While all sales are challenging, selling SaaS (Software as a Service) or a complex mobile/web application to another business is an entirely different animal. These types of products require the perfect amount of emphasis -- on your company’s website and in your marketing -- to help clearly iterate the value they can provide or problems they can solve.
In addition, those who run businesses such as these typically choose to offer a comprehensive product demo; which is a way to showcase their product’s capabilities and acts as a sales pitch for potential customers. This is what makes nailing your demos so imperative to a successful sale. Failing to do so could result in losing the prospect for good.
Luckily, as an experienced B2B sales trainer, I’ve helped countless software-based businesses take their product demos to the next level; and I’m here to help you do the same with these 8 expert tips.
Treat Your Demo as a Sales Conversation
Before you even think about scheduling a demo with a prospect, it’s important to adopt the proper mindset; your demo is in fact a sales pitch, and should be approached, structured, and executed as such.
When salespeople approach a demo any differently, they’re expecting the software to do all the selling for them, which is a massive mistake. On the other hand, approaching a demo as a sales pitch allows you to begin with the incredible outcomes your product has already generated for your existing customers. This, in turn, starts the conversation off on a promising note and gives your prospect a sneak peek of what they can expect if they were to buy-in.
Open The Demo Strong
Just like with any properly structured pitch, your demo should open strong by:
Thanking the prospect(s) for their time explaining your agenda suggesting what the next steps will be when the demo is finished asking the prospect(s) if there are any changes to the agenda they would like to suggest
The point here is to give the prospect a preview of how you intend to address their specific needs. This can also help make them feel more comfortable once the demo begins, as they will have an established understanding of what to expect.
Confirm Your Attendees
When it comes to B2B product demos, it’s common to have multiple representatives from the same company attend. This presents a new set of challenges, as you will be forced to effectively address each individual’s needs.
With that being said, a great way to start off on the right foot is to get acquainted with everyone early. Ask them to introduce themselves, and share their names, titles, and amount of time they’ve been with the company. You can also ask them more direct questions to gauge what their individual needs are and what problems they (specifically) hope your product can help solve.
Identify The Decision-Making process
One of the biggest mistakes I see salespeople make during demos is failing to identify or focus on the decision-maker. As I mentioned earlier, you may have several representatives of an organization attending your product demo, and while its important to include everyone, you need to ensure the most important person (aka the one who has the purchasing power) is the one who receives the majority of your attention.
Sometimes, the decision-maker may not even show interest in joining the demo and will opt to have other members of their staff attend instead. However, you should (subtly) fight against the idea. One way to do this is to offer to reschedule at a more convenient time or on a date that better suits the decision maker’s schedule.
You can even offer to shorten the demo to make it as brief as possible. The goal is to make them feel like they’re needed (which they are) while respecting their time.
Give Them a Reason to Change First
While you may have the urge to begin your demo of the product right away, it’s important to first provide a good reason for why your product exists in the first place.
If you can’t explain why a prospect should change what they’re currently doing -- by investing in your product -- then your demo will likely be a waste of time. This is your chance to prove the value your product can provide, and how effective it can be at solving a serious problem your prospect is dealing with.
Keep in mind, each attendee may have separate problems unique to them and their position within the company. As a result, they will have different opinions when it comes to how valuable your product can be. This is why you need to address each individual’s pain points and explain how your product is the answer to their prayers.
Speak of the Potential Future
On its own, a demo will not be able to iterate how your product can make the prospect’s life better in the future. This is a task only you (the salesperson) can accomplish.
For example, you can say something like “You know how the process for doing that important thing is cumbersome? Here’s how we can get to the same outcome without all the effort.” No matter what you decide to say, your prospect should have a clear idea of how your product can improve upon or solve their current processes.
Remember: the demo itself is only a compliment to your sales pitch; your meticulous words are what sells each individual prospect and gets them to invest in your product.
Make Sure They See The Value
Before wrapping up the demo, it’s critical to ensure your attendees have seen the value you’ve been preaching for the last hour or so. This entails asking questions and welcoming each individual to share their thoughts on the product.
You’d be surprised how many questions go unanswered simply because prospects don’t feel they have the opportunity to ask. With this in mind, make sure everyone gets a chance to voice their concerns and receive clarification.
Schedule Next Steps
Any successful demo should end with a commitment to do whatever comes next in the sales process. You should provide your prospect(s) with a clear list of steps to take to get the ball rolling.
For some, letting new prospects know what customers have done in the past after a demo is enough, however, you may need to be more granular depending on your product’s complexity. If you need further guidance when it comes to nailing your next product demo, or just want to hear new B2B sales tips, feel free to check out my podcast: The Brutal Truth About Sales & Selling.