Demo Best Practices

September 24, 2020

Demo Best Practices: How to Overcome the No. 1 Problem You Didn’t Know Your Team Was Facing                

Do you know what your sellers are doing during a demo? Are you able to determine why some of your sellers are more successful than others? How can live-demo software help your processes?

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. 

You construct a sales playbook that highlights your product’s unique selling points and value proposition, and tailor the messaging to your potential clients’ personas. You then invest time in training your team, teaching them best practices and guiding them through your playbook. After your training they’ll know everything inside and out, reciting keywords and phrases even if you wake them up in the middle of the night. 

 

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

 

Easy, right?

 

It sounds like it, but we all know that in practice it’s not that easy. This traditional model is massively ineffective. According to research we conducted, 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 spent the last two years 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: 

 

  1. Is the entire team following the best demo practices that are being used by top sellers? If only a handful or your sellers are doing so then it shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’re losing out on potential customers and revenue. 
  2. Sales managers also need to keep up with new features, and make sure every member of the team is aware of these new additions to the product, knows how they can be beneficial to individual clients and is presenting them effectively.
  3. Do your sellers appropriately research clients before each demo, gaining a macro and micro understanding of each company and the verticals they operate in? 
  4. Are your sellers personalising each value proposition according to the persona of the potential client they are communicating with and are they able to react to clients' questions in real-time?

 

All of these details need to be determined and prepared in a short period of time for effective value-based selling, and then presented in a minimum 30-minute meeting, leading to cognitive overload. 

As experienced sales managers we’ve been in our employees’ shoes and understand the process and hardships of giving the best possible demo. We know that even if our sellers did surpass the cognitive overload and were trained extensively it is almost impossible to expect them to deliver the most compelling demo they can when doing more than three demos a day.

When we lay it out like this, are you sure that your sellers are “killin' it” when presenting the value of your product? Or are they just killing it? 

Reducing cognitive overload with demo best practices

In order to cope with cognitive overload and bad demos, managers need to develop methods to reduce the pressure. How can they do so?

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 is best for them. But if your playbook contains too many talking points - more than five - it will irritate the messaging of each talking point.

Score each demo

By scoring your demos you will have better visibility regarding what works and what 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 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. 

Determine demo delivery KPIs 

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

You start by asking yourself a series of questions, such as, 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 when 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. 

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

We should all be properly keeping track of valuable business information in centralised 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 a time consuming task that can be eliminated with the use of the right sales technology. 

SaaS platforms and technologies are effective in eliminating repetitive tasks that consume valuable time from our sellers, time that could be put to better use.

Keep a high level of professionalism across the board 

In every sales organisation there is 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.

Try to identify what were 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 your new reps require access to some common questions? Or maybe it is the use of relevant customer stories or industry language that will position them as subject matter experts.

 

These tips will help you manage your team during the most critical stage of your sales cycle and Demoleap can be your ”secret agent” along the way. 

 

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. But its impact is far beyond the demo itself, with a dashboard that helps you manage your demos and sales and reduce the responsibilities we mentioned earlier 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 continuing to learn and improve your process.

 

Curious? Schedule your demo today. Looking forward to hearing from you.

 




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