When following up after a capabilities session, the goal is to exceed expectations. Use that mind-set when running a retrospective on the session with the team. First, make sure there is a designated note taker to observe and capture the questions that are asked, any areas we did not address with enough granularity, potential opportunities, concerns, or risks. Once back in the office, use the notes from the capabilities meeting to write an executive summary of the session, add additional relevant content (such as case studies, articles, and technology white papers), and answer outstanding questions. Send copies to all relevant parties.
Once the opportunity is mature and you’re interacting with buyers (e.g., SVPs and CIOs), consider making an introduction to an existing client who may share a similar story and add credibility. Social proof is a powerful thing.
When it comes to capabilities, there may be more factors to consider:
- Additional people may need to buy in before agreeing to a workshop. Schedule a follow-up capabilities presentation for that wider team.
- There’s not enough information to determine whether we’re a fit. Ask about an opportunity to workshop—both during and after the session.
- The procurement process is long and arduous, so try to at least start that process by shuffling some of the paperwork. For example, execute any NDAs and perhaps send our MSA for review.
Never leave the session without identifying the next step.
Once a real opportunity is identified and the team connects with the buyer, consider investing time and effort into a sales prototype and/or a video demonstrating the prototype.
I get it—this may feel like giving away brilliant ideas for free. In reality, it’s an investment in the multiyear relationship created with the client, built on showcasing the product we are targeting to build and ship to market. Ideas are cheap; delivery is hard and expensive. Investing time to showcase a well-thought out development plan and ability to design is a smart move (assuming the opportunity is a good fit).
Before investing in a product demo, always consider
- our fit with the target account;
- whether the buyer is part of the discussion;
- if funding is aligned to the initiative; and
- whether we need to prove ourselves or if the client is willing to jump right into the workshop.