Do you start a software demo with the big picture? How do you close it? Do you have to be in sales mode? Is the focus on demonstrating the key features? We cover the key tips of 10 companies on giving software product demos that work.
Essential read: Good Demos Need Good Positioning to Work. See 10 Examples
Key lessons learned
We've picked out a few common and not so common points of advice from these companies.
You're probably aware of the following.
- A demo is not a demo of the product.
- It's not about features.
- It's about the pain point.
You may not have heard these additional gems:
- The product being demoed is not the hero - YOUR PROSPECT IS THE HERO.
- Have a playbook and use it flexibly, don't have a set structure.
- Create a vision of what the product will do for them.
- Highlight the highlights.
1. Close.io say to always go from macro to micro
"They should never watch you demo something and not know what the purpose of it is. If a prospect wonders, “Why is this guy showing me this?”, then you haven’t properly explained first what it is you’re going to demonstrate."
In addition, Close.io recommend:
- Begin with a bang.
- Speak their language.
- Answer some questions with questions.
- Dimensionalise the value you provide.
- Highlighting the highlights.
- End with strong clear call to action.
Read more on how to give product demos that sell
2. The goal of the demo is not to demo your product.
"Instead, the goals of the demo are:
- Identify the prospect’s pain that they’re hoping to solve (QUALIFY!)
- Identify if your product is a good fit to solve the pain (QUALIFY!)
- Leave the prospect believing that (1) your product is a great solution to the pain and (2) your employees really know their stuff"
See how to Demo Your SaaS Product by the Salsify co-founder
I'm going to add an additional point to this. Yes, the company has a pain point but what if in most cases they don't feel much pain? You may want to pitch "Stakes" rather than "Pain". Read more on strategic sales narratives here.
3. Your Product Demo Sucks Because It's Focused on Your Product
"Good demos don't have to be perfect for the product. They have to be perfect for the audience.
"You don't want a rock solid, set-in-stone plan. You want a playbook. You want to know all the plays but only run the ones you need in the moment.
"As quickly as possible, get to 'here's what you told me your goal is, here's the challenge you told me is in the way, here's what it will look like when our product takes down that challenge.
"Silence is not the enemy. You need to make friends with it before you demo."
Learn more on demo mistakes and lessons learned by Rob Falcone
How to explain your product to your TOUGHEST non-tech users
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4. Do a pre-demo call the day before
"Hi, I wanted to call to check I have everything straight for tomorrow’s demo, if that’s ok?
"We’re meeting at X Location for X Amount of time, right?
"You won’t be the final decision maker and she won’t be attending right?"
5. You ask me out on a date. I did not agree for a sleepover
"Don’t be so insecure.
"I agreed to be on a date. Don’t overdo and say something stupid like I love you!. Wave hands at me at the corridor. Send me a joke. Plan an accidental meeting at the water cooler. Be there. Don’t be there.
"Most prospects keep their cards close. This is to allow themselves the time & the space required to make a decision. Respect that."
6. Ask the 3 magic questions
- Does this address the questions you had?
- Can you see yourself using it?
- What would be the impact on your business?
"You will need to go through this process and ask each question multiple times to illustrate how your tool can solve multiple pain points for the customer."
7. Demio give an incentive to book the demo
"We wanted to give website visitors a good reason for jumping on a demo, so we came up with the idea of offering $50 in Demio credits to anyone who took the time.
"This works great for a few reasons:
"We don’t apply the credit until after they sign up, so we’re still getting revenue from day 1, unlike a free trial.
"It increases the chances they will be a customer for at least 60 days, since the free credit is applied to the second billing. This gives the customer more time to get onboarded into the system."
See the 3 main ways to promote your demo
8. Customers don't buy if you have commission breath
"If you're trying to get someone to buy and you're not listening and you go through all your objection crap sales technique, you have what's called commission breath and your customers smell it and feel it and they will never buy from you"
See more on how to ace your product demo.
Also see the Rocket Demo Builder by the same author and never give a boring demo again.
9. Have meaningful data. The users expect to see their stuff
"Normally I am trying to create some real data as much as possible so they recognize what they see. Our Dutch clients will not understand a Bulgarian address format or a Bulgarian name – they cannot recognize which is the first and last name. So I’d better browse the Internet and find some Dutch names and addresses."
10. The Product Being Demo’d is Yoda, Not Luke Skywalker
"The product being demoed is not the hero - YOUR PROSPECT IS THE HERO. You need to be telling your prospect’s story. Your product is the muse or the enabler. In a demo, the sales rep plays the role of Yoda to your prospect’s Luke Skywalker"
11. Do You Demo Users Who Have Already Signed Up?
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Next: 25 companies show you their best SaaS pricing models
Also see: Onboarding emails didn’t work? See a drip campaign that converts