I speak of your company’s subject matter expert, not of the pirate in Peter Pan. They’re pronounced the same, Smee. Unlike the Mr. Smee, your SME is not interested in pirate loot.
Your company’s subject matter expert enjoys speaking about the latest innovations, product specifications, and details. Your salespeople relish the customer relationship and negotiation. Your customer arrives armed with product research and precise questions.
Including your SME in the sales process with your salesperson impresses the customer. Their questions about your product answered on the spot by the expert. As long as your SME and salesperson prepare and work together, everyone wins.
The result can be the opposite if your SME and salesperson lack a blueprint for the process. An SME droning on about a specific feature or used as window dressing may kill the sale.
It’s simple to produce a winning plan and execute it with an SME. Choose the best SME for the task. If detail aficionado Dave loves to go on and on about product minutia, he’s not a good choice.
Find an SME who enjoys meeting with the customer and working with that salesperson. Communicate your expectations of the SME at that meeting. Prepare for the meeting with the team, including the SME, and determine everyone’s roles.
Once the meeting is over, de-brief with the SME. You will all gain insight on how this new sales process worked and ways to improve it. Your SME is a new tool in closing your sales.