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How to make the most out of a product demo2018-11-12T12:16:04+00:00

How to make the most out of a product demo

The product demo is often the most fun part of the sales process. However it can also be the most challenging part. There are so many features you can talk about, and so many exciting new releases for your prospects to see. It’s easy to inundate your audience with information that goes in one ear and out the other. The question is: how to deliver a compelling demo that will engage your prospects and move them to action?

Know your prospects. There is no point delivering any demo without knowing what your prospects’ primary concerns are and what they care about. Prep work is key here. Start your demos off with a number of predefined discovery questions. A helpful framework for this is BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline). BANT is often used to guide the lead generation process, but is also incredibly helpful in further building a picture of your prospect during your demo. You’ll want to find out what challenges your prospect currently faces; how these could be alleviated through your product; whether your prospect has the budget to implement a new solution; who is in charge of making decisions for such solutions; when is the right time to implement a new solution, etc. Once you know the answers to these questions, make sure your demo is structured around the parts that are most relevant for your prospects to see. If you sell a SaaS product with a suite of interesting features but your prospect’s main concern is a specific API integration, focus most if not all your efforts on this particular feature, no matter how exciting other ones might seem to you!

Prepare for agility. Given the above, it’s clear that no product demo is the same. Instead of preparing one set-in-stone walkthrough, prepare for agility. Make sure you have multiple game plans in mind and apply the one that makes the most sense. If you always fall back on the same demo, you’ll find yourself focused on following a script and potentially missing out on important pieces of feedback from your prospects. We may think the product demo is about us, our product, but it’s really the exact opposite; it’s about the prospect.  

Wow your prospects from the get-go. No matter how interested a prospect might seem, your product demo is likely just one of the many things on their mind. While you think you’re cruising through your demo nicely, your prospect might be checking emails and social media. To ensure you get their instant attention, kick off your demo with a killer feature that clearly meets one of their most pressing needs.

Go from macro to micro. It may sound obvious, but always make sure your demos are clear and understandable. Remember that, while you know all the ins and outs, your prospect most likely hasn’t seen your product before. Diving into a feature without providing context can easily lead to confusion and disengagement. A good tactic is to always start off with a high-level overview, whether of the product as a whole, or a particular feature. This will help you frame everything else and go into further detail without losing your prospect along the way.

Keep your demos short. Finally, keep your demos short. With people’s average attention span being only 14 minutes, avoid information overload. Instead, depending on your prospects’ needs, structure your demo around the top 2 or 3 features that will make the biggest impact. And always make sure you agree to next steps (whether a follow-up email, phone call or meeting) at the end of your demo to keep up the momentum!

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