Three best practices to up your remote demo game

Three best practices to up your remote demo game
Larson Stair
Three easy tasks to do every time to ensure you give your best remote product demo

Given the current professional climate and landscape, remote work seems to be a reality that we'll all have to live with. Even after the COVID-19 virus has come and gone, the professional landscape will be forever changed.

We will now have experienced what it's like to have entire companies move to remote work and understand the implications of this type of shift.

For sales teams in SaaS, I can imagine there is a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety around the entire situation. I have worked at a few companies that put a significant emphasis on the in-office culture and have generally frowned upon remote work. I can imagine many questions might be going through leader's heads.

  • Will we lose momentum during remote work?
  • How do I maintain a standard selling process at a distance?
  • What will be our working cadence for teams?
  • Will reps be showing our products in the correct light?
  • Will companies still want to buy?

For us here at Demoflow, all of these topics and more are top of mind. As we approach the market and continue to expand our team, we are incredibly focused on how to maintain momentum in all aspects of the business as we go into these uncertain times.

Doing our part to help others, I wanted to share a few best practices that I've experienced when we think about conducting remote product demos. After working with hundreds of SaaS sales organizations on their sales and product demo processes, I have a few tips that might help to maintain a certain level of quality.

Create a clean environment

By doing a demo, you are giving prospects a glimpse into what your computer looks like. It is important that you clean up all of the applications on your desktop and your toolbar. Close our the unnecessary ones to reduce distractions

First off, if you're using a browser to demonstrate your side deck and software, you should set it up correctly.

  1. Uncheck "Always show Bookmark Bar."
  2. Uncheck "Always show Toolbar in Full Screen."
This ensures that all of your bookmarks are hidden while you're presenting. You'll even be covered if you're presenting in full screen.

Here is another great post by Zapier on Zoom best practices. Article here.

Second and arguably more important...

Turn off your notifications!

There is nothing worse than being in the middle of your remote presentation and having your boss, colleague, friend, or Mom ping you with some embarrassing or frankly private message right in the middle of your demo.

  • It will distract your prospect.
  • It will detract from the points you're trying to make.
  • It just looks unprofessional

Salesloft wrote an article with a few more tips. Check it out

Know your technology

I see SaaS professionals getting this one wrong all the time. Whether it's not having audio properly configured or sharing the wrong screen or application - You should spend some time getting familiar with the technology you're using to present.

First tip: Get a great headset or microphone.

  • I've been on so many demos where reps mess this one up and don't have clear audio. I've personally loved these two options: Stand-alone mic and headset.

Second tip: Choose your screen share applications wisely - although Zoom is the best

  • I'm personally a huge fan of Zoom Video's application. I think it gives the best overall quality that consistent on every call.
  • When you do go to share your screen, take a few moments to ensure you're sharing the right screen

If you want to share your entire desktop - know that this will contain your toolbar at the bottom. I'm personally not a huge fan of this type of sharing, as I think it can be distracting. Of course, there is a time and place to share your entire desktop, so keep that in your back pocket.

I personally always share the application or browser that I'm going to be demo'ing on.

  • Reminder: this means you will have to be very conscious of what applications you're showing as you juggle multiple.
  • Far from impossible, just something to be conscious of.

Hubspot has some more demo great tips and tricks here.

Master your hotkeys

When you're juggling multiple tabs, browsers, windows, etc, it can be challenging to remember where everything is and maintain the plan of the demo as prospects ask questions and tangents occur. Thus, it's incredibly important to have a consistent set up, so you aren't spending 30% of your time finding the right asset.

Hotkeys can either make you look like a pro, or it can make you look absolutely awful and generally confusing.

Whatever your set up is, practicing your hotkeys can make your demo feel fluid and even make your platform look easier to use. Here are a few:

  • Move between tabs in a browser: Alt + Cmd <-/->
  • On a Mac, create more windows by pressing F3 and +.
  • Pull your applications into their dedicated "window."
  • A three-finger swipe will allow you to move back and forth in these windows to show different applications.

Peter Cohan of Great Demo! talks about using the "B" key during a PowerPoint presentation. A great article here. This will cause the screen to go black and quickly grab your prospect's attention. It's a great tactic. We wrote another article that includes some more tricks here.

Those are a few of my best practices for conducting remote demos. There are tons of strategies to deploy when running a remote demo, so feel free to leave any comments around other best practices you've found.

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