Demo-litions: Seller at Refract Drinks His Own Champagne on a Real Sales Demo

Season 2, Episode 4, with Mark Ackers at Refract

Mark Ackers, Head of New Business at Refract, is a pro. No question about it. But perhaps he’s a bit too polished, with a cadence that’s a little fast for comfort.

In Season 2 of Demo-litions, Episode 4, Dave Kennett and Scott Barker dive into his methods and give some powerful feedback that we all can learn from!

Mark sets the stage by asking a strong question: “Why are we all here?” It’s succinct, to the point, and overall a great way to start.

Mark continues to level-set and demonstrates his understanding of what was discussed previously on a PowerPoint slide. Dave & Scott disagree on the approach.

Dave approves because it’s a good catch-up for the people on the call who weren’t there before. Scott likes the level-set, but he could do without the wordy visual and suggests highlighting the points verbally. He also recommends sending any detailed notes in a follow-up email. Is there a right or wrong answer here?

Getting into the meat of the demo now, Mark doesn’t just set up a sandbox environment, showing fake account information. Instead, he shows how his own sales teams use the platform and coach against the data (drinks his own champagne). It’s an approach we’re seeing more, and one we really like.

Along the way, Dave notices a phrase Mark has used maybe one time too many times: “Good question.” While it’s well-meaning, it’s often used as a stalling word, which can make it sound disingenuous. Dave coaches us to leave it out altogether.

Now, a Demo-litions first!

With 25% of the conversation left to go, Mark leaves a hefty amount of time for pricing and next-steps. We’re excited to see what he can uncover in it.

Mark throws in another feature here. Fortunately, he’s given himself enough time to do it, but he may risk glossing over a feature that’s really interesting to the prospect. Dave says, if it’s worth mentioning, make sure to do it justice!

At long last, we get to see the beauty of leaving enough time for pricing. The dream team (CEO, Head of Sales, and Head of Customer Success) are having an internal dialogue that Mark gets to be a part of.

As he closes, Mark asks some great questions. But do we know what the dream team will huddle about after this call? Perhaps a great question to end with would be, “I sense that you’re leaning back a little bit. Is there anything that I didn’t address that we can quickly cover before we go?”


Biggest Tips & Takeaways:

  • Set the stage of your demo by asking, “Why are we here?”
  • Don’t set up a sandbox environment with fake account information. Instead, show how your team uses their own product.
  • Be careful not to sound disingenuous by overusing a single phrase such as, “Good question.”
  • Leave ample time for pricing and next steps.
  • Tune into how your prospect is feeling. If you sense them leaning back, be sure to dig a little deeper and ask if there’s anything else you can address.
  • Don’t rush. If you rush, the prospect will feel rushed. Check in with your cadence, and dial it back if needed.

In review, Mark navigated this call like an absolute pro. He had very senior folks on the other end of the line, and he did a great job keeping it high level.

And though his cadence remained fast throughout the demo, his level of acumen definitely outshined it.

Kudos to you, Mark!

Scott Barker is the Head of Partnerships and Revenue at Sales Hacker. He is passionate about building and strengthening authentic relationships with his team and partners. Outside of Sales Hacker, he helps bring Vancouver sales professionals together to share ideas, network with peers, and learn from top sales operators & leaders as GM of Vancouver Enterprise Sales Forum.   Dave Kennett is a seasoned SaaS and Software sales leader with over 25 years of progressive business development and sales leadership experience. His experience has centered around start-up, turn-around, and hyper-growth situations. He founded and leads a successful high-growth On-Demand Inside Sales Coaching company called Replayz.

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