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Your Clients and Partners Are Selecting Your Team - Not Only Your Product
I realize there are exceptional sales and alliance people that utilize individual approaches and derive excellent results. Here's an approach I use and am happy to share.
Before launching into a product demonstration or a presentation, I ask if I can take 5 minutes to provide more insight into our company, our focus and investment areas, and introduce members of our team that will support them. I explain that it will help provide a complete picture so once they see the product, they will better understand not only the product, but the value we are determined to deliver.
I typically start with an overview of the Product Development and Engineering teams. I explain the focused priorities of the group and the ways we are investing in that organization. Clients and partners want to know that we value this team and are continually investing in them - those investments result in exceptional products.
I speak about Customer Success and Support. By explaining that a key focus is to optimize the client or partners benefits and utilization of the product (or service) I stress the importance that our relationship starts when the order is signed and our focus is on delivering flawless execution and performance in supporting the client.
I speak about our field sales and pre-sales team. The importance we place in their knowledge, expertise, and their value to the company. This is the team that is closest to the client and we want to empower them to accelerate sharing and learning from our clients and partners.
I finish by speaking about the company, the values are principles we operate the business by, and the leadership team's role in remaining fully involved and integrated with clients and partners. Clients and partners need to hear specifically that product enhancements, new product development are often a result of customer requests. Its very important to make the specific point that the collaboration is beginning and that the senior leaders of the company are active participants.
In each section, I introduce key contacts so they begin to see our team as proven, complete and defined.
I stop, ask if that was useful, answer any questions, then begin the demonstration or presentation. The feedback we receive is always very positive.
One last thing - this approach helps me align more people from the client side to my team. All too often we are "single threaded" into opportunities and fail to develop coaches across the various teams that make up the client.