Software Demo Best Practices for SaaS Sales Teams

Sales Management

Do you know what your Sales Team is presenting during a demo? Do your sellers clearly understand what features will benefit their demo? What is the experience your team is providing for prospects at this integral stage in the sales process?

Software Demo Best Practices for SaaS Sales Teams

As a sales manager, you spend a great deal of time and resources ensuring that your sellers become champions of value-based selling, presenting your product in the best possible way.  Demo preparation is about more than closing the deal. It is about becoming a product wizard. It is your seller's opportunity to show your prospect you have the solution. Learn how to deliver a memorable experience that begins a prosperous customer relationship built by trust and knowledge. 

Your sales manager will construct a personalized Sales Playbook highlighting your product’s unique selling points and value proposition and tailoring the messaging to your potential clients’ personas. Make a decision to invest time in training your team, teaching them software demo best practices, and guiding them through your playbook. After your training, your team will find it easier to discover pain points. They will be prepared for all the demo stages, reciting keywords and phrases in their sleep.

As time goes on, experienced managers will analyze their playbook and the value proposition, examining whether or not they are effective. By doing so, they will continue to advance and improve their teams' experiences.

This traditional model is massively ineffective

According to Gartner, “…research finds that when B2B buyers consider a purchase, they spend only 17% of that time meeting with potential suppliers. When buyers compare multiple suppliers, the amount of time spent with any sales rep may be only 5% or 6%; even after all the preparation, additions, and alterations, sales teams in the value proposition stage will lose 60-80 percent of potential revenue. This approach to enablement is also a significant factor in low employee retention rate.”

Why is it so tough to conduct Remote Software Sales and Demos of your value proposition?

At Demoleap, we have spent countless hours speaking to and surveying over one hundred SaaS sales leaders, trying to understand why demoing value propositions is so tricky. There are many factors to consider when discussing value-based selling, but we will focus on seller cognitive overload, the biggest issue sales teams face.

To present the most compelling demo, sales teams and managers need to pay attention to a growing number of elements: 

  • Is the entire team following the best demo practices being used by top sellers? If only a handful of your sellers are doing so, then it shouldn’t be a surprise if you lose out on potential prospects and revenue. 
  • Sales managers must keep up with new features and ensure every team member is aware of these new additions to the product. Your team must understand what benefits each client and what they present effectively during the presale.
  • Do your sellers appropriately research clients before each demo intro, gaining a macro and micro understanding of each company and its verticals? 
  • Are your sellers personalizing each value proposition, finding the pain points and solutions according to the persona of the potential client? Are they obtaining customer success in their communication style, and can they react to clients' questions in real time?
  • How is your team preparing prospect solutions needed in a short period? For effective value-based selling and then presented in a minimum 30-minute meeting. Does this lead to cognitive overload?  

As experienced sales managers, we’ve been in our employees’ shoes when it comes to decision-making and understands the hardships of giving the best possible demo. We know that even if our sellers surpassed the cognitive overload and were trained extensively, it is almost impossible to expect them to deliver the most compelling demo so they can meet their objectives when performing more than three demos a day.

How do managers develop methods to reduce sales pressure? A good stars can be to reduce your sellers' cognitive overload with these Software Demo Best Practices:

  1. Improving your playbook structure 

Your sales playbook should have a “natural flow” that is easy for your sellers to understand and relay to clients. You may even add a unique storyline or theme throughout to help them best visualize how and why your product and platform are best for them. But if your playbook contains too many talking points, more than five, for example, it will irritate the messaging of each talking point overall, making it difficult for your prospect to make a decision. 

  1. Score each demo

By scoring your demos, you will have better visibility regarding what works and does not. Doing so will help you and your team measure demo quality and identify which were successful and why resulting in clear best practices for your software demos. The more you work on the elements of a good demo, your sellers will be able to improve their pitches and thus eliminate their cognitive overload from demo to demo. 

  1. Determine demo delivery KPIs 

Scoring is just the starting point. KPIs are key to a better understanding how to alter your demos by determining what works best. 

You start by asking yourself a series of questions: Do short demos affect the closed/win rates? Is a prospect who was presented with more than two or three demos more likely to become a happy customer? Is a seller who adds notes selling more compared to others? 

This data is valuable when creating a new sales playbook or adding a new seller to your team. But before you can answer these questions, the right information has to be collected. Data, such as what was presented, will help you improve your team consistency, customer feedback will allow you to focus on high-impact features and talk tracks, and collecting demo gaps will help you understand what your demo is missing.  

Scoring demos along with measuring different aspects of your demos will yield a simpler, more concise sales playbook with a much higher demo win rate. 

  1. Simplify and condense your sellers’ responsibilities with the proper demo software

We should all properly keep track of valuable business information in centralized locations used to communicate with sellers. In many cases, this is CRM platforms or even Google Sheets.

Making sure you are using remote sales technology that eliminates tasks rather than adding ones is crucial. A known issue for sales teams is missing information in CRMs due to time-consuming data entry tasks. This is a pain point, especially in the demo stage, when you gather valuable data and the need to log it is high. Even preparing a follow-up email is time-consuming and can be eliminated using the right sales technology. 

SaaS platforms and technologies effectively eliminate repetitive tasks that consume valuable time from our sellers, which could be put to better use.

  1. Keep a high level of professionalism across the board 

Every sales organization has a shining star, a seller who outperforms others and is the go-to for every question. Using this seller as an example of “good demos” is important. Have others on your team mimic him or her while ensuring they do not eliminate their unique approach and tone. It's a hard but rewarding task.

Identify the most challenging steps for your star-seller to reach his or her level, and create easy-to-consume information packages for your new reps to follow. For example, is it a technical sale, and do your new reps require access to some common questions? 

What are some demo don’ts that are keeping your conversion rates stagnant? How can you fix these mistakes and present a winning demo to your prospect?

When we think about the demo conversion rate, we should first and foremost think about what is influencing our buyer's decision-making process and what we can do to deliver high-impact demos.  To help sales teams do so, we wanted to highlight the most common mistakes remote sales teams make during the live-demo process and provide new approaches to solve these issues. 

Five mistakes when preparing for a live demo:

  • Lack of product and demo knowledge 
  • Failing to adjust the demo to the customer's needs
  • Neglecting to validate the value using relevant information
  • Relying on the wrong data to gain visibility into the sales demo process 
  • Ignoring demo best practices

  1. Lack of Product and Demo Knowledge

Based on our team’s years of experience and dozens of interviews we’ve conducted with leading software companies in our new series, Demoleap Live, we came to the conclusion that most companies' information is distributed across many different roles and departments. This, in turn, means companies create an elaborate onboarding plan, in which new sales representatives sit in dozens of meetings and countless training activities with each department to learn as much as they can until they are pronounced ready. Is this a successful sales training method? How can you do better?

  • Imagine yourself in your new employees’ shoes, going through this process and attempting to learn a whole new product, product value proposition, and sales playbook. 
  • Bad training techniques create a cognitive overload for sellers, and the method isn’t incredibly useful for conversion rates. Sellers are likely to forget more than 90 percent of what they learned after only a month… meaning everything they have attempted to learn during the onboarding process will quickly dissipate. 

As managers, you can continue fighting the forgetting curve, or you can start looking into emerging remote sales tools that utilize real-time learning capabilities, such as Demoleap. 

  1. Failing to adjust the demo to customer‘s needs at scale 

A great sales rep understands that a good sales pitch is about the customers and the value rather than the company or specific product. How can you help your team focus on the customer without decreasing sales effectiveness? 

  • A common mistake most sales managers make is spending considerable time training new employees on the entire product and asking them to build the demo flow. 
  • Implementing a sales playbook yields better results. It’s best to think of a suggested demo flow with a unique product click path and talk track that emphasizes a specific set of values.  
  • The best sales teams build their demos according to one or more elements: persona, industry, use case, and company size. This allows your reps to immediately adapt to every customer. It is much easier to control and react to customers’ needs when you already have a good value hypothesis. 

Finally, working with a playbook helps new reps shift their pitch from a product focus to a value focus and for more experienced representatives to help break their demo pattern. 

  1. Neglecting to Validate the Value Using Relevant Information

Did you know that prospects are 90 percent more likely to believe you if you use numbers? This isn’t true, but I’m guessing you found the statement more reliable because of the statistic. Using proven data and statistics is critical in remote sales.

  • If you are a new sales team member, ask yourself, “Why should you care about our product?” 
  • Look into the psychology and neuroscience behind sales. This will help you quickly understand that one of the principles of persuasion is consensus. You gain credibility when you pay attention to the psychology of sales and add relevant customer stories, statistics, industry news, and ROI benchmarks to your pitch. This will encourage your customer to take this huge leap of faith and purchase your product. 

This is not necessarily the most important part of your sales demo, but it is often the most neglected part of sales demos. 

  1. Relying on the wrong data to gain visibility into the sales demo process  

As a sales manager, you collect information about every aspect of the sales process: prospecting, qualification, negotiation, and so forth. But do you have data that provides an objective view of what is effective and what isn’t? 

  • An objective view will provide transparency into your demo process. Once you gain this transparency, you can start identifying winning sales plays, test and adopt customer propositions, onboard new sales reps faster, and improve consistency among your A-players and B-players.
  • Learn about how to use CRM implementation projects. Many sales organizations rely heavily on manual input to capture demo-related information. 

At Demoleap, we call it a digital demo signature: an automated data entry process that captures the demo flow and pushes it back into the CRM. By eliminating the manual work of administrative tasks, including but not limited to the digital signature, reps can save at least ten to fifteen minutes per demo. Just imagine what you can do with this time and information. 

  1. Ignoring demo best practices

You must learn, structure, and implement demo best practices into your sales processes and playbooks to improve your demo conversion rate. This includes:

  • Using technical tools: What are your standard tools to optimize demo performance? This ranges from the browser you use to the conference tool and mouse. 
  • Properly preparing for each demo: Did you prepare all your demo assets? Are you logged in? Did you reset your last demo? 
  • Creating a demo structure: Did you build your demos according to the attention curve? 
  • Applying a demo methodology: Demo methodologies provide tools that prevent mistakes and ensure high-impact demos. 
  • Reducing stress levels in the demo process: Providing your team with the tools and techniques to reduce stress and improve their workflow. 

At Demoleap, we have built the first technology to support live demos, which is the most critical stage in the sales process. Our AI-based technology works as a “co-pilot” for sales reps, assisting them during every stage of the process, including the aforementioned best practices that are often neglected.  

Demoleap is an AI-based tool that offers real-time sales assistance for your sellers to present the best possible demo of your product anytime, anywhere. Its impact is far beyond the demo itself, with a dashboard that helps you manage your demos and sales and reduce the responsibilities with built-in tools. Demoleap’s AI offers insights, alerting you to the more successful demos so you can continue to optimize your remote sales process and execution. 

Demoleap arms your sales team with the proper tools to manage and execute demos seamlessly while learning and improving the sales process. Using Demoleap’s unique technology will close more deals and have your team at the forefront, leading the way in demo best practices. 

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