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How to Give a Better SaaS Product Demo

Increase the effectiveness of your product demos 10x

Author avatarAlex Ryo YamamotoJuly 04, 2017Startups
How to Give a Better SaaS Product Demo
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The most common mistake that SaaS sales reps make when giving product demos is treating them as a product training session. A demo shouldn’t be about features, it should be about pain. By focusing on your prospect’s pains, you can showcase your product’s value and translate the features your product has into tangible benefits that resonate with your prospects.

Sounds simple right?

Well, if it were that easy then everyone would be closing deals left and right. So let’s dive into the key areas you should focus on to increase the effectiveness of your product demos 10x.

Pre-Demo Preparation

Personalize, personalize, personalize

This should go without saying, but it is so important that it bears repeating: if you do not tailor your product demo to who you are talking to, you will lose.

  • Know everyone who is attending the demo and their current role, as this will help you envision how the demo might go.
  • Take a look at the company website and digest what they do, who their competitors are, and what industry they are in.
  • Prepare to share stories of customers who are successful with your product that are similar to them.

That is the bare minimum, the expectation that all reps will do this research. To separate yourself from the pack, dive deeper and figure out:

How did they sign-up for your product?

Knowing your customer’s journey to signing up for your product can reveal a lot about how you can tailor your product demo. According to CEB, prospects are already 57% of the way through the purchase process before speaking to a rep.

Illustration source

As a rep, you should treat that as a learning opportunity. See what pages of your website your prospect viewed, which case studies they read, what ebooks they downloaded, etc. All of these interactions are data points you can use to ensure you give them a personalized demo experience.

Are they using a competitive product?

Whether you are using a lead enrichment solution or a free solution like Siftery, there are tools you can use at your disposal to discover what software your prospects are already using.

Although they may not be 100% accurate, it will give you a sense of what their stack looks like, and if they are using a competitive product, you can at least prepare your talking points beforehand, and confirm they are using that product while on the demo.

Nevertheless, the most crucial part of executing a successful product demo is to instill trust in your prospects.

Sales reps who prove they understand the pain their prospects are feeling and earn their trust by adding value in every interaction will win the deal.

Demo Execution Tips

Always start with questions

A classic rookie mistake is to start your product demo by immediately diving into a tour of your product. Remember, the demo is not about you, but your prospect. Some of the things you should look to uncover include:

  • Why did they sign up?
  • What are the evaluation criteria?
  • What other competitors are they evaluating?
  • What problems are they trying to solve with your product?
  • How are they currently dealing with these pain points?

Armed with this crucial context, you can personalize your product demo even more to hone in on the key aspects of your product that will resonate most with your prospect.

Less is more

Two key areas where you should be doing less:

  1. Less talking: The worst reps are like your least favorite teachers in school who just followed their powerpoint slides like a robot. Don’t make your prospects fall asleep. As a rep, you should be focused on delivering the most value to your prospects in the least amount of words.
  2. Treat a demo like a discovery conversation and make sure you are constantly checking in to give your prospects time to speak and ask questions. When they ask a question, follow up and dig deeper to get at the heart of their issues.
  3. Less flexing: Let’s face it, no one likes a showboat. So resist the temptation to showcase every single feature your product is capable of. Focus on the pain points of your prospect and prioritize which features to show accordingly. In doing so, you will look less “salesy” which is only a good thing.

Don’t follow scripts, tell use cases

To supplement the point about talking less, one way you can make your product demo script sound less generic is to share use case stories with your prospect.

As opposed to a feature-centric pitch, a use case captivates and engages your prospect with a personal story of how one of your customers achieved success with your product.

At the center of the use case is a protagonist, who most likely is in the same role/industry as the prospect you are talking to. You should touch on the challenges they faced, and how your solution helped solve those challenges.

Most importantly, you should not only touch on the success the business achieved, but also the personal success that your protagonist achieved as well.At the end of the day you are selling to a person, so it’s important to frame your story regarding the personal successes your solution can achieve for the prospect.

Ready to go further? Take a breath and look at this maybe the best demo ever:

Agree on next steps

The biggest killer of deals is time, and over time, every deal is subject to inertia. To keep the momentum going, it’s important that you establish next steps with your prospects.

That means a “We’ll get back to you when we’re ready” is not an answer you should accept as a rep. Whether it’s setting up a pricing call, looping in your customer success team, or agreeing to reply on an RFP, it’s imperative that you establish concrete next steps with your prospect.

Software to Augment Your Demo Effectiveness

One overlooked aspect of demos is the software you can use to help increase their effectiveness. There are so many tools you can use to try to boost your product demo effectiveness, but here are a few categories of products you should take a look at to help your reps deliver world-class demos.

Conversation intelligence software

With advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, conversation intelligence solutions like Chorus and Gong can record all of your sales calls and use their algorithms to parse out valuable insights like:

  • What’s our optimal talk to listen ratio?
  • When should I talk about pricing?
  • What words do my prospects use that most correlate with deals that move forward?

Most sales managers would love to sit in on every call, but obviously, that is impossible. Conversation intelligence solutions fill that gap to ensure you get valuable insights from the countless hours of sales conversations your team is having.

Knowledge management / Sales enablement tools

Nothing is worse during a product demo than not being able to adequately answer a prospect’s question. Whether it’s about a certain objection, a technical aspect of your product, or how you position against a competitor you haven’t heard of, reps need to be armed with all the knowledge they need to close deals.

That’s where solutions like Guru come in to provide your reps with instant access to expert-verified knowledge, wherever your team works. The browser extension and Slack bot ensure your team can quickly access their sales playbook materials while on a demo with a prospect. The best part is they know when it was last updated, and who updated it, so they can trust that the information they share is still accurate.

To ensure that you didn’t miss anything important, check the key points of this post:

  • Tailor your product demo to whom you are talking
  • Know your customer’s journey to signing up
  • Discover what software your prospects are already using
  • Start demos with questions, not with a product guide
  • Talk less, deliver the value more
  • Share success stories and pain points your product already solved
  • Establish next steps with your prospects
  • Use tools to expand your demo effectiveness.

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