Salespeople so look forward to demos and presentations that they skip most of the steps and milestones in their sales process to get there. 

According to Objective Management Group’s statistics, 91 percent of salespeople don’t have or follow a sales process, and 83 percent conduct demos and presentations at inappropriate times and to inappropriate people. 

With the demo and presentation at the top of their love-it lists, you would think that salespeople would be good at presenting — but you would be wrong. In my view, these are the top 3 mistakes that salespeople make when pitching their product:

1.  They fail to make a business case.

Nobody cares about the product as much as the salespeople do. Think about the last demo you saw.  Boring. You don’t want to see everything demonstrated; you want to know if it will easily solve a business or productivity issue. How will this help you?

2. They don’t engage their audience.  

Most demos and presentations are very dry. Most product demos start with the product. Talk with me, don’t talk at me!

3. They fail to ask questions. 

Without good, tough, timely questions, we don’t learn what we need to learn about our prospects, their opinions, their reactions and their intentions. Without that information, the demo is not a means to an end, it’s a more likely an end unto itself. 

Most salespeople would sell more if they stopped doing demos and began doing qualified demos instead. If they were doing 80 percent fewer demos, they would have more time to identify likely buyers, providing an opportunity to double their sales.

About the Author:

6a01a3fcc1b98e970b01a73d7cc319970d-120siDave Kurlan is a top-rated speaker, the best-selling author of Baseline Selling, and a leading expert on Sales Force Development. He is the founder and CEO of Objective Management Group, Inc., the leading developer of sales assessment tools. He is also the CEO of Kurlan & Associates, Inc., a leading sales force development firm. He possesses more than 30 years of experience in all facets of sales development including sales and sales management training, consulting, infrastructure, leadership, recruiting and coaching.


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