Sales demos are your big chance to finally reel in your fish. You've invested a lot of time to get here – nurtured the relationship, researched the company, spoken to your leads and now you're approaching demo time.
It's your opportunity to show off all of your digital product's bells and whistles, and close the sale. But to do so, you'll need to create an environment that allows you to showcase exactly how your sales prospect is likely to use your product, as this is what will allow them to gain a powerful sense of the value that you have to offer.
In this sense, today's sales demos can reach a new high in terms of customized experiences, thanks to virtual labs. A combination of cloud-based virtual machines and environments that can be accessed anywhere, virtual labs are extremely versatile. Businesses have been using them for training and testing for a while, but now virtual labs are expanding the potential of sales demos since they cost a lot less in terms of hardware and travel. And in the age of social distancing due to COVID-19 fears, remote sales demos are a must.
Remote sales demos effectively speed up sales cycles while improving your ability to capture insights and follow up on a lead's demo experience. And video conferencing demos are pivotal for driving sales, with webinar platform ClickMeeting reporting that 66% of B2B buyers watch product presentations before making purchase decisions.
Even with cutting-edge demo solutions, not every sales demo ends in success. But you can definitely increase your demos' conversion rates, simply by following the tips below.
In 2020, successful marketing is personalized marketing, so your demo should never be generic or vague. By this point, you should already know plenty about your lead (if you don't, well, then that means it's too early for a sales demo, so go back and do some more homework), giving you the data you need to customize your demo around their specific pain points and use case.
Make it as tailored as possible, including details like
- What makes your product suitable for a small/large team
- Why it's ideally suited for businesses in their vertical
- Other products your lead already uses which integrate with your solution
- The specific ways in which it is better than other solutions that you know they have already tried
If possible, use real data in your demos instead of just plugging placeholder values into the data fields.
Although you'll be tempted to show off every trick your solution can perform, rein yourself in to only reference those features that are most relevant to the lead. Information overload is real; if you overwhelm decision-makers, they are liable to short-circuit and choose your simpler competitor instead.
You know this already, but it bears repeating: Keep your demo customer-centric, not product-centric. You'll highlight the same features and capabilities in your solution, but frame how you talk about those features to show how they address the specific pain points that this lead is contending with.
This means using language that puts the lead at the center of the narrative, encouraging them to ask questions, and doing all you can to make your demo an interactive dialogue rather than a one-way monologue. Recent research has found that top sales reps make sure to create an engaging moment at least once every 8 minutes, placing the focus on the customer to draw them into the demo experience, rather than pitching "at" the lead.
In the same vein, it's important to relate to all of the stakeholders present, not just the VP or CEO. The "buyer's committee" model means that every one of them is likely to be proactively involved in the purchase decision.
There's never an excuse for boring, not even in a B2B sales demo. Make your demo engaging by using compelling storytelling. Share use cases that are similar to those that affect your lead, and illustrate features with examples of users in a similar role.
In 2020, your demo shouldn't be just a PowerPoint presentation of bullets on slides. Using tech-like, screen-shared virtual labs and digital whiteboards allow you to share ROI calculations, and walk your lead through the process of using your product. You should also avoid monotonous delivery by changing up the speed and pitch at which you speak throughout, and remember to ask plenty of questions.
The demo should be interactive, compelling, and as close to real as possible so that your prospects can truly get a taste of the value they'll gain once they start using your solution.
Be prepared, organized and structured.
Many sales reps have fallen into the trap of assuming they can "wing it" for a great demo. Don't join them. Rehearse your demo many times so that you can cover all the content confidently, without sounding like a robot. Structure it so that you share the good stuff early on, to grab leads' attention and avoid boring everyone while they wait for you to get to the point. If there are specific features that you want to share, preload them in a separate tab so that everything is ready and you don't face an awkward wait for something to buffer.
It's just as important to start and end on time. There's no single "ideal length" for a sales demo; it should be long enough for you to cover all the relevant points and allow time for questions but not so long that everyone will get bored. What matters is that you stick to the time frame you've provided.
It's equally important to test all your features in advance. A demo that goes wrong can be worse than no demo at all, because it creates the impression that your company is inefficient and unreliable. However, when something goes wrong, don't let it throw you off.
Be in touch.
Finally, your sales demo is only as good as your follow-up. You're doing all this to close a sale, so make sure to end the pitch with a strong call to action that clarifies the next step, whether that's sending a pitch deck to other members of the organization or getting user numbers so you can send a final price.
Whatever your closing CTA, remember to follow up on the demo within 24 hours, ideally by sending a thoughtful email to ask what they thought about your solution.
Don't be pushy, but do stay in contact. Some 80% of sales require between five and 12 rounds of correspondence, according to sales engagement platform Xant. Just make sure that when you follow up, you have something new to say – share a valuable piece of content or simply refer to something totally unrelated to your product, like a favorite movie or sports team that came up in small talk with your prospect during the demo. You don't have to always talk about your product to stay top of mind.
Potent sales demos don't arise in a vacuum.
The final takeaway is that you can't make a good, effective sales demo without hard work. You need to invest your efforts in advance to research the lead and the organization, as well as spending time making sure that your demo is hyper-relevant, engaging, customer-focused, well-organized, and ends in a clear CTA. With this preparation, you'll be setting yourself up for sales demo success.