You need more than a great product demo to make your pitch deck sticky
You might have the flashiest, sexiest, most compelling product demo in the world. It still won’t translate to everyone else involved in the purchasing process. You know what will? A good story rooted in the problems your customer is experiencing.
“As soon as I show them the product, they’ll be sold.”
We’ve heard this before, and honestly, it’s true — sometimes. But this sentiment breaks down if the person you’ve just demoed your product to isn't the one who can make the final purchasing decision.
They probably won’t be. The average B2B buying decision involves six to 10 people, per Gartner. They include gatekeepers, decision-influencers, users, and ultimately, the decision-maker.
How do you make sure your message stays consistent in a game of B2B sales telephone? A memorable story. You need a sales deck that can carry a compelling narrative from the influencer you met with to the decision-maker you won’t get to.
Your story has to start with their pain, not your product.
Before you can address how your product will benefit a company, you have to start with your prospect’s pain points and empathize with their everyday challenges. In other words, sell the reason they need your product before selling your product.
This is what will make the story so sticky — the opening of your story should speak to exactly the pain they’re feeling. And not only will the story be more memorable, your champion will feel more confident retelling it to higher-ups because it will signal to them that your champion is approaching this purchasing decision from a business perspective.
Twist the knife just a little more.
After you’ve shown you know the pain your prospect is going through, you’ve got to drive some urgency. You have to take this person from thinking, “We deal with this every day, so what?” to thinking, “Oh God, I have to do something about this now.”
You can do this by showing them what will happen if the problem persists. So the next chapter of your story should lead your prospect in a thought exploration around how their company, the industry, even the world will look different (worse) as a result of letting the pain points you just discussed fester and grow. Will businesses close? Will users suffer? Will people lose their jobs? What’s the worst-case scenario here? Paint the picture of what’s at stake.
OK, now you can talk about your product.
Only now that you’ve painted the picture of why this potential customer needs your product (and soon) can you finally introduce the panacea, your product.
If it feels too late in the story, it’s not. In every fairy tale in history, the hero triumphs near the end! You have to lay the groundwork, build tension, confirm their worries, and now, you can more easily frame your product as the thing to help make this pain go away.
This is a much easier story to recall and share than a standalone product demo.
Think about it this way. Which message would you want your prospect to send to the decision-maker?
- “The concept was cool. All our employees can sign up for a subscription to a primary care doctor.”
[after a product demo]
- “We’re spending so much money on urgent care or even ER visits because our folks don’t have a good primary care solution. And when that happens, they’re out the entire day so we have to get someone to cover their shift. It happens all the time. With this concept, our employees can text or call their doctor to get care, or they can get an in-person appointment right away. Our people would be much happier with this. I think it would help with turnover, too.”
[after a sales narrative that starts with the pain point]