5 Tips to Giving a Great Demo

By Harry Maxwell

5 Tips to Giving a Great Demo

People say that it’s easier to ask for $30 than for 30 minutes on the calendar. So if you have engaged your target prospect for a demo, you need to make it count. Follow these five steps to give a top-notch demo and advance the opportunity.

1. Don’t “show up and throw up”

Your demo is not a product training session. Don’t feel pressured into showing every single feature and be sure to allow your prospect to ask questions so that the conversation is engaging for them. Everything you say should be completely customized to your prospect, as well as clearly explain how you solve their specific challenges.

If you overwhelm customers with information – especially irrelevant info – then it is likely to lead to a poor buyer experience. For example, think about buying a lamp from Ikea; it’s frustrating having to walk through kitchen appliances, pillows, and garden furniture to get what you want!

2. Go back-to-front

A common misconception is that demos should follow a linear flow. However, if magazines don’t hide their best stories at the back, why should you leave your best features until last? It’s critical that you engage prospects at the beginning of the demonstration so that they don’t zone out and disengage from your meeting.

In the same way that I wanted to skip to the last chapter when a new Harry Potter book came out, you should first show prospects what’s important to or exciting for them, before taking a deep-dive on underlying capabilities.

3. Remember it’s is a two-way conversation

Gong.io, a conversation intelligence platform for sales teams, analyzed over 67,000 sales demonstrations. Their analysis found that in successful demonstrations, the salesperson only accounts for approximately 65% of the conversation, and the rep never spoke for longer than 76 seconds at a time. These insights mean that you should speak in short sentences, take pauses so that your prospect can fully digest information, and ask open-ended questions. But take caution; there should be a balance between providing information and asking questions – you don’t want the prospect to feel as if you are just pumping them for information.

4. Only go as deep as your prospect wants

No two prospects are the same. For a senior executive, a demonstration that’s just six or seven minutes long may be sufficient, as they simply want to understand high-level capabilities. On the other hand, a system administrator may want a presentation that’s more in-depth so that they can better understand the specifics of how your product works. It’s crucial that you are agile when delivering a demo and can adapt to different audiences. If your sales pitch changes for different industries and personas, then your demonstration should too!

5. Next steps are more important than the demonstration

In Gong.io’s analysis, successful demonstrations typically end with three-and-a-half minutes to plan next steps. The least successful demos spent only one-and-a-half minutes on planning next steps. Never forget that the purpose of a demonstration is to progress an opportunity rather than to stall it. If your prospect says ‘follow-up with me in a few weeks’, then it means that they are not going to be your champion, you haven’t delivered value in your demonstration, and/or you simply haven’t asked for enough commitment.

Want to see what a great demo looks like? Contact SAVO today and learn how we can solve your sales and marketing challenges.

Harry Maxwell

Harry Maxwell leads business development for SAVO in EMEA. Based in London, Harry is a supporter of Arsenal football club and a graduate of the London School of Economics. With a background in consulting and investment banking, Harry currently partners with SAVO’s potential customers to build out their successful sales enablement strategies.

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