Looking Back To Accelerate Digital Presale Tool Adoption

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Sheila Rue

This blog is based on a webinar with Sheila Rue, Senior Director of Solutions Consulting for the Americas region of Infor. The interview was part of our Scaling Presales Webinar Series. Visit here to watch the entire webinar.

You’ve probably seen the picture of the young woman that turns out to be a picture of an old woman—depending on which perspective you are viewing it. Adopting a new tool goes through a similar shift. Your philosophy will change as your perspective does. Every minute is an old minute, and every future minute is a new minute. If you stay flexible, you may find a new avenue to explore.

You’ve worked hard to find the right tool to scale presales and give your sales engineers more time. You may have even gone through an implementation process to get your team and their sales counterparts to use your selected solution. Now, it’s time to drive the adoption of the digital tool. The first step is evaluating what you have already done.

How Infor Handled Adoption

Infor’s Presales Project Team initiated the Consensus platform project to scale their presales team. They used a decision-making framework to justify the investment, and management approved the team’s proposal. They gained an open platform and needed to generate content to utilize the platform.

They stored their current content across devices on computers, YouTube, Vimeo, and more. Their goal was to promote a content library on the new platform, identifying some key focus areas. They identified three ways to compile and generate their content library during this process.

  1. Edit or fine-tune your existing content to make it current.
  2. Pull from your recent live demos; look at your longer and more robust demos and turn them into chapters in your digital library.
  3. Develop new content for your library; this can be the most challenging as there are multiple conflicting priorities at this stage. Infor asked for another capability within their solution consulting community. Their primary responsibility was to drive revenue generation and interface with customers, and they asked their community to look into content requirements and configure solutions.

Set Clear Expectations

It is critical to set expectations for the different constituent groups you will be engaging. Infor did this by establishing what they wanted their team leaders to do with their digital library. When you set these expectations for different teams, you empower them to recognize and appreciate the potential impact of digital tools.

For example, let’s say you want to accelerate your sales cycle by 10% when using demo automation software. Your sales cycle may be over 250 days, but you could set an expectation to shave a month off of every cycle.

Using performance metrics can also help guide your expectations. Other teams in your competitive space will be leveraging digital tools for their sales teams. By compiling the data and showing that those teams are sending a certain number of demos per month, you can help your team understand where they are at from a performance standpoint in comparison to that metric.

Less is More

When Infor generated their content for their demo library, they found it was overwhelming. It was difficult for the sales reps to navigate quickly and find the exact content they needed. They had great content, but they didn’t organize optimally. It is essential to develop a mindful, streamlined approach to how you are presenting the digital content to the communities utilizing it.

Consider Early Sellers

Infor realized they didn’t include their Business Development Representatives (BDRs) in the early stages of content development and utilization. Including your early sellers will allow them to use digital content to meet the requests of potential buyers and create demo-qualified leads.

Our research finds that if you can get a prospect to watch an automated sales demo before engaging them in a live meeting, they are 34% more likely to become an opportunity. They are 81% more likely to purchase if they watch and share it. Leveraging your digital tools with your early sellers can help drop your unqualified demos from over 50% to under 5%, increasing your efficiency and productivity.

Selling the Pain of Change

Implementation is always a balancing act. Eventually, you know all your hard work will pay off, but it seems like a complete pain during the rollout of any new software. Having a clear plan in place and following a strategy for fostering adoption will help the process go smoother. If you find your customers have consistent issues with adoption, create materials that help guide them through the process. Remember, selling doesn’t stop after the deal is done. Organizations that don’t have successful adoption don’t renew.

Once you have identified what you have already done, you can more clearly see where you are in your adoption journey and move to where you want to be.