PreSales Academy

[2022] 3 Timeless Practices to Nail your Next Sales Demo

Demos take up a lot of time and energy. You have very little room for error when you face your prospects. Here are some time-tested demo practices to help you do your best.
Ajay Jay
4 min

So, you’ve nailed your product sales pitch and your prospect is interested in a demo. What do you do now? Of course, you have learned the etiquettes long back but a simple step-by-step demo doesn’t cut it anymore.

Statistically, 69% of prospects expect sales personnel to listen better, 61% to provide relevant information, and 61% do not want you to be pushy.

These numbers tell a story and not a good one. So, let's begin by understanding why some demos may not have been working for you.

Why may your demos not have worked?

There may be a dozen reasons why your demos may not have worked. We have covered a few commonalities:

1. Not being ready for out-of-scope questions

Following a ready-made template or not being ready for out-of-scope questions may make you seem unprepared, amateurish, and uninterested.

Following a demo template may be compared to the unwitting mistake students make in school. There’s always a student who scores good on paper because he chooses to memorize the syllabus but this plan fails when the variables are changed.

On the other hand, a student who understands the syllabus by heart has a logical explanation to every question. A Sales Engineer must roll with the punches, and be steadfast at answering any question thrown towards them. Anticipate questions that could throw the conversation off course and have a plan to get back on track.

Worth your time: Delve into an Engaging Approach to Customer Experience & Loyalty

2. No pre-emptive measures

Missing data, insights or reports on features during evaluation, cluttery demo accounts, intrusive slack messages, unwanted open tabs on your screen can mess with your workflow during the demo.

Here are a few things you must do, before you get on a sales call:

1) Assign goals or targets to reach at specific intervals in your call

2) Create an informal itinerary to have a healthy conversation with your prospect.

3) Sort your demo desk (your video-background) and your tabs:

a) Make sure you only have the necessary tabs opened on your browser.

b) Also, have the necessary product pages, demo accounts or dashboards opened in other tabs – as a preventive measure – to avoid buffering and slow loading times between page loads.

c) Keep your Slack , Gmail, CRM and other tool notifications on hold

Put your best demo forward

If you observe keenly, the “don’ts” mentioned above constitute best practices on their own, but the foolproof practices & tips shared below are sure to change the dynamic of your demos for good.

Here are some straight-forward simple things you can try to perform better at your demos:

1) Talk about your unique proposition in the first quarter of the call. Get your prospects hooked before you continue ahead.

2) Read the room, and have a healthy conversation.

3) Try to stay away from technical jargon that may throw prospects off.

4) Stop repeating yourself.

5) Customize your follow-up email aiming to convert.

Pro tip: Drafting a stellar follow-up email is an art on its own. Click here to learn all about drafting [crafting] a SaaS demo follow-up email that converts.

1. Follow a playbook that doesn’t play by the book

What this means is that sales reps don’t need a plan, they need a playbook. A playbook helps sales reps practice with all the arrows in their quiver but only use the ones required at any given moment.

That said, using PreSkale, you get access to master playbooks – curated by compiling every interaction, activity, and insight – to help you decide if the opportunity has great requirement-solution fitment.

Even Product, Marketing, Customer Success, Support and other GTM teams can learn best practices from these playbooks to drive better outcomes.

2. Be empathetic towards your prospects

Your prospects have a problem on their hands. It’s your willingness to understand and find the right solution for them. Selling comes later.

During the demo, you can do simple things to show empathy and understanding of your prospects requirements, pain-points, and challenges.

Using the right phrases and word-construction:

1) “If I were in your position…”

2) “I understand how you feel.”

3) “I am happy to help you with…”

4) “You're in a tough spot here.”

5) “You’re making total sense.”

Listen to your prospect, literally:

1) Let your prospects know that you have their full attention. This is the first step to developing empathy.

2) Repeat what your prospects are saying in order to show them that you are attentive to their pain-points.

Ask for feedback:

1) At equal intervals, stop and ask for feedback:

a) “Am I going at the right pace, or do you need me to repeat a particular section?”

b) “What do you think about our solution?”

2) No matter how disrespectful or disheartening your prospect’s words are, be calm and always be respectful towards them.

3. Have an interactive demo session

Yes, having an interactive session – where you proactively ask for inputs, questions, and dig deeper into your prospects' pain-points – is a good way to facilitate them to have an open conversation.

A closed conversation is boring. Period. No one wants to spend their time listening to what your product does and achieves unless there's an objective / purpose assigned.

An open conversation is driven by both parties and open to ideas and thoughts that establishes a healthy relationship between your prospects and the company.

Customer experience starts with a good demo, and a good demo starts with aiding your prospects needs even before they become your customers.

Custom build interactive-demos

Custom build interactive-demos are a level up compared to your traditional demos. They enable your prospects to see and try your product interface first-hand, increasing product adoption and retention.

Moreover, it’s a guided interactive session allowing them to fully immerse themselves into the product experience. Navattic helps you build an interactive demo experience for your prospects.

You may need to step in and educate at times but interactive demos make half of your role easier, helping you understand your prospects much better. With interactive demos,

1) Prospects don’t necessarily have to wait to try the product. They can sign up and access the interactive demo session to understand the features and USPs, accelerating discovery.

2) Many more metrics help you qualify your leads. Like the session completion percentage helps you understand the intent of the purchaser. A lead with 80 or 100% completion rate is more likely to buy from you.

3) Using these data points, you can choose to change the schedule to get in a call with most high-intent individuals with strong evaluation and purchase intent.

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