Which Solution Had That Pretty Green Chart?
Early in the 2016 Republican Primary season, Donald Trump boasted that he “could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters”. Aside from the loyalty of his supporters, many of whom said that almost nothing could make them change their mind about voting for him in the presidential race, Trump was also benefiting from a non-stop 24/7 news cycle. In an always-on world, where sensationalism sells in journalism, there’s always the next big story ready to push the last one out of the way.
Software evaluations can sometimes mimic the onslaught on an endless news feed. Earlier this year, I was evaluating the remarkably fragmented salon management software space. I discovered over 50 unique vendors, and after considerable online research, I booked demos with 8 of them. While the demos themselves were highly forgettable, the sheer volume of information I was exposed to made it difficult to easily distinguish between each solution. All of them essentially approached the needs of salons the same way, with modules for booking and managing appointments, employee scheduling and management, marketing tools for reminders, referrals and loyalty programs, and product and services management. Each vendor walked me through most of the modules and at the end of those 8 demos, I couldn’t remember which one was which.
None of these vendors took advantage of the many ways they could have made themselves memorable before or during their demo, but then they missed yet another opportunity by also failing to differentiate themselves after the demo.
How do you stay top of mind with a prospect after your demo is over, especially knowing they’re going to be seeing competitor solutions before and after yours? In addition to delivering a differentiating and memorable demo, there are few more effective tools than the Leave Behind document.
What is a Leave Behind?
A Leave Behind document can refer to any document that highlights, summarizes, or explains in full, information about your solution and how it can solve your clients key business issues. While most recap what was discussed and shown in the demo, they need not be limited to just that. The best Leave Behinds are those that:
If done properly, a Leave Behind document will help reinforce your messaging, remind the prospect that it was your solution, and not your competitors’, that had those great features and benefits they saw and heard, and can help the prospect’s PM sell your solution internally to those who weren’t at the demo. Leave Behinds can be a lot of extra work, especially if you’ve already put considerable effort into a full-blown POC, but they should be looked at as a way of protecting that investment – making sure that it’s your solution the prospect remembers when they walk into their evaluation meeting the week after seeing multiple vendor demos.
If you’re a Presales or Sales Leader, I encourage you to incorporate Leave Behinds as a standard practice in your sales engagement model. Aside from their obvious benefits, you could be putting yourself at a disadvantage by not offering them – there’s a good chance at least one of your competitors already is.