Today’s SaaS market is brimming with new sales technology. In sales, there’s now over 700+ SaaS providers. In the marketing technology space, we’ve gone from 150 tools in 2011 to more than 3,000 in 2016. You can no longer rely on a unique product feature to be the key driver of your sales demo because competitors will copy it in six months or less.
There’s a scene in The Wolf of Wall Street where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character bangs a microphone against his head and yells to his employees:
“Pick up the phone and start dialing!”
Don’t be that guy.
Instead, make sure every sales rep on your team knows how to deliver a winning sales demo.
The formula for a highly effective sales demo is the cumulative result of research, process, and most importantly, an effective discovery.
Delivering a top quality sales demo requires you to understand your prospect’s challenges and tie relevant product features to their job. It’s the quickest path to becoming a trusted advisor, which means you’re less likely to get caught up in unnecessary feature wars or doling out quarter-end specials.
Your sales demo allows you to clearly differentiate your offering and make your prospect give a damn.
Your offering is not just the product you’re selling. It’s your expertise. It’s your dedication to ensuring your prospect becomes a successful customer and gets a promotion from implementing your technology.
A killer sales demo will win you the deal even if you don’t meet all of your prospect’s requirements. Your product features become less important when the prospect believes they’re buying into a true partnership. That belief stems from the seed that’s planted when the prospect experiences a humanized, and well crafted sales demo.
The Worst Mistake Reps Are Making On Their Sales Demo Calls
Have you ever been on a demo call that goes something like:
So a really cool feature is our auto responder. You can go in the settings and pick the color of the responder and change the font. You can also change the font size and import your own fonts…
I’m shocked by the amount of sales reps that still do this. It’s downright lazy.
Major Key: Customers only care about the features of your product that are relevant to their challenges. Most customers will never use every single feature so why waste time going over each one?
Putting your prospects to sleep with product details isn’t how you give a proper sales demo, it’s how you miss your quota.
Additionally, even the features that are relevant should be framed with the right context. You can do this by conducting a flawless discovery process—the information you collect will help you frame every customer interaction the right way as you drive the deal to the finish line.
The Proper Way To Deliver A Top Quality Sales Demo
If the rep in my previous example had taken the time to do a thorough discovery, here’s how the demo would have started:
Today our focus will be on taking the pain out of your onboarding process and consolidating your tech stack. Is that a good place to start?
From this point forth every feature the sales rep reveals should be accompanied by a specific example that relates to the customer’s business.
When customers get frustrated during the onboarding process, they’ll exit your app. Here’s how to encourage them to jump back in.
It’s that simple.
But how do you know which features to highlight in your demo? And, how do you weave them into a compelling narrative that resonates with your prospect?
Follow these three tips and you’ll be on your way:
What Worries Them?
Gain your prospect’s trust by showing you understand their industry.
Highlight trends that will impact their business and the opportunities and threats associated with them.
For example, if I was selling a new sales intelligence platform, I would highlight how prospects are revealing information about themselves on more networks than ever before: Linkedin, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, AngelList, Medium.
This presents a real challenge for sellers trying to get a holistic view of their prospects.
The solution? A sales intelligence platform that taps into these networks and aggregates the information that’s relevant to the seller in a central hub.
Clarify everything with “Why?”
If you ask “why?” too many times during a demo, you may come across as slightly annoying.
But if you don’t ask “why?” enough, you’ll walk away without the slightest clue about your prospect’s true motivations or intentions.
The best account executives do this even when a customer makes a positive statement during the demo.
It might seem counterintuitive at first, but if a prospect reacts with “that’s awesome” after you’ve unveiled a feature, they’re giving you a golden opportunity to dig deeper.
Here are some examples:
- Why now?
- Why is this an important problem to fix?
- Why do you think our pricing is too high?
- Why are you still evaluating other competitors? (Good option if you’re deep into the sales cycle)
- Why is this a top priority?
Navigating to the why can mean the difference between a nice commission check or a deal that stays in your pipeline for nine months only to be relegated to “no decision.”
Make it Personal
People buy from people. Connecting with your prospect is easier if you understand how they think. Research the following platforms:
- Youtube (for talks or interviews they’ve given)
- Google (find their personal blog by searching for their name)
If you’re selling to existing customers, review your previous interactions. At Intercom, our account managers do this by scanning their conversation history before jumping on a call with a client.
What you end up with is valuable intel you can weave into your narrative:
- Instead of saying, “this is hands-down my favorite feature,” say “I know HubSpot plays in your market, here’s how they doubled their lead-conversion.”
- Instead of saying “we help marketers generate leads,” say “here’s how we help Marketo users complement their nurture campaigns.”
Facts are useless without personalization.
I’ve included a handy checklist you can actively refer to during your next demo. Some of these tips apply to your discovery calls as well.
Prospects will learn something new and mint a relationship with a trusted advisor. Sales reps can determine if there’s a real opportunity, and set the right tone for the remainder of the sales cycle.
This could very well make the difference in deals where you and your competitor are neck-and-neck in terms of product. In deals where you’re ahead in product as well? Those become lay-ups.
If you choose to compete solely on product features in today’s SaaS market, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
A killer sales demo is the perfect complement to a killer product. It enables you to cut through the noise and establish genuine relationships with prospects. It creates a win-win environment.
Want to learn more about communicating with leads and customers effectively and personally? Check out Intercom’s award-winning blog for more tips and resources.