Product Demos That Sell
Devin Reed: What's going on everybody. Happy Friday. Happy Friday. I know it's a little corny, but I'm genuinely happy that it's Friday. Welcome to another episode of Gong Labs Live. I'm your host, Devin Reed, head of content strategy at Gong. Every episode we'd like to get things started by asking a question. If you want to know a little bit about me, I eat two lunches every day. Yep. I've been doing it for my entire career, about eight years long. Every day at around four o'clock I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because I guess I'm still a kid at heart. It's always been my favorite. Now that's a fun fact. The question is, and it can be very divisive, what kind of peanut butter do you eat? Are you crunchy or are you smooth? Go ahead and put it in the comments right now. If you don't care, you can say you don't care, but then I don't know if I can trust you because there's a clear right answer. All right. If you are returning to Gong Labs Live, we're very thankful to have you. Thanks for coming and hanging out with us again. And if you're brand new to it, let me tell you what we're all about. This is a weekly LinkedIn show. We come together every Friday at 9: 00 AM Pacific, and we talk about sales insights and real talk about sales. The goal is to share some awesome new data that will help enlighten you, help give you some new ideas and also some tactics that you can put into play immediately. These are the kinds of things that help you shatter sales records, whether it's a PR, personal record. Or maybe you want to top the leaderboard at your company. Or maybe you're interested in making more money this year than you did last year. Or maybe you're just getting warmed up with a cup of coffee, and you want a little bit of entertainment. Either way. You're in the right place. Now, before I get to our guest, we have a special giveaway. We have some Gong Labs Live swag, and it's ready for you. It's a dad hat. Now, I don't know why they call it a dad hat. Maybe it's because dads wear them a lot, but I did some research. They're the exact same as mom hats. And you don't have to be a mom or a dad to wear this hat. So if you want the hat, all you have to do is tag a friend in sales in the comments right now. Anyone who would enjoy the show, give them a tag, tell them what's up, and someone from our team will reach out to you and make sure you get your hat. I'm jumping over to the comments here. We've got... Someone said both for the peanut butter question. And I'm sorry, that's incorrect. That's incorrect. You can't say both. We've got crunchy. We've got smooth. We've got crunchy. We've got smooths, back and forth. If you're wondering for me, it's smooth. It's smooth all day, not crunchy. Anyway. All right. Yes Jake, this is the perfect dad hat for Father's Day. But again, could be for moms, don't have to be a parent. Maybe you're a dog parent, cat parent. Anyway, let's get over to our show. I want to bring on Alex Alleyne, because speaking of smooth, Alex, you are the smoothest salesperson that I know, and that's a genuine compliment.
Alex Alleyne: Well, that's a lovely compliment. And it goes hand in hand with the fact that I'm a smooth man, too, when it comes to the PB, Devin, so we can match on that one.
Devin Reed: I didn't even have to ask. You'd have to be insane to inaudible peanut butter. So Alex, you are the specialist sales lead at AWS, leading the EMEA sector. Correct?
Alex Alleyne: Absolutely.
Devin Reed: Awesome. What are you focused on? Give the folks a little bit of the day to day. What are you working on?
Alex Alleyne: Predominantly spending a lot of time right now working with customers on a solution we call Amazon Connect, which is our contact center platform. So especially during these remote work and times, helping make sure everyone is ultimately connected, no matter where they are in the world, and having a ton of fun doing it.
Devin Reed: Fantastic. We're not using that product right now, but we are connecting across the globe, because in case, folks, you haven't heard the accent, Alex is not a West Coaster, like me. You're out in the UK.
Alex Alleyne: That's correct. Exactly. But it's Friday evening here and I couldn't think of a better way to spend it, Devin, so let's have some fun.
Devin Reed: I love it. I love it. Now, before we get into the main topic, I gave away a fun fact about the whole peanut butter two lunch thing in the beginning. I don't know if you could hear that backstage. But you have a fun fact, too, which is you don't have one, but you have two superhero- based nicknames. Will you shared those with the folks and why you have those nicknames.
Alex Alleyne: I'm not sure which ones you potentially picked up on behind the scenes. So tell me which ones you have noted down and I'll give you the concepts behind them.
Devin Reed: You told me that people call you Batman and Deadpool. Is it not longer true? Were you lying to me in a previous conversation?
Alex Alleyne: What it is, there's been some changes. So my nicknames are always based on the cars that I have at the time. So a vehicle I had previously was a BMW i8, and then that gave me the name the Batman of London. And then recently I've transitioned to an Audi R8 and it's been wrapped in a color called satin venom red, and so ever since I've been Deadpool. So that's the backstory.
Devin Reed: Very cool. You've sent me pictures of both cars. Very nice, clearly crosstalk. So excited. Other people are excited to be here too. I just want to give some shout out. We've got a lot of people getting dad hats here, Jeff, Georgia, Derek, Ken said crunchy. I don't know if I can give you a dad hat for saying crunchy, but maybe we'll think about it. And a whole lot of other people. So big shout out to everyone. We'll make sure you get your hats. Now, Alex, question for you. Do you ever feel yourself zoning out when someone's pitching for way too long? And please don't say it to me in the beginning of this episode.
Alex Alleyne: It's happened one or two times or many times, I should say, typically, when you see someone's caught up in their own agenda and not too focused on what it is that maybe I want to get out of that conversation or that session. So yes, it's definitely happened.
Devin Reed: And what would you say is kind of like, I don't know, maybe it's subjective to you. But about how much time do you think passes before you get that feeling of, wow, this person's really been pitching for a long time or maybe that zoning out feeling.
Alex Alleyne: I think it often comes down to a couple of things. One is how you actually deliver the information. So you can spend 5 minutes or 10 minutes delivering something. But if you don't just bring it, then ultimately I could tail off after a couple of minutes. But if you kind of bring in that energy, that vigor, getting me excited, anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes, and I think that you probably need to switch it up in some way just to keep me fully on the hook. A lot of it depends to me, you've really got to bring that energy and get someone excited.
Devin Reed: Well, let's pull up the slide because we have some data and your band is in that sweet spot. So we looked at the data and we wanted to see different attributes of successful demo calls. And one of them that we noticed was shorter demos are more effective. And you said 5 to 10 minutes, which is perfectly within the 9- minute rule. And the 39% here is to spend 39% less time pitching product features. So what it was comparing was successful demos to unsuccessful demos. The data showed that the last time you actually talk about these features, the better off that you're going to be.
Alex Alleyne: Sure. These are great points, Devin. I think that's one of the great things about the reports that Bong produced. Because what I've noticed is that you think about any kind of demonstration, or even if you're going to buy something, what people don't want, and I've certainly not wanted when I've been the recipient, is somebody just comes out the gates and starts telling you 101 reasons why their product or whatever their service is, is the best thing in the world. What you want is someone to listen, understand what it is that's important to you, your pain points, how you measure success, and then actually show you something that directly ties in line with that. So seeing this all backed with data is quite refreshing and hopefully makes a difference out there in the marketplace.
Devin Reed: Absolutely. Absolutely. I agree. And it sounds like you're looking for more than just a one- way conversation, which kind of seems obvious. But something I've talked about in the past is when you have a slide deck or you have a product demo, a screen to point to, what ends up happening is sellers a lot of times talk at the screen instead of with the buyer. So as you're giving your product demos, is there any kind of triggers or signals that you're looking for with your buyer to kind of go, okay, this is going in the right direction?
Alex Alleyne: I think it's an interesting point you make. I like to think about it is always making sure that you're having a conversation. What I found is with some people is they almost get into this mode to say, right, I've got to deliver a demo. So everything becomes super rigid, and you forget the fact that there's actually a human element to everything that we talk about. When we talk about sales and process and data, you need to still be a human. So when I say that, when you're speaking to someone or engaging, it's not true to try and pit stop, check their understanding of what you're saying, but also give an opportunity to ask questions. I often use that as a bit of a signal and a yardstick to say, is this person still with me? Do they understand it? Are they engage with it? And sometimes I'll call it out. I'll say, is this currently in line with what you're expecting from the session? Do you want me to switch gears a little bit left or a little bit right. Just ask the question and don't forget that you're having a conversation with a real person.
Devin Reed: I don't know if you saw the slides behind the scenes. I don't think I showed them to you, but you're basically reading the slides for me. We've got one more here we'll pull up, which a great way to know if you're having an engaging conversation is, are there questions? Now, you made a good point of pit stopping and asking questions as a seller. Something else that it kind of clicked, I think, once I saw this slide, but I had kind of been feeling this is when I'm talking to someone, if they're really interested, they usually ask me questions. Could be clarifying questions. A really good one is," Hey, how would this work in...? In that... is their specific scenario, which tells me they're taking the information that I'm sharing with them that we're talking about, and they're starting to apply it to their day to day or their role or their challenges, which is a really great sign. So what the data showed here was top salespeople, top performers, they have 28% more questions asked from buyers during their product demos. And I think I accidentally cut you off there, Alex. You're about to say something.
Alex Alleyne: No, I didn't mean to. The point that you triggered a when you said that was the that I often think, or I believe it's really, really important and something I've seen in top salespeople, is they are genuinely curious. They always have a sense of curiosity when they're having a conversation. And actually, when you're delivering a demo or showing some kind of value, you've actually got some kind of meaningful response from the other person, you'll see that they become curious. And they're curious to learn more and to understand more. So it's almost something that you want to have in yourself when you're seeking to learn, but also a signal you want to look out for from the other side to see, have I inspired some kind of curiosity in this person?
Devin Reed: Absolutely. Absolutely. I'm curious if you have a go- to question, if we can get tactical for a second on the pit stop. So I think what happens a lot of times is maybe you catch yourself or your reps are winded, that 12 minutes passed, that 15 minutes monologue. Alex, any questions as kind of the go- to, that's the go- to people. Any questions? Now, I personally don't like it at all because here's the thing. It makes the buyer come up with the question. So you're actually making them answer something and come up with a question, which is a lot of work. So I personally don't use that. Something that I used to use was, Alex, what's the most interesting thing about what we just talked about? Or X, you can fill in. What's the most interesting thing to you in terms of the data I just showed? It's a more pointed question that makes it really easy to answer. So I'm curious if you have a similar perspective or maybe a go- to question that you use.
Alex Alleyne: I think I'm absolutely with you on that, Devin. I think that I've seen what I try to do is pick out certain slides or look out for slides that either show a current state versus a to- be state or a could- be state. And then try and work out or work with that customer to see if what they're seeing and hearing actually resonates with them. Because in the blog article that you guys did on this topic, it was really fascinating where you were showing a little bit about that, how customers resonate with storytelling and not necessarily you're thinking about if you've got a customer that's a massive enterprise and then you're actually pitching to an SMB. Are they going to make that correlation? So it's trying to work out sometimes, are there stories or journeys that show a current state to could- be state and then trying to ask questions or seek clarification as to whether that customer can resonate with that. And then you can use that to just add to your momentum as well as giving them a chance to ask more pointed questions.
Devin Reed: Love it. Great advice. Great advice. All right. Well, that's it. We talked about length of the demo. We talked about stopping and asking questions. You just gave a great one on how to engage and get questions. Are there any other deal- making product demo tips that you rely on that you can share with folks?
Alex Alleyne: I said there's a couple of things. One is that I've seen a lot of people just go into demos and say, I'm going to do a demo. And you got to think about a demo comes as a part of typically a next stage in a sales process. I often see it as discovery. And then the second stage is kind of scoping/ discovery. You need to set an agenda for what that session is going to look like and try and get that validated with the customer as well. So it's not really a case of just kind of rocking up and getting out your kit bag and showing what you've got. Get an agenda. Be specific about how that customer's going to measure success from that scoping or that demo session, and make sure that you're both aligned on that. I think the other point is having clarity in your own mind as to how you're going to define success at the end of that session. So for me, I see demos as a great opportunity to really validate understanding from that discovery session at the beginning, but also to set a bit of a foundation around a proof of concept or a proof of value, and to make sure that the technology isn't going to have any blockers when it actually comes towards that implementation stage. So those are just some examples, but it's really just ultimately to think about, what do I want to achieve from this demo? Make sure you set an agenda that's pointed towards that, and then get buy- in from the other end to make sure that you've got a unified version of what success looks like.
Devin Reed: Phenomenal, phenomenal, phenomenal tech. Giving folks the upfront, if this goes well, here's what we're going to do. If this is a successful demo and you see value, the next step is X. So when you get to the end of it and you've asked those questions, hey, does this make sense? Can you connect the dots? When you get to the end, the next step isn't even an ask, it's an obvious, of course we're going to do it because the last 30 minutes were really well- spent. Great insight.
Alex Alleyne: Absolutely.
Devin Reed: Okay, Alex, we talked about this. You're very smooth. But if you're going to rock Deadpool, Deadpool's very witty and he's very quick witted. So what I'm going to do is speed you up a little bit here, and we're going to go to our rapid fire round. You ready?
Alex Alleyne: Let's do it.
Devin Reed: All right. You have five seconds or less to answer these questions. Now the honest truth is I don't have a shot clock. I'm not going to time you with my watch, but do your best.
Alex Alleyne: Correct.
Devin Reed: Okay, here we go. Question number one, who is a UK sales influencer we have to follow on LinkedIn?
Alex Alleyne: Lot of options. I'm going to say Neeraj Kapoor
Devin Reed: Lovely. Never heard of him.
Alex Alleyne: Check him out.
Devin Reed: Right. You recommend the name. This is a good one. What is your favorite American slang phrase?
Alex Alleyne: All Americans love the word awesome and I just said it myself. So I've clearly been indoctrinated. I'm going to say it's just like everything is always awesome.
Devin Reed: We are overly optimistic in America. I will give you that. I'm with it, too. I use it. And I'm like, if you've seen something truly awesome, you know what I mean? Like Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon, the presentation wasn't awesome. It was great, it was good, but it wasn't awesome. I'm with you there. What is a snack food that you can only find in Europe or UK? That's where you look. And what does it taste like?
Alex Alleyne: That's a tough one. I'm going to say a Bounty chocolate bar. I don't believe I've ever seen that when I've been in the US or anywhere else. I'm killing the five seconds, but it's a chocolate bar with coconut bits on the inside. And it's lovely. You got to try it.
Devin Reed: I've never heard of a Bounty bar. It sounds like an almond joy, if I'm correct, but I don't eat much coconut. Hope I can try one out soon. Okay, great. Great answer, by the way, because if I've never heard of it, you're probably correct. Because I know my way around the candy and snacks aisle. What is a sales book you recommend that everyone should read?
Alex Alleyne: It's actually the most recent book I've read. It's called The Qualified Sales Leader by someone called John McMahon, software sales legend.
Devin Reed: All right, there you have it. And last question. What's something that you do every single day to continue to grow, whether it's personally or professionally?
Alex Alleyne: It's commit to a minimum of one hour's personal development and learning every single day without fail.
Devin Reed: I love that. There's a great article, I caught it on Medium, I think. I don't know if you've read it, but this article says is if you spend an hour a day for five days a week over the course of a year or two, the way that compounds, it just puts you, you can make more money, you're smarter, you're happier. It takes a lot of discipline, but I know you're a disciplined guy. Well, Alex, this is fantastic. Thanks for hanging out with us. We went 21 minutes, but I think we changed it up enough to abide by our 5- to- 10- minute rule here. What's the best way for folks to get ahold of you?
Alex Alleyne: Thanks again for having me on. LinkedIn is probably the number one way. So my name's on the screen, Alex Alleyne. Also check out my website, alexalleyne. com, and love to connect with as many of you as possible.
Devin Reed: I recommend it. I follow you. We're connected. We DM. We text. It's great. Thanks everyone for hanging out with us on Gong Labs Live. Not too late, if you want the dad hat, makes a great father's day gifts or wear it yourself. Go ahead and tag someone in the comments that needs to know about the show. Otherwise, make sure you follow Gong on LinkedIn. You'll get a notification every time we go live. If you liked this episode, inaudible, our show producer, will drop a link in right now. You can watch all of our on demand episodes. This is episode five. There's four more waiting for you. Thanks for hanging out with us. And I will see you next week.
Alex Alleyne: Take care.
Sprint towards quota by mastering incredibly effective product demo techniques – all backed by data. Alex Alleyne, top Linkedin Sales voice and Title, joins Gong Labs Live! to share how he delivers insanely persuasive demos. Ready to call yourself the demo master?