The perfect demo flow to crush your remote demo

The perfect demo flow to crush your remote demo
Larson Stair
Here are the five steps that we take during every single product demo to ensure that we connect with prospects and move our deals forward.
Is anyone else getting tired of running back to back customer calls on Zoom all day every day?

(HBR tips "How to Combat Zoom Fatigue")

Finding it hard to keep your energy up as you’re moving from call to call? 

(You’re not alone - Ted's "Zoom fatigue is real")

Maybe looking for a way to connect with your prospect more effectively and run remote demos they actually care about?

In this post, I’m going to walk through the steps that I take to build out the perfect demo flow. One that helps me connect with prospects and showcase the value on a remote demo. The thing most sales reps don’t realize is that the best sales demos require significantly less exposure to your product than you’d think. 

Here is the harsh reality: Prospect don’t care about you, your company, or really even your product and the features it has. When they come to a demo, all they care about is themselves and the problems they’re experiencing. So the central theme of every remote demo should be focused on that principle. 

Everything you say and show should relate back to how you’re solving their problem. Anything else is just fluff that won’t serve you. 

That’s it. Simple. 

But let's break down how we can do that consistently for every remote sales demo. 

  1. Setting the stage
  2. 30,000 ft View 
  3. Solution Preview
  4. Selling with Customer Stories
  5. Where do we go from here?

Tactfully command control of the meeting and conversation by setting the agenda.

Setting the Stage

What does every book start with? A table of contents. You gain an understanding of where the book will take you and how it’s organized. It sets appropriate expectations around how long the book is, how it’s structured, what they’ll cover, etc. 

A remote sales demo is no different. After going through pleasantries after your prospect joins the call, you have a responsibility to your prospect to set the context of the call and give them an understanding of how you’ll spend your time together. 

Hubspot wrote a great article “Sales Meeting Agenda: The Master Tip for Closing More Deals

I take these steps on every remote sales demo: 

Set the agenda for the call
  • Reviewing a simple written agenda will suffice.
  • You don’t need to spend more than 30 seconds on this. 
  • Also remember to confirm the time slot that you booked flush out any “hard stops”
What we covered last time
  • This is an important step. It gives you the chance to create mutual alignment on your understanding of their pains based upon discussions last time. Review what you’ve accomplished so far, and what’s still outstanding. This is a key step to driving to a close in any sales cycle. 
Ask for buy-in. 
  • Confirm that your understanding is correct and the plan moving forward is still accurate (steps required, who is assigned to each step and when it’s due).
Keep the overview of your company to a 30k ft view thats tailored to your prospects pains

30,000 ft view.

Let me know if this sounds familiar. A sales org builds out a deck they want reps to review on every single demo. It’ll review the company’s history, founder story, an overview of all the features they provide or other granular details about the company.

What’s wrong? Refer to the “harsh reality” above. Prospects don’t care!

Yes, prospects want to know what your company does and the features you have… but only as it applies to them and the problems they're experiencing. Knowing this, you’ll want to do a brief overview of your company and solution but frame it in a light that’s relevant to how you’ll solve their problems. 

This means you might have to think through talk tracks that are catered to typical pains or use-cases you see. You might have a story that’s catered to different personas or industries that you work with. The first impression can either make or break your remote demo so best be sure that your story is captivating and relevant to their pains. 

  • **I do think company history, and founder stories can be relevant but really only when asked. This background can give validation to your solution but I only think you should speak to it when asked. 

When walking through your product, keep it simple, concise, and purposeful.

Solutions preview

Alright, let's get into the bulk of any remote sales presentation. Actually walking through your solution and selling the value. Easily said. More challenging to do repeatedly.

We’re assuming you know how to properly set up your environment to run a remote sales demo so we'll skip that part today. If you need pointers - “Working from home? 9 tips for home office set-up

I like to follow 3 basic rules when it comes to presenting my actual solution. Two of these are principles created by two leading organizations within SaaS and remote sales demos and have been followed by thousands of SaaS organizations around the world.

Rules of 3’s for working memory
  • Human’s attention span last 8 seconds. And believe me, that doesn’t increase when you’re communicating via Zoom from your “home office” aka bedroom. There are a thousand ways to distract your prospect and it's harder than ever to connect. Trust me, simplicity is your friend in this circumstance. 
  • During a sales demo you should be prepared to show a max of three use-cases or features to show them. MAX. You really want to equip your prospect with the knowledge to help them sell your product internally. Simplicity will help with their understanding and recall of your solution. 
Doing the last thing, first by Peter Cohan @ Great Demo!
  • This principle originated from Peter and continues to be validated by big players like Gong! The main principle is to start with the most valuable part of the sales demo as opposed to “building up” to it. Prospects come to a remote demo with a problem and an idea of how they want their lives to be without said problem (end result). So why not deliver that end result to them immediately to captivate their attention and then show them how you arrived at that end result?
Tell-Show-Tell by Bob Riefstahl @ 2win!
  • Simply put, I’m going to tell you what I’m going to show you (via explanatory slide). I’m going to show you what I told you I’d show you (in a web browser). Then I’m going to tell you what I just showed you (via explanatory value slide). 
  • This particular style of presenting is great because it helps you set the context of the features via a simple slide. Then you walk through the platform with very purposeful movements (stay in control and beware of feature dumping here). And lastly, you finish up with another slide to articulate the outcome or value from that specific functionality. It’s incredibly effective and is a great way to consistently showcase your product that articulates value. 

Remember to sell the customer story and results. If you do it well, people will subconsciously associate themselves with the customer.

Selling with Customer Stories

Okay so you did a great job setting the agenda, doing a personalized overview of the company, walked through your platform and perfectly articulated the value. Your prospect is only 60% bought in. 

Now what? 

We’ll I’d say you’re in a fantastic position to really hammer away the value if you do it right.

What not to say:

Well we’ve been shown to increase close rates by 19%. What would that mean for your sales quotas?

What to say:

“You know who you remind me of? Customer X. They were experiencing challenges with closing in a competitive environment, closing 20% of deals. While they were a little apprehensive to adopting a new solution they had to change because they weren’t hitting their revenue projections. (showcase pre-solution close rate). After just X days/months they were able to turn it around and increased their close rate to 39%. "

When it comes to proving results and showcasing your solution’s ROI on your remote sales demo, I believe it’s best to tell a story about one of your current customers that is similar to your prospect. It is your job to sell the story. The pains they were feeling and how you helped to solve their problems.

You can do this effectively in three parts (shocker...): 

  1. Problem your customer had + negative impact
  2. Your proposed solution
  3. Results of your solution. 

I’ll typically utilize very simple slides to walk through this motion and explain the use-case. Remember, this is one of the last pieces of information you’ll leave your prospect with. Probably the thing they’ll remember the most. Do this consistently and you’ll close more and discount less. 

Gong has a great article on this “How To Use Social Proof To Close More Sales

Never leave a call without reviewing next steps and setting a time/date of follow-up

Where do we go from here?

Ever feel like you ran a sales demo and absolutely crushed it? You absolutely nailed every step and it felt like your solution really aligned well with their pains. You get to the end of your call and your prospect says “cool can you send over some information and I’ll connect with my colleagues. We can set up a call from there.”

And unfortunately… you never hear back from them. They’ve seemingly fallen into a black hole and the deal that felt like a sure thing, is now being Closed-Lost. 

What went wrong? You didn’t review the plan moving forward!

At the end of every single demo, disco call, meeting, anything, you should be reviewing your next steps with your attendees. In reality, you should be documenting these steps during your demo. Even better if you can assign a date to help you better forecast. 

If people really want to make a purchase, you’ll be able to uncover the path to helping them make a purchase. Read that again. 

It is your job to help them articulate their own buying processes and clearly lay out that plan. Some people know how to buy software. Others have no clue. You should be focused on asking questions around their buying process during your call and documenting those next steps for review at the end. 

After reviewing those next steps and gaining buy-in on steps required and timeline, set concrete next steps. Meaning an actual date and time to meet again that requires a calendar invite to go out after. I try to do this after every single call (even if it’s just a known placeholder). Being religious about ending calls with next steps will ensure less deals go “dark”, and you end up closing more customers in less time. 

Hubspot has a great article on this: “Closing Once is Dead: Why Asking for “Next Steps” Is Best

To review: here are my five steps for every remote sales demo. 

  1. Setting the stage
  2. 30,000 ft View 
  3. Solution Preview
  4. Selling with Customer Stories
  5. Where do we go from here?

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