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Product Demos: Selling Outcomes vs. Features

outcomes vs features

Business outcomes vs product features: how do your sales demos stack up?

In many cases, the product silos that exist within product management become transparent to buyers during the sales cycle, creating the perception you’ve got a bunch of fragmented products instead of integrated solutions. Longer and more difficult sales cycles lie ahead if this is the case.

Here’s your 3-step plan for selling business outcomes versus product features.

Three Tactics For Selling Outcomes vs Features.

1. The BIG WHY and a “Strategic Value” Theme

For each prospect, find out why your products are ultimately being evaluated.  It’s not the obvious answers …productivity, costs, compliance, efficiency, customer retention, etc. It’s the BIG WHY – why these things are critical to the success of the organization at the C-level.

Once you know the BIG WHY, make it the strategic value theme of your pitch such that every scenario you demonstrate eliminates obstacles en route to that overall outcome.

2.  Consider Each Product a Feature of the Total Solution

Create a two column spreadsheet. In the first column, list the name of each product. In the second column, list that product’s primary purpose.  Script your pitch according to how each product contributes to the overall value theme/outcome.

During the demo, there is no reason to refer to each product separately unless asked.  Talk about them as if they’re components of a total solution.

This approach also lends itself to showing fewer features due to the “bigger picture” focus.  Also, resist the temptation to load up the school bus with product experts!  The fewer the number of people delivering the demo, the easier and more integrated the solution will be perceived.

3.  Job Tasks & Outcomes vs Features or Problems

If your demo is based on capabilities of the product, it leaves you more vulnerable to questions and objections that have no relevance to the real issues, plus you’ll be aimlessly rambling about features that may have no relevance. Unless asked, avoid at all costs the configuration details of how you got an end result. It just makes everything look complicated.

If your demo is based on people’s job tasks, you only have to show capabilities that eliminate the obstacles to completing each task successfully.

More short scenarios are better than fewer long scenarios because they’re easier to digest and they create a perception of simplicity.  Close each scenario by reminding your prospects how the benefits at the user and department level support the overall strategic priorities at the executive level. If you say it enough, they will believe it.

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by John Mansour on November 10, 2021.