Personas of Sales

good examples of customer engagement, user engagement strategy, technical pre sales, customer engagement management, pre sales consultant, user engagement, Demo Fest | goconsensus
Mark Green

Some people are happy to adopt change, others not so much. Some work on their own, others are great in teams.

Sales buyer stakeholders are often tired of being told to use ‘another’ system, and this one means they don’t get their usual access to ‘on-demand live demos’!

However there are 3 main characters in this game, let’s explore how we connect with each to help them understand how presales can help change their endgame.

These are the stories of 3 real people, who’s identities have been swapped out for Avengers – because that’s always fun.

Hawkeye: Targets with point accuracy

As an Avenger:

Uses tools made by others to great effect. Understands he’s far more effective if he uses a specific arrow for each situation. Can launch multiple arrows at the same time.

As a buyer stakeholder:

Calmly understands the situation and takes time to learn how innovation can help hit targets. Has no superpowers of his own, but uses tools to rise to the challenge. Builds trust and helps others achieve their goals, in turn creating his success.

In the real world:

Clint really understands that by using demo automation, he can target multiple prospects at once, providing them value right as their buying journey gets busy.

Known as a great team-player. He’s not an expert in the software, but knows how to do great discovery and give buyers the tools they need to progress to each stage.

He uses compassion and helpfulness to win the customer’s confidence, explaining the tools at their fingertips to help make their change project a success.

Gives good feedback to presales on ideas for content, and reports win/loss accurately for gap analysis.

How to manage a ‘Clint’ stakeholder:

Clint really understands that by using demo automation, he can target multiple prospects at once, providing them value right as their buying journey gets busy.

So

Report the demolytics of this person often. Commonly on the leaderboard for stakeholder discovery due to the collaborative approach in explaining the concept behind Consensus buyer enablement.

Known as a great team-player. He’s not an expert in the software, but knows how to do great discovery and give buyers the tools they need to progress to each stage.

So

Presales love working with this person, but be careful not to over-offer live demos just because of a great relationship. Get presales to push back using this rapport with the message that they want to be more consultative for the more valuable opportunities than just running overview demos.

Can get frustrated by presales if they aren’t available (they’re busy doing overview demos for other sales reps).

He uses compassion and helpfulness to win the customer’s confidence, explaining the tools at their fingertips to help make their change project a success.

So

A true champion of the buyer-led sale, it’s important to highlight the impact this has to other members of the sales team. Competitive nature of sales can be used to help others adopt demo automation more readily.

Gives good feedback to presales on ideas for content, and reports win/loss accurately for gap analysis.

So

Ensure feedback is captured and addressed. Both good and bad feedback is crucial, and it’d be good not to lose this person’s good favour. They are your sales champion.

The Hulk: Goes in heavy, demo-smash!

As an Avenger:

Dives in with all the energy but not much preparation. Doesn’t use tools from anyone else. We love the enthusiasm, but needs calming down a bit.

As a buyer stakeholder:

Doesn’t need more tools, just uses Presales resources again and again. Demo is presales job, not his. Doesn’t have time to learn new things, too busy hulk-smashing targets.

In the real world:

Bruce sends automated demos to everyone, all the time. Not sure of the buyer’s requirements, he sends emails unexpectedly and with old, outdated information. Has heard there’s a new tool which he wields with uncertain accuracy, so sends the same Demoboard to 10 companies before realizing no-one can log in and “there’s someone else’s name on it”.  Gets angry and tells everyone his way is the only way; doesn’t listen well to others.

How to manage a ‘Bruce’ stakeholder

Bruce sends automated demos to everyone, all the time. Not sure of the buyer’s requirements he sends emails unexpectedly and with old, outdated information.

So

Proudly old-school can be a problem when someone’s pride is at stake. Let this person see the success of their colleagues and enable them to craft their own success.

Has heard there’s a new tool which he wields with uncertain accuracy, so sends the same Demoboard to 10 companies before realizing no-one can log in and “there’s someone else’s name on it”.

So

The age-old doing without knowing. A training issue here can be easily solved by aligning demo automation training with existing sales training at the company.

Gets angry and tells everyone his way is the only way; doesn’t listen well to others.

So

Frequently offers customers instant, mid-call demos of unprepared functionality by presales. Empower presales to have a bank of FAQ demos to send after meeting which they can consume ‘in their own time’.

Iron Man: Doesn’t need your help!

As an Avenger:

Perhaps a leader, but definitely not a team-player. Makes any tools he needs but doesn’t share them. Doesn’t realise the company is run by someone else till it’s too late.

As a buyer stakeholder:

Slow to adopt the power of teamwork.  CRM is king, other tools have no sales purpose. Protects sales team from innovation by others.

In the real world:

Tony only cares about CRM and struggles to get his team to do even the most simple of update tasks. Adding more software threatens his control. Believes Presales should be there for live demos every time. Hasn’t caught on that more demos=lower quality consulting. Tells his team to use demo automation once, in a meeting that not many attended. Doesn’t keep up the momentum. Any wins using demo automation must have been only due to great sales people, not great enablement.

How to manage a ‘Tony’ stakeholder

Tony only cares about CRM and struggles to get his team to do even the most simple of update tasks. Adding more software threatens his control.

So

Work hard to understand the sales metrics/targets this person/team must achieve. Some are very metric focused, so align activities to those results, making demolytics prove its own value. Demo automation cases drastically decreased ‘time to respond’ and can really shorten sales cycles. Make sure sales are trained to use the software and re-check their usage closely so it falls into common usage rather than infrequent action.

Believes Presales should be there for live demos every time. Hasn’t caught on that more demos=lower quality consulting.

So

This depends if there’s a strong presales leader in the company or just sales leader. If strong presales, then standing firm on their presales value attribution on each deal. Measuring demand and activity gaps are crucial. If there’s only sales leadership, then reducing time to respond and shorter sales cycle is likely the best approach. If confident, understand knowledge pools within the presales team and ration them out by ‘running presales as a business’. Calculate CAC / chargeback equivalent / Cost to acquire stage / value of presales amplify.

Tells his team to use demo automation, but only does so once, in a meeting that not many attended. Doesn’t keep up the momentum.

So

During and after pilot, ensure demolytics are used to accompany and success messages in wider meetings.

Any wins using demo automation must have been only due to great sales people, not great enablement.

So

Many presales metrics aren’t currently measured by sales teams, so creating their own ‘what great looks like’ can be visibly championed. Make sure any successes also call out Sales participation for their support in adoption (even if this is somewhat lacking).