In this article, you’ll learn:
- What is a sale demo?
- How to define a great sales demonstration?
- Best practices for delivering a good demo.
- Listen to demo expert, Ed Jaffe, share his thoughts on how to demo to win.
What is a sale demo?
A sales demo is the act of a sales rep walking a potential customer through product features and capabilities in the best way to demonstrate how the solution may be able to meet the prospect’s challenges.
It is not a feature dump or a mindless walkthrough of product features.
When you demo to win, you start with a clear understanding of the prospects’ needs and build their confidence in your solution’s abilities to meet those needs.
Best practices for delivering sales demonstrations
Let’s dive into the meat of the topic to uncover the path to an effective sales demo.
A clear sales demo agenda
When you demo to win, every participant knows why they are meeting and everyone agrees it is a good use of time.
To do this, meet with the key stakeholders to review:
- What do they need to learn/see/hear to take the next step?
- Who should be in the demo, and what important questions will they have?
- How much time should the meeting take?
- Is there background information on potential competitors, key decision-makers, and their biases?
- Does the business have a vision for the future state that would influence what we discuss?
Remember, you need to consider the needs of the prospect and yours as well, to ensure a great sales demo.
Don’t miss a golden opportunity to inspire action!
Practice your killer sales demo
You may be able to deliver the same sales demo over and over again.
However, each conversion is unique, and a good way to impress is to custom-tailor the demo to an appropriate degree to achieve the goals of the meeting.
When you demo to win, you create a sales demo script for each demo and practice it on your own and with a peer.
Practice demoing with a partner who will raise typical concerns and challenges as your potential buyer may.
Practice in all things matters.
Prepare for problems
Things always go wrong.
Perhaps a competitor just delivered a killer product demonstration, and you need to overcome their momentum.
Maybe a different part of the business joins with new use cases you have never discussed.
Maybe the projector, web meeting, or some other technology fails you at the last moment.
Prepare and practice how you will work around and through these challenges.
Confirm expectations at the beginning of the call
You have an agreed-upon agenda, are all participants still in alignment?
If not, don’t rush through and deliver a poorly prepared demo. You may need to follow up in a separate demo to cover those additional points, or you may need to include that information.
Do what is right to ensure a winning product demo each time, don’t simply do your best.
Confirm you delivered a successful demo
Leave time at the end of the demo to answer questions and confirm you met the goals set in the plan and reviewed at the beginning of the demo.
Agree on next steps
If you nailed it and delivered a successful sales demo, getting to the next step should happen.
Agree don’t these steps before ending the demonstration.
A great sales demo is not the goal. Sure, your sales team and sales engineers probably blew the prospective client away, but your goal was getting to your next step.
After the meeting is over, put together an email or document that:
- Confirms the agreed-upon next steps.
- Reinforces the points made during the demonstration.
- Provides follow-up you promised to participants.
Continue to build trust by delivering on your promises around other next steps.
No good sales demo is flawless.
Review the demonstration with the right people in your business who participated in the session.
Look for honest feedback on opportunities to get better.
These sales demonstration tips should provide you a lot of value. Now, if you want to learn more, continue on.
Note: Looking for more sales tips? Check out our post on the rules of engagements.
Listen to this Podcast Episode on avoid sales demo failures
Ed Jaffe is the Founder of Demo Solutions. In this session we spent time exploring the top reasons sales demonstrations fail and how to avoid them.
Ed’s business is focused on helping businesses deliver great sales demonstrations, and his sales demonstration tips are top-notch. In this conversation, we explored the topic from the perspective of a blog post he wrote on demo failures.
Here are a few tips we covered:
1️⃣ Slow your roll. Stop spending time talking about how great you are. Seek to understand your customer and their needs. Remember, it’s about them.
2️⃣Narrating the demo. Stop reading the slides and stop counting on a text heavy slide deck. If they are reviewing your slides, they are not listening to you. This is a critical sales demonstration tip!
3️⃣ When you do make a mistake with your sales demos… Put time into planning the demo, how you will communicate, and every other aspect of your demo. Get it right.
We spent time exploring changes important for delivering sales demonstrations in our virtual-first world and many other topics.
Give a listen and remain curious.
Watch the video of our interview.