder of a construction company, it could be like a mid-market construction company, may not be as tech savvy and they don't like when you get too complex. They like things simple. So that's part one buyer persona. Then what I'd recommend is you build out a buying scenario matrix, which is what is the use case and where the buyer persona is. For example, let's say you're selling, again, we'll use construction tech. You're selling to construction workers or construction founders, whatever it is. And that's the buyer persona. What's their use case? What's the buying scenario? Are they coming from a competitor? Or are they coming from no solution? Or are they coming from an antiquated solution, like maybe they're just using QuickBooks or Excel? So if they're coming from a competitor, that comes with its own baggage. FUD, fear uncertainty and doubt. So if they're coming from a competitor, one of their concerns that they have in their mind, that's top of mind is feature parity. Do you offer the same features that I like in my current solution? Can you mimic that? Two, can you migrate all of my data? If not, that's a problem. Three, are you more cost, are you cheaper than my product? Are you more expensive than my product? Four, how easy is it to use? Because my team has already been using this software for four years and they're used to it. If I migrate over to you, how quick is the onboarding and the product adoption? So every buyer persona has their own buying scenario. And within each buying scenario, there's these own triggers and psychology that you have to speak to. And so what I'd recommend for reps to get like, really tap into that is study the buyer persona and the buying scenarios. And when you're doing a discovery call, one of the questions like, hey, let's say it's an inbound lead. Hey, what are some challenges that you're dealing with that you think that we can help with? Prospect says, well, we're currently using X. Now you immediately know that is a buyer persona within the buying scenario of migrating from competitor. If you've done your homework and you've memorized it, you know what triggers them, what they'd like, what they dislike, how you should align your entire demo around that buying scenario.
Brendan: I really like the framework of the persona and the buyer scenario. Because I think to your point, it gives the rep a roadmap and confidence to know, hey, if I hear these things, here's how I connect that or tie that to the solution that we have. Which gets into kind of that discovery you just talked about is oftentimes they don't know how to solve, they don't understand the root cause or root problem because they don't have that context or know where to go next with the question because they don't have the experience or they haven't been trained from the manager.
Mor: Yeah. In ClickFunnels, I just re-read it right now, Traffic Secrets are one of them. It was talking about how you should have landing pages for each stage of your buyer. So you have top funnel, mid funnel, and bottom funnel. Top funnel, nobody really knows who you are. So your landing pages have to have a different headline. It can't be the name of your product. It has to be more about the problem. If people know who you are and your problem, then your landing page for that audience should just be about your product itself, not the actual problem, because they already know who you are. So that's why copywriting and marketing is so aligned to sales.
Brendan: Yeah, and I think, you know, as we kind of transition the last topic for today, I think you probably already hit some of it in terms of the scenario, the questions to be mindful of. As we have potential managers or reps thinking through, hey, how do I increase my win rate or close rate in terms of the demo being effective? I know you have a 24-part question that we'll offer to our audience as a follow-up to this, but maybe let's go through some of those of, hey, here's three things that I'd recommend in terms of questions you should be asking. And maybe you can tailor it to your point about a buyer scenario. But that might be helpful for our audience just to start rethinking how to do their demo process.
Mor: So I'll give you three very tactical things that you can do on a demo to increase the win rate. The first thing is, let's assume that you're only going to show the feature that solves the pain. Let's say that. Before you show a particular feature, don't just jump straight to the feature. I call it a PSF framework. So you bring up the pain that's for the P. So you talk about the prospect pain. How do you do that? How do you do that tactically? Hey, Brendan, earlier you mentioned that you're having a problem and it's causing blank, blank issues. So you bring up the pain. It's not for you. It's for the prospect to make them lean in, be like, yeah, that's exactly what I'm having. So you mentioned you're having this problem. What I'm about to show you will help you solve that problem in x period of time. And then I'm going to share the feature. So once I share the feature, I want to see how aligned, based on what I just showed them, how aligned is that to their pain. So I show the feature. I end the feature. I'll say, hey, Brendan, based on what I showed you, how does this align to what you're expecting in terms of solving x, y, z problem? And then I'm looking for a hard yes, a hard no, or something in between. If it's a hard yes, oh, this is exactly what we need, then what I've done at that point is you just micro-close them. You just close them on that feature. And if you micro-close them throughout the demo, you're essentially closing them throughout the entire process. If they say, yeah, I think so, there's hesitation. So you don't move on. In that case, you say, hey, Brendan, I sense a little hesitation. What do you feel wouldn't work for you? Now, most salespeople actually don't look for problems. They don't look for resistance. They look for like, hey, what would work for you? Why does this work? I'm looking to see why this would be an objection. So I'm asking the prospect to share an objection with me. Why wouldn't this work for you? Another example of that would be when they say, I gotta take this back to my boss, for example, or my VP or whatever it is. What you should ask them is, when you do take this back to your VP or your boss or whatever it is, what concerns do you think they're going to have? What are they going to push back on? Again, I'm looking for problems. I want to hear objections while I'm still on the call. A third thing that I would recommend doing is I'm a big believer in talking about price upfront, money upfront. But if you're, so I'll give you two scenarios here. If you only show the price at the end of the call, at the end of the demo, then before you do that, what I'd recommend you do is, Hey, Brendan, before we go into price and what the plans are, based on what I've showed you today, do you feel like this would work for you? Because if it doesn't, it may not even be relevant to show you price. It may just not be a fit. So I wanna do that price gut check before I even go into price. If they say, yeah, sure, I'll go into price. If you're the type of person that likes to show up price in the beginning, or maybe they say, send me a proposal. I never send proposals without talking about price. So I'll say something like, hey, Brendan, before I even like spend time on drafting a proposal and you spending time reading it, why don't I just tell you my rates, you let me know more or less if this would work for you. If it doesn't, then it may not make sense to meet up on Monday or share my proposal. I get permission, they say yes, I then share my rates. So those are like very tactical things that you can do that creates very radical transparency on the call.
Brendan: I like that a lot. I think I like how practical it is. I like the idea of it puts the power in the hands of the reps to do, I think, the qualification, disqualification, which kind of sounds scary to disqualify a deal. But hope isn't a strategy. And so you might as well have that upfront contract kind of conversation, if you will, to understand what is this truly an opportunity or not. And I think so often, it's like, OK, reps default to a monologue versus a dialogue, where they just talk and they talk and they talk and they talk and they talk. And they just don't ask those questions. And whether that's, I'd love to hear the kind of, why do you think, so you're kind of saying, hey, this is what you should do. Why don't reps do this? Is that because of a conflict avoidance? Or what's driving that lack of, I don't say lack of ability, lack of execution?
Mor: Yeah, I think one reason is they don't know how to be direct without being impolite. And so they just avoid the question entirely because they don't want to like step on anyone's toes. I think that's one reason. Number two, they're scared to plant a seed in the prospect's mind. So if they call out like, hey, what concerns do you have about what I just showed you? Or who else on your team will push back on this idea? That's a question that pretty much opens up a can of worms, like opens up a cans of like objections, and they don't want to plant the seed. Like don't bring that up. Don't talk about competitors. Don't talk about price or objections. And they don't do that. I think those are the two reasons. And number three, maybe they don't know what they don't know. And like who would, who would ask, you know, like I earlier in my life, when I got into sales, I didn't know to ask these questions. Um, but I think a lot of times if they do learn that they should ask these questions, they don't know how to without being, uh, impolite. So I guess a tactical way where you can ask a direct question without being impolite is what I like to call vulnerable disclaimers. So it sounds something like, let's say I want to ask you a very direct question, but I fear it's going to be too direct, too blunt. I'm going to ask permission. I'm going to say, hey, Brendan, I have a pretty blunt question to ask you. Is it OK if I ask you, and feel free to kick me in the teeth? And then you'll most likely give me a yes. And then I'll ask my direct question.
Brendan: Yeah, in the last interview I had, I said, hey, what are the three biggest traits for successful sales reps? And it was humility and vulnerability, or two of those. And it speaks into that. I like the idea of a, I think you said, vulnerable disclaimer. And asking for permission is a way, to your point, to be humble and vulnerable. And I think there's also an element where, when you talk about lookout for problems, where that humility and vulnerability come into play is really important. Even if they tell you a problem you don't know, I mean, I think that it's okay. I mean, my view on it is okay if you don't know the answer and to say, hey, that's a great question. How would I get back to you and give you an answer if you don't know? The worst thing you do is just make up an answer that's completely wrong. Obviously you want to have the confidence and the knowledge to be able to execute it. But I do think there's an element of trust that you can gain with a buyer to say, let me come back to you with a response after I've had a chance to connect with the right people internally.
Mor: How do you feel about saying I don't know?
Brendan: I'm okay if it's connected to, but here's what I'm going to do. What I don't like is I don't know, and then you just leave it there. And so I think that it needs to be, I don't know, but here's what I'm committing to do. And you give them that action plan. I think buyers respond to that well. How about you?
Mor: I don't like, I don't know. It's, I don't like it. I can see why buyers would respond to it, but I try to put myself in a buyer seat. And if I'm about to spend 60, $100,000 or whatever it is on a product, and the answer I get is, I don't know, but I'll get back to you. It's like, you should expect to know, right? Like that's like the buyer ego. But so you said something in the beginning earlier that I liked, it was like, let me get back to you on that. You're saying, I don't know, without saying, I don't know. And I think that's a better approach.
Brendan: I agree. And I think to your point, it probably depends on what the topic is. Like when I was saying that I was thinking more from, I'm thinking more mid-market where you're having a specific, like a question around functionality of your software. And I think it's like, that's where I'm like, Hey, you probably need a sales engineer for that question. And it's like, let me get back to you. And here's what I'm going to do. I think that, but if it's like straightforward things that like, you should note your point, it's like, well, I'm, we're done. Like, let me be honest with you. I'm not buying from you. So I think there's that element that you can get yourself in a lot of trouble. Well, Mor let's as we kind of final out question. I've really enjoyed this dialogue and thinking through, how do we run more effective demos? I think it's not only a higher rent win rate, but I think there's a velocity component here that you just brought up in terms of, if you have those upfront conversations, you likely will move deals faster. Not just win them at a higher rate, but actually at a faster sales cycle.
Mor: Yeah. Can I share one other tactic around that? So one of the things that most sales reps should ask is around the timeline, when they would want to at least start solving that problem or implementing the solution. And the prospect gives them a particular date, next quarter, next month, or whatever it is. Most reps just take a note and be like, all right, great, cool. And now they have the timeline. What you should be doing is what I call unselling, where it's almost like you're telling the prospect, hey, you don't need this right now. So why do you need it so quickly? And I'll give you an example. I ask you, hey, when do you need to implement this by or start the process by? You say, this month, mid-month. My advice is to say, well, why not later? And when you ask that, the prospect ends up telling you why they actually need it sooner. Or they may say, well, you're right, actually, we don't need. But most of the time, they'll really tell you why they need it sooner. So that's another little tactic.
Brendan: Interesting. I've never done that way. I have done all the kind of the work backwards concept. Okay, well, if you want to by this date, well, here's what we need to make sure we do to ensure that you have it in place and your team is actually using it to drive urgency. But that's like that's a different approach to of just saying why not later for them to the same concept, it accelerates the urgency in their mind. All right, well, as we were saying, if our audience wants to learn more about some of these tips, tricks, not in say hacks, but ways in which they can partner with you to help their sales team, what's the next step they can take?
Mor: The best thing is go to my website demo2close.com and it has all the information there. And if you want to chat and see if we can partner up, then my calendar link is there. We can book a time.
Brendan: All right, and like I said earlier in this podcast, we'll be sure to provide some of those questions that Moore uses. I think that'd be a really helpful asset for our audience. But please, please reach out to him. He's a good follow on LinkedIn. As you mentioned, he likes to do a lot of writing and there's a lot you can learn and get value from by following Mor on LinkedIn. So Mor, thanks so much. Really do appreciate it and let's stay in touch.
Mor: Yeah, absolutely. And I'll give you the link. It's 24 discovery questions to quantify pain. You'll get the whole thing. It's free. So I'll send that to you.
Brendan: Thank you so much.