2 mistakes you shouldn't make on a demo

2 mistakes you shouldn't make on a demo
Larson Stair

Conducting a great software demos can be a real challenge. Particularly when you're working a competitive deal and trying to differentiate your solution from others in the marketplace. Many solutions can look and feel the same to your audience so to consistently run a call that connects business pain with the value you provide, you have to focus on the details.

I had a chance to connect with the great and powerful Brent Krempges over at Gainsight the other day and got the opportunity to ask him a few questions around top mistakes he sees sales reps making during product demos and his personal tips for solving that problem. Brent is the VP of Solutions Consulting at Gainsight and in just five short years, he grew from an individual contributor to leading the multi-product global solution consultant team. I hope this helps you run a more effective and efficient product demonstration.

What is the biggest mistake sales reps make when conducting a demo?

Two of the biggest mistakes I see are, making assumptions and not aligning challenges to financial outcomes

1. Making assumptions:
  • We talk to multiple customers a day using a technology/product that we know more about than anyone else. Often early in the sales cycle, I find reps jumping right into the problems that can be solved without truly understanding the customer's problems or more importantly, the prospect doesn't truly understand what problem you can solve.

2. Aligning challenges to financial outcomes, early in the sales cycle:
  • Based on the ASP of your technology, it is inevitable that at some point you will have to justify the investment to your prospect. However, more important than that is when presenting (demoing) your product, nothing is more important to your audience than the financial impact your technology will have on their business (the cool new feature looks cool but why do I care)?

How do you solve for that mistake?

  • It is a broken record but it as simple as using the "5 why technique" and having sincere curiosity. Having a five-year-old, I know this trick all too well but unfortunately, my son typically gets what he wants because he has as a true understanding of why I'm saying no. This is so simple and yet I see so many being satisfied with a simple answer rather than having the curiosity to truly understand.  

The bottom line is it's harder than ever to make a genuine connection with your audience and run a product demonstration that connects the business pains you uncovered with the value your product provides. To Brent's point, if you focus on using the "5 why technique" to truly uncover your audience's business objectives as oppose to making assumptions about their needs, you'll have stronger selling points that truly resonate. Also, by doing deeper discovery and understanding a complete picture of their current challenges, you can more easily align your solution with the financial outcome they'll achieve after adoption. Completing this alignment early and often will ensure you maintain momentum after your demo and drive to a close.

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