5 Elements for the perfect sales demo

Table of Content

“Thanks you can stop now.”

Those 5 words were one of my big learning moments in my early career.

The prospect was a huge British telco, and as a security consultant I was giving a demo around building a secure network to be implemented by us.

She was obviously bored.

The worst thing was, I wasn’t even halfway the slide deck, hadn’t come to the solution and why we were the best preferred solution on the market.

(I had started with a huge about us intro -another big nono- which is a topic for another post).

I had messed up a demo with a crucial prospect, and today, I still see far too many sales people making the same mistakes that I did then:

  • too much about us
  • too much about why we are the best
  • too much feature dumping
  • 60 minutes of monologue
  • too general and vague

Fortunately, by adjusting my approach, shadowing and coaching hundreds of demos, both in mid-market as well as in enterprise I know how to build up the perfect demo meeting.

The five elements we’re gonna cover today have the best results and the highest conversions for myself and my clients.

Let’s go:

The Name of the Game

Guess what, it starts already with the incorrect name of the meeting ‘Demo’.

Most prospects think “we can sit back and relax for one hour, listen to a couple of presentations, and that’s it”.

Don’t call the meeting a demo, call it a presentation.

The goal is to have an interactive dialogue, and we will spend a maximum of 15 minutes to a demonstration of the tool, platform or methodology.

At the same time it is just that, a demonstration, it is not an onboarding training where we go deep into details and do feature dumping.

We wanna show what we have covered in the previous sessions in setting that initial scope, identifying that initial pain and problem, and then we wanna talk about this.

The 5 Elements in a perfect demo

The 5 elements are straightforward, making it easy use them:

1. The Introduction

The first one is doing an introduction to understand who’s who around the table (or behind the screen)

Sometimes people will show up and you don’t know who they are, why they are attending.

Identify the points they would like to see.

Best practice obviously is to know who will attend before the actual meeting and this will help you with the second element:

2. The Agenda

Work with a fixed agenda that you’ll distribute before the meeting starts, so your prospect can add topics or ask more questions so you can finetune your presentation.

An agenda will help you maintaining control of the agenda, of the timing and also about what you want to achieve.

3. The Scope

Talk about the reason why.

You will recap the journey until this current meeting.

Give an overview as a subject matter expert why you started talking, what pain points you have identified, what the underlying problem is, and why you have a very proper solution.

Then, describe briefly the ‘initial’ scope based upon you will give the demonstration.

It is very important that you bring the new people around the table with you on that journey.

4. The Demo

The demo focuses on one element that will solve that pain.

Some people would like to see more on insights, others the user interface. Some people are interested to know a couple of features.

Some people are interested in reporting.

You can have this set up prior the actual meeting: what is the point they are mainly focusing on (and who).

Within the demo, you will also cover additional questions from your prospects.

5. The Next Steps

The fifth element are the next steps.

When the prospects are really interested, they’re invested in moving this forward.

Understand what are the next steps from their side?

What is the homework that they will be doing?

Are they ready to invest into the solution moving forward? Will they start to be looking for budget? Will they put it as a priority and so forth?

If it is not clear to them, you can guide them by suggesting them what prospects in their situation do as next steps.

This was it, thanks and please don’t forget to subscribe for more tips on selling more, better and faster through revenue strategies.

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