The Software-as-a-Service (Saas) industry has revolutionized B2B sales teams and the selling process. Today, more than ever, opportunities are being sold – from start to finish – remotely and sales reps are leveraging new technology to facilitate virtual meetings (such as webinar and video conferencing). By eliminating the time and cost of travel, salespeople are able to reach significantly more prospects in a shorter period of time – leading to greater revenues at lower costs.
That said, oftentimes your largest potential customers still want to meet face-to-face; particularly if you’re selling complex solutions. We run into this a lot with our telecom billing platform – imagine replacing your system for managing customers, collecting revenue, tax calculation, ticketing, and automating workflows. At Rev.io, we’ve found that on-site meetings can be a critical component of moving large opportunities to closure. And, if done correctly, on-site meetings can become a powerful tool for a sales rep.
Before you take the time and expense (and ask your prospect to invest their time) to travel to an on-site sales meeting, it’s important to plan for the interaction. Here are some planning tips for conducting effective on-site sales meetings:
1. HOLD AN INITIAL MEETING REMOTELY
Before committing your company resources to travel to the potential customer, hold an initial discovery call to learn about your prospect’s business and qualify the opportunity. The qualifying meeting can help you gauge the prospect’s interest, identify if there is a need, and quantify the value associated with your solution. In addition, ask your executive contact/ sponsor to champion you holding interview calls with the key stakeholders in the project – you’ll want to gain their perspective prior to an on-site meeting as well.
2. PROPOSE A MEETING AGENDA IN ADVANCE
The most effective sales meetings have a clearly outlined agenda and topics to be communicated. When traveling to a prospect’s office, you should create a meeting agenda, share the written schedule with your prospect, and discuss the proposed topics in advance. Getting feedback before the meeting will help you cater the meeting to the potential customer’s specific concerns or questions, allow you to schedule outside resources to call into parts of the meeting (such as a technical sales engineer or onboarding expert), and show that you’re confident the meeting will be worth their time. Bring hard copies of the agenda to the meeting and hand these out to each of the attendees. This sets the tone of the meeting early on and sets the audience’s expectations of the topics and timeline.
3. keep presentations focused on business initiatives
Use the intelligence gained from initial remote meetings to craft the message of your on-site presentation. All presentations and product demonstrations should show how your solution will directly impact your prospect’s revenue growth, expense reduction, competitive advantage, or risk mitigation. If the content you’re sharing doesn’t tie back to one of those business initiatives, leave it out!
When you’re in the prospect’s office it can be easy to relinquish control of the meeting, but it’s imperative that you stick to the plan.
4. ask for feedback
On-site meetings with potential customers will typically involve stakeholders from multiple functional areas. Keep in mind, each person will have their own agenda and frame of reference when evaluating your solution. Near the end of the meeting, ask each attendee to write down at least one area of your solution that could benefit their functional department and at least one concern they have about your solution. Prior to concluding the presentation, go around the room and ask each individual to share those thoughts. It’s a beneficial exercise for you and for your audience.
5. SET ASIDE TIME WITH EXECUTIVE DECISION MAKERS
Don’t be alarmed if your executive decision makers don’t attend the entire on-site meeting. It’s very common for top executives to skip out on the detailed product demonstration or a deep-dive on implementation processes. While it’s okay for your executives to be absent for the detailed discussions, it is vital to set aside time with them to review business terms. When discussing the relationship between your two companies with an executive decision maker, bring in members of your executive team, whenever possible, so you can create executive alignment.
6. FOLLOW UP
Follow up your on-site meeting with a personal touch. Where most companies (and probably your competitors) will follow up with an email, stand out from the crowd by sending a handwritten thank you note to each attendee. For an even bigger impact, make the note personal by addressing a question they asked or specific use case they brought up – the extra time you spend on these notes will go a long way. Lastly, send the notes with a small, branded gift from your marketing department, like a branded notebook or mug. Not only will you stand out from the competition, but you’ll also leave behind a little reminder of your solution.
Now that you know the 6 best practices to facilitate better on-site sales meetings, you’re ready to go out and start selling! We hope our effective sales meeting tips will help you improve close ratios and make a great impression on your prospects. Good luck! For more information about the sales process or our IoT & telecom billing platform, please contact us. We’re here to chat.