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IMO : Not being prepared = enemy of sales !

Yesterday, I was in a demo meeting for a company I had vouched for after taking a first demo myself. My boss was on the meeting as well since he is the decision maker. The sales representative giving the demo was absolutely not prepared despite me giving him several queues on what my boss would probably want him to focus on in his demo. This likely cost him the sale which I think he could have otherwise landed. It made me realize how important being prepared is in sales. That being said, what are some of your stories of either a time you weren't prepared for a sale or witnessed someone else not being prepared and the end result.

๐Ÿ”Ž Prospecting
๐Ÿ“ฃ Demos
๐Ÿ“– Prospecting Stories
7
Justatitle
Politicker
+7
Senior AE
"By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail" - Benjamin Franklin
ARRyouReadyKids
Politicker
+5
Sr. Account Executive
I absolutely agree with this (post cold/intro call), especially when the buyer is willing to help you prep.
My only concern is when the buyers idea of prep is way less information that I need for our complex tool. One simple question can be answered 100 different ways.

Pre-cold call, some prep is necessary, but don't fall into Analysis Paralysis. Sometimes it's better to just send it and ask questions
SalesGal
Politicker
+6
Account Manager / FSR
I agree about analysis paralysis and there's absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions. You are guaranteed to get a better understanding of the account this way and will most likely get more information than what you would find online.ย 

For this story though, allow me to give you a little bit more context.ย 

All questions the sales representative needed answered had already been answered in the first demo I had done by myself. This second demo was for the sales rep to show my boss the actual software. I gave him queues as to which aspects of the demo he should focus on (since I had already taken the full demo) if he wanted my manager to see the value in the software (and which ones really didn't apply to us).ย 

When it came time to finally show how the software applied to us, he wasn't able to properly navigate the features that would be useful to us (it really seemed like he was using them for the first time himself). Whenever the features wouldn't work, he circled back to the other features that don't apply to our industry or line of business at all (features which I had already told him wouldn't apply).ย 

Overall, you could tell he just wasn't ready for the meeting and he ended up not being able to show how his software would help our business.ย 
Telehealth_2the_Moon
Notable Contributor
+12
Director of Business Development
100%. Knowing how to effectively prep and being willing to do it are really important to your long-term success.ย 

It always feels like a slap in the face when you close a deal, do internal handoffs, and then get to the first kickoff meeting and watch people not prep like you would have.ย 
SalesGal
Politicker
+6
Account Manager / FSR
That would be so frustrating !ย 
Telehealth_2the_Moon
Notable Contributor
+12
Director of Business Development
Oh yes, it's not that frequent, usually with newer people, but going through the why behind it helps a ton.ย 

"They just signed an agreement to pay us $XXX,XXX a year, at all times they need to feel like we take that as seriously as they do. Best way to do this is to show up to the meetings as prepared as possible to show that we take this partnership seriously"
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CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
Oof. Hopefully the rep was just having a bad day.ย 
SalesGal
Politicker
+6
Account Manager / FSR
I think it might be because Monday was a Holiday for him so maybe that's why
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
The hardest demos/meetings for me are with existing accounts/prospects ย held by an AE who had recently left the company and left zero notes in the CRM. Have had some really awkward meetings especially when the people arenโ€™t cool and expect me to pick up exactly where they left off.ย 
SalesGal
Politicker
+6
Account Manager / FSR
Those are the worst ! As much as people like to complain about CRMs, when they are properly used, it can be so useful if the AE changes on an account.
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
Seriously! Even if you just take 30 seconds to document some basic notes, it's a huge help.
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