11 SaaS Demo Best Practices for Winning Sales Demo

by Matan Mostov
August 19, 2023
Sales Management
Demo Best Practices
Demo Skills
Guided Selling
Sales Effectiveness
Sales Efficiency
Sales Enablement Best Practices
Sales Productivity
Sales Performance

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?

11 SaaS Demo Best Practices for Winning Sales Demo

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

As a sales manager, you spend a lot of time and resources ensuring that your sellers present 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 the prospect your solution is the best one for them. 

How do you do that? Read on.

Why is it so hard to present your value proposition remotely?‍

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 let’s 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 used by your top sellers? If only a handful of your sellers do that, it shouldn’t be a surprise if you lose 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 thoroughly research prospects 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 specific 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 quickly preparing prospect solutions needed? Can they provide effective value-based selling and then present a demo in a 30-minute meeting, and does this lead to cognitive overload?‍

As experienced sales managers, you’ve been in your employees’ shoes when it comes to decision-making and understanding the hardships of giving the best possible demo. 

You know that even if your sellers surpassed the cognitive overload and were trained extensively, it is almost impossible to expect that they deliver the most compelling demo so they can meet their objectives when performing more than three demos daily.

How do managers develop methods to reduce sales pressure? A good start can be to reduce your sellers' cognitive overload with the following best practices.

11 SaaS Sales Demo Best Practices

  1. What’s on the agenda

A few days before the demo date, ensure the seller emails your prospects to let them know what to expect by outlining the structure and agenda of the demo. 

This also includes how much time they expect each part of the demo will take. You don’t want prospects to feel your sellers are wasting their time. 

  1. Show them how it really works

Your sellers should show the prospect how your product works in a way that is relevant to their day-to-day experience. 

For example, demo data they can relate to, accomplish a specific task they recognize, or show them how different users can view performance indicators on your dashboard. 

  1. Be respectful

Make sure your sellers arrive early, so they have enough time to set up their demo and be respectful of the prospect’s time. It's also a good idea to try to finish early, as this will leave enough time for questions and building rapport with the prospects. 

  1. Maintain a healthy talk-listen ratio

It is super important to listen to buyers if you want your demo to be engaging. 

Have you ever attended a meeting in which only one person talked the entire time? Do you remember how boring it was?

Long monologues about your solution are a sure way to put your audience to sleep.

Instead, make sure you maintain the golden talk-listen ratio throughout the call. 

Not sure that listening is really that important? We have some powerful data for you.

In one of their blog posts, Gong Revenue Intelligence, a company that analyzes customer facing interactions, found that on average, top-producing B2B sales professionals speak 43% of the time, allowing the prospect to speak 57% of the time on average.

  1. Build Rapport

If you want to engage your prospects, you need to build rapport as soon as possible. 

So, while you research their social profile try to find common grounds between you and your buyers, because similarities, even if they are only coincidental, can greatly affect your buyer’s willingness to buy from you. 

If you can’t find any similarities, try to find some personal accomplishment you can compliment them on. 

In their research Insincere Flattery Actually Works: A Dual Attitudes Perspective, Professor of marketing Jaideep Sengupta and Dr. Elaine Chan from Hong Kong University’s School of Business and Management, show that “even when flattery by marketing agents is accompanied by an obvious ulterior motive that leads targets to discount the proffered compliments, the initial favorable reaction (the implicit attitude) continues to coexist with the discounted evaluation (the explicit attitude).“

Or, to put it more plainly: “It’s a testament to how insidiously flattery affects us,” says Prof. Sengupta.

  1. Establish credibility

You may be a very good salesperson, but if people don’t trust you they won’t be willing to buy from you. 

To build trust between you and your buyer, start the conversation with a piece of information found during the research phase, so you can make them feel they are understood. 

Empathy goes a long way in sales and showing your buyers you understand them can be the foundation upon which you can build trust and convince them you have their best interest at heart. 

Empathy also means listening, which takes us back to our forth tip. 

  1. Optimize your playbooks 

Your sales playbook should have a natural flow easy for your sellers to understand and relay to clients. 

You may even add a unique storyline or theme 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, say more than five, it will overload the messaging of each talking point, making it difficult for your prospect to make a decision. 

  1. Score each demo‍

By scoring your demos, you will have better visibility of what works and doesn't. 

This 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, the more 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 of how to alter your demos by determining what works best. 

You start by asking yourself a series of questions: 

Do short demos affect 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’s consistency; customer feedback will allow you to focus on high-impact features and talk tracks. 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 synchronize with a good demo software‍

It’s important to keep track of valuable business information in centralized locations used to communicate with sellers. In many cases, this happens on CRM platforms or even Google Sheets.

Making sure you're 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 demo 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, 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.

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. 

The platform also arms your sales team with the proper tools to manage and execute demos seamlessly while constantly improving the sales process.

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