Six Steps to Accelerate Digital Presales Adoption

Sheila Rue

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

You can break up your journey for the adoption of Presales SaaS into what you have done, where you are now, and what you are planning to do. When Infor assessed what they did and what they are currently doing for adopting demo software, they found they needed an intuitive experience and smaller groups. They also needed to identify their “champions,” which are the people within the organizations that you are trying to interest in your product or service. These stakeholders will ultimately get access to decision-makers in the organization and sell your product/service for you.

1. Create an Intuitive Experience

Infor’s Global Sales Enablement Team assessed their technical landscape of sales tools and opted to hire digital sales coaches. These coaches visit their various sales teams in the industries they support and help those sales communities navigate an array of sales tools. Because navigating these digital tools is not intuitive for everyone, partnering with coaches to do a series of enablement sessions can rapidly increase adoption.

This will also help you establish deeper connections because these coaches become a familiar voice to the sales teams they support, and the coach/team begin speaking a common language. This familiarity makes a big difference in adoption rates.

2. Use Smaller Groups to Enable Internal Champions

Infor had a significant launch with hundreds of people to create exposure and awareness for the demo platform. They conducted six follow-up sessions to help sales teams personalize and send interactive sales demos.

Ultimately, they found that such a large launch hindered their adoption. Their digital sales coaches set office hours similar to college professors to counter this. Anyone could drop by with questions to better understand their digital tools. The smaller, relaxed, informal format made it easier to identify who was making an effort to adopt and utilize the new sales tool and become their internal champions.

3. Use It or Lose It

You must identify your champions to aid your cause when looking to accelerate adoption. However, it is important to understand that not everyone will jump on board. At a large organization like Infor, not everyone will get licenses to use the digital tools; they allocated approximately 600 licenses to the sales team to send demos, and 200 were for the content creators. Those who are not taking advantage of the tool could lose their access, and those interested in using the software can advocate for access. Team members can look at demo preview links within specific industries or capabilities to justify how they will benefit from access.

Instead of demanding everyone utilize this new tool, extend invitations instead. As sales start to close, the success stories and results will speak for themselves. Teams will begin to connect the dots on the entire sales experience. As adoption starts to occur, you can look to the future. It is crucial to understand your technical landscape, partner with your technical teams to track performance, and continue to innovate.

4. Know Your Technical Landscape

Starting with too much content was overwhelming for Infor’s users and slowed their adoption rate. Infor needed to refine how users were experiencing their access to the content to create a user interface that is elegant and positive for their audience. Technical landscape awareness is a fundamental component of adoption.

You will see who is accessing what at each sales cycle stage. This will help you refine content by capturing clicks appropriately. But if you do not understand how to gather that data correctly, you will not have the detail and insights.

5. Use Your Technical Teams for Analytics

You may have great leaders and teams using the digital tools appropriately, but they are not looking at the analytics. If they do not spend the time to follow up with stakeholders who have interacted with a demo, they are missing opportunities.

Partnering with your technical teams to create a self-service environment where sales leaders can grab a snapshot of their current state and see who is effectively utilizing the platform leads to progress beyond the early stages of adoption. If engagement is low, the goal is to deliver demolytics that show where and why this is happening.

6. Continue to Innovate

Our engagement should not end when the buyer signs the deal. We should be continuing to engage with our buyers to compel them to either take advantage of these new functions or, if they are already using them, to rely on them even more. We can create repeat opportunities by leveraging a powerful interactive demo platform in different ways to serve our people, both internally and externally. For example, team leaders can digitally deflect and will not approve a solution consulting request unless a demo qualifies it with engagement. We should continue to be more mindful with our content creation, making one artifact with multiple uses for the most significant impact.

Driving adoption is far easier when you have implemented the right tool. It can help you scale presales and give your sales engineers more time. Making the experience intuitive, optimizing group sizes, finding internal champions, and using analytics will help your organization accelerate adoption and maximize your return on investment. While demanding adoption will not lead to optimal growth, facilitating a conducive environment for adoption will help your team magnify their impact on revenue.