If you do B2B sales, mostly in the software industry, you already know how important it is to nail the perfect demo pitch. It’s normal to see what’s under the hood before actually buying a car.
However, the most frustrating part of product demos is that a significant share of their success is not correlated to the product itself. It’s all about the pitch and your capacity to adapt to the person(s) in front of you.
This is exactly it is so damn hard to scale product demos, to do more demos in the same period of time without loss in efficiency. It requires adaptation and human touch.
Unfortunately, no bot has been able (yet) to listen to a customer better than a sales rep. However, there are ways to gain in productivity and do more.
Anatomy of A Product Demo: What Makes A Great Demo?
First, let’s breakdown the basics. What makes a great product demo so great?
It’s all about the connection. It’s all about how much your interlocutor respect you as a sales rep. Did you know that 71 percent of people buy because they like, trust and respect the salesperson they worked with?
Do you want to close more deals or do you want to fill your pipe? Because you can fill your pipe with unqualified leads, waste your time doing demos, and never hear from those leads again.
To make sure they match your ideal customer profile, you have to pre-qualify them. They should meet 3 criteria:
- Business fit: do they have the attributes I’m looking for?
- Technical fit: does my product solve their problem?
- Revenue fit: is it worth spending time on this deal?
Attributes can be demographic, professional identity, declarative information, or even events they may have triggered already on your website/app.
Make sure they show up
Once they’ve agreed that demo would the logical step to get all their questions answered, you should make sure that they attend the demo. Send reminders and make them come.
Sounds obvious but the key to respect is empathy. The key to empathy is customization and put yourself in their shoes. Do your research and adapt your pitch to them.
- Specific functionalities they may find interesting
- The potential blockers
- Industry, market, competitors, etc.
Spend some time customizing your product with the lead’s data: add their name, product, etc.
Clean your environment:
- Turn off everything
- Remove your apps / icons from your desktop using HiddenMe
- Create a Chrome profile without extensions, bookmarks, etc.
Just like a brand new apartment, your environment should not feel too personal to that they project themselves you’re showing the product.
“If you can, use the kind of data they would be using. This will help them to mentally make the connection between your product and their actual work routines.”
Steli Efti, CEO @ Close.io
30 minutes, period. No more. Start with something casual, make them feel welcome, you can start by asking how they found out about you in the first place. Also, make sure that they can stay for the next 30 minutes.
Then always start asking about their needs. It will make them feel engaged and it will help you structure your demo. Find out about their expectations vs. their current status.
About the presentation itself:
- Sell, don’t train. Don’t teach them on how to use your product. Show them the value of your product.
- Start from their pain points. Always show how they can move from their current state to a better state.
- Tell a story. Don’t detail the features, put the features in context, in their context.
- Engage them regularly. Make them stick to the presentation by asking questions regularly to maintain contact.
When you’re demoing a product, you always want to demonstrate value, not features or functionalities. Nobody cares about the features of your software—the only thing they care about is what it’ll do for them.
Steli Efti, CEO @ Close.io
Once you’re done, ask for their impressions about the product. Was it enough to move forward? What would be the next steps? If they’re not convinced by the presentation, ask what would it take to fill that gap.
Also try to undercover what are the next steps for them, establish the decision process.
Because “seeing is believing,” there is no better time than after a successful demo to close a sale or ask for the next step, such as a meeting with a decision-maker. So when you demo, you must ask something that will move the sale forward.
Geoffrey James, author of Business Without the Bullsht and How To Say It: B2B Selling
Automatically follow up your demos with additional materials and a summary. If you do this properly, this lays the ground for trust between you and the prospect. And trust will help you close the deal.
Why Product Demos Are So Hard To Scale
As you may have already noticed, great demos require a bit of personalisation as well as direct engagement.
The main reason that demos are hard to scale is that they require time and human efforts to scale from 10 demos a week to 100 demos a week.
Let’s take that 100 demos a week objective.
If one sales rep manage to give 10 demos a week for 30 minutes sessions that’s 300 minutes per week or 5 hours per week. Even if you manage to scale, with the same team, to 20h a week, that’s still 40 demos a week per sales rep.You’ll need 2.5 sales rep to reach that kind of objective.
This will also impact your cost of acquisition. Product demos require back and forth, those are work time you have to multiply per hourly wages and the number of sales reps.
1:1s are great, super efficient, when done right. However, it’s really hard to do more without scaling your team proportionally and increase your costs.
How Can You Do More Sales Demos At Once
First obvious that come to mind is: do more with the same team. Sounds obvious right?
Eventually, you want to lower that function by increasing the number of demos one sales rep can support. Without hurting (too much) the conversion rate and without having them do more hours.
This is where hosting live events comes in. Think of it as demo webinars, live workshops. The idea is to bring more people in those demos.
Keeping personalization at scale
However, Your level of personalization will logically decrease. Therefore, you want to make sure that the people you bring together are somewhat similar to stay relevant.
You want to split your leads by demographics / use cases. Then work in batches, send invites to a live session only to similar people.
For example, I could create 3 groups of leads for Livestorm:
- Companies struggling to train their customers
- Companies struggling to sell more at once
- Big companies struggling to spread knowledge across the organization
Then, adapt the presentation to each group. Keep working on small batches, I would not recommend to host live product demos with more than 30 people. The more people you have the greater the diversity. Keep things homogeneous.
Scaling feedbacks and engagement
It is also important to keep people engaged throughout your presentation. Asking for questions on the chat, sharing links, or posting polls are great for this.
The danger of live product demos at scale, in webinars for instance, is that you don’t ask people to share their webcam. Therefore, you have no idea if they are actually paying attention (this would impact their qualification level btw).
This is why keeping them engaged every 5–6 minutes is extremely important. Ask them something or send a polls.
Bonus: by sending polls you will able to capture marketing insights that you would not have been able to otherwise. You can verify trend about feature request, origin of traffic etc.
Should you host live product demos for everyone?
The answer is no. The more revenue a lead can bring the less you need to scale your product demos. Keep your 1:1s for super VIPs leads and bigger revenue potential.
Also, keep your live product demos at the beginning of the funnel. The deeper you go inside the funnel the more specific it gets, and you want to maintain a certain level of relevancy.
Long story short, apply the 80/20 at the beginning of your funnel: 20% leads that bring your 80% revenue should not attend a live demo webinar. Do things that don’t scale for once.