Yesterday & today, I was at the InTech50 – 2015 edition at The Leela Palace, Bangalore – 2 days of action packed event with 50 innovative product companies pitching to 25 Global CIOs and an equal number of their Indian counterparts. The audience also had a sizable presence of VC firms! The enthusiasm of the entrepreneurs was palpable.
Organised by iSPIRT & Terenne Global Leadership Network, InTech50 is not a regular conference, here each product company is given a 5 minute slot to pitch. Each of them was assigned a mentor or a Guru to help them sharpen their sales pitch.
While I enjoyed the event immensely and connected with many of the delegates, I also had an opportunity to understand what the CIO’s expected from the product pitches.
Below is the summary of my interaction with a couple of the CIO’s :
- A Clear understanding of your Target audience and their requirements help make a clear and precise presentation.
- Focus should be on the business issue or requirement the product solves. The founder who is in love with his or her product they tend to get into too much of detailing.
- Showcase a used case, while focusing on how exactly the product solved the business issue.
- While the CIO appreciates the superior technology deployed, the time given should be better utilized to explain the benefit to the customer.
- Be unique in your presentation, passion and humour help.
- Don’t waste time by being repetitive.
It was interesting to note that many of the VC’s and CIO’s were meticulously making notes of the products they liked and then went in search of the booth where it was demonstrated. The purpose of the was very clearly either to invest in the company itself or to procure the product.
While I probed further a CIO was patient enough to explain the way to win an order:
- Doing your homework by researching the delegate’s background and unique needs help to sharpen your pitch.
- The ability to respond to all the queries, the prospect raises, helps cinch the deal. Most often a deal is lost when the seller is unable to answer a query as he / she is unable to say ‘No’. It is ok to say that you do not have all the complete solution and to accept that your product may have some gaps, in which case the product can still be sold to solve part of the issue.
- Listen to the prospect and clearly understand his/her needs.
- Be sharp on your Marketing & Communication.
- Demonstrate your staying power, the prospect may be wary of investing in a company that may fold up his / her operation. Conviction in your product helps convince the prospect to invest in your product.
- Build a relation with your prospect; be in touch with your prospect on a regular basis. If the prospect remembers you and is convinced about your product, he will reach out to you when the need arises.
Happy selling people!