A Guide to Nailing Your Sales Demos

Demos, neatly scheduled into every sales reps calendar every single day. They’re the bread and butter of any sales pipeline. If you as a sales rep aren’t doing enough demos, chances are you won’t have a decent pipeline full of opportunities. 

Now, demos can be really exhausting. Especially if you have to go through the same script over and over again. Starting off with the small talk…

Hey John, thank you for your time today. How’s the weather where you’re at? 🙄

Sounds familiar…?

Followed up with 20 mins of intense showcasing of features and the platform. And finally, discussing pricing and the next steps. And this is where the sales rep comes back to life and removes the robotic shell of a script that He/She were stuck with. 

I’ve read guides and guides of how you can give the best demo and leave the prospects longing for more. This isn’t a steak, it’s a demo and the truth is, it’s very hard to nail every single demo down to a tee where you absolutely blow people’s minds and have that ‘Aha’ moment. 

What you can do, however, is get as close as possible to give the demo that shows your prospects how your product can solve their needs. And why indeed the best fit for them.

It all starts off with… yup, you guessed it! Qualification.

It is absolutely imperative you understand what the needs of your prospects are, what pain points they are facing. It is also very important to know what have they tried to do in the past to remediate the pain points. 

You can check out my article regarding qualifying leads here.

I cannot overstate, how important it is for you to understand the bottlenecks of the prospects before jumping into the demo. A lot of salespeople are guilty of having the “winging it” mentality.

They ask the “need” question for the sake of asking and dive straight into the demo. Taking the prospect through 25 mins of pure feature focused product demo. 

Hint: Prospects are not interested in the features your product has to offer. But how it can help them solve their needs.

A key thing to remember here is that a product demo is not about your product but the prospects Needs and pain points. It is all about THEM, and how YOU can help them reach their goals. 

So, once you’ve qualified a prospect it’s time to show them the value of your product. And, what better way to do that than the old fashioned demo.

Highlight the sections that can help the prospect and solve their needs

Yes, I get it. Your product tracks emails, clicks, can send mail merges and save a pigeon, all at once. 

Although it can be good to know all the things that your product offer. To make the most of your demo time, it’s best to focus on the parts that can help the prospects achieve their goals. Going from feature to feature can turn into a snooze fest real fast. 

Rushing through a demo with the goal of showing them everything is like trying to watch a movie in fast-forward because you don’t have time to see the whole thing.

Source: Copper

I have witnessed many demos, where the sales rep demoed the whole platform and the audience just lost track of the stuff that really matters. It can get really overwhelming to cram all that knowledge within 15-20 mins and the prospect can get really lost. 

Focusing on the sections that can help your prospect is a sure shot way of making sure that they will have a better understanding of the value of your product for their business.

Have a conversation with the prospect

For the love of God, don’t be the only one talking through the entirety of the demo. Engage the prospect in a discussion.

Rep: Our product helps companies manage their contacts. How many contacts do you have in your database? 

Prospect: x amount.

Rep: That’s great, and how are you currently managing those contacts?

Prospect: In an excel sheet. 

Rep: That can be really frustrating. And how much time do you spend (roughly) per week managing that list?

Prospect: Depends, 3-4 hours per week. It can get very tedious.

Rep: I bet! And that’s exactly where our product comes in, it helps you manage all your contacts and updates your contact list automatically, saving you all that time. 

Prospect: That’s great. 

Rep: Let me show you how.

See what just happened up there?

The prospect is now fully engaged since you found the pain point. You explained how it can help them save time and solve their need. Now they know what comes next and what the value of that section will be. 

You could jump into that section without the back and forth. But ask yourself, would it make the same impact as after the conversation above?

I think not. 

Divide your product down into sections and lay out the sections at the start of the demo. Ask the prospect which sections they are the most interested in and then focus on them. Ask questions along the way, it’s a two-way conversation and you should not be the only one talking. 

Have a script, but be prepared to throw it out the window

Does a script help you? If it does, by all means, stick to it. However, not all prospects nor sales demos are the same. Some will ask you about pricing right at the beginning or technical questions, it’s very important you adjust your demo accordingly. 

According to Gong.io, top sales performers have a systematic sales demo process, where they go from topic to topic and not jumping around various different parts of the product. 

However, that does not mean you should stick to that process in every single demo, as your life depended on it. You can tweak the demo, gauge the flow and see what the prospects ask to see. If they want to focus on a specific section or a feature, go with it. 

Subsequently, if you think they are losing interest. It’s always a good idea to move to another section or change the pace. 

Being flexible in your demos is the best way to cater to prospects and adjust to their needs. 

Address the elephant in the room

If the prospect doesn’t quite understand something or they are unclear about a functionality, address it. Ask them, point blank, if there are any confusions. 

If you cannot answer a question, because you don’t have an answer to it. Tell them you will get back to them via email or a phone call after you speak to the person who does have the answer to the question they asked. 

Asking questions or addressing concerns on the demo can save you a lot of back and forth. It can also help to avoid a long sales cycle. If they have any concerns, you’ll be able to listen to and overcome them rather than writing lengthy emails to answer those questions. 

If the prospect was pre-qualified and mid-demo it looks like that you cannot solve their needs. It’s best to let them know that you believe there is no mutual fit. Politeness will only deteriorate your performance as you know they will not be purchasing. So being direct is key here!

It’s best to value their time and yours and let them know that you will be sending some documentation over, along with a demo video. They can then review it and see if they have any more questions. If they do, you can always schedule another call.

Discuss the next steps

Make sure they have all the information they need in order to make the decision. If they don’t, this is the perfect time to ask them what else they need and when would be a good time to follow-up with them to get an update. 

Discuss pricing, to make sure they know exactly what the cost of the product is. You can also ask if they’d like to receive an official proposal. Which is a great segue into following up with them later on, to see if they discussed the proposal with their team.

Ideally, I like to leave 5-10 minutes, depending on the prospect to discuss pricing, contracts and move them to the buying process. It also gives me and the prospect the ability to ask any questions they might have. 

And don’t forget to…

At the end of the demo, it’s always good to ask the prospect if they see any blockers before going ahead with your product. Knowing those blockers can help you prepare and help you be pro-active in finding the solutions beforehand.

And last but not least, snooze notifications. If I had a dollar for every time an email tracking notification appeared on my screen in the middle of the demo. It can get really embarrassing. 

Or if your wife calls you and phone is connected with your computer…

After the demo is done, send an email to the prospect thanking them for their time and attach any materials that they requested. Don’t forget to mention that you will follow-up with them as per the conversation to see how they would like to proceed forward. 

I hope these best practices help you nail your sales demos.  Let me know in the comments below how you go about doing sales demos?

Till next time!



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