What is the best outline for a product demo

What is the best outline for a product demo
Larson Stair
A good outline to conduct a web based product demo.

What is the best outline for a product demo?

A template for better software demos

In my opinion, reps that conduct the best product demos follow a process when they show a prospect their platform. Maintaining control of a conversation while fielding and adequately explaining different aspects of the platform is a true skill. It is essential to painting your solutions and the obvious choice to solve the problems they're experiencing.

Most reps will show one feature, then another, then another and it goes on and on until the time is up and your prospect is likely asleep after finishing ALL of their outstanding emails.

My solution? Planned Structure

Given that I think the best product demos have an outline they follow, I figured I'd post the specific structure, for both Enterprise demos and SMB, that I think resonates with prospects and where it can go wrong

Enterprise: 45-60 minutes
  1. Opener Slide- This can be a logo of your company or your prospect's. Maybe your prospect's names, roles, etc.
  2. Agenda- Keep this brief. Keep it to just a few bullet points to not overwhelm your prospects.
  3. Summarize the previous discussion- 3 bullet points of what was discussed last time.
  4. Why your solution exists- This is your opportunity to paint a picture and tell a story. This is a critical point to set the stage for the rest of the demo.
  5. High-level overview of the product- I will typically just list out the features we'll cover and which ones we won't. Pause after reviewing and confirm these are the best things to cover.
  6. Feature One- Start with the end in mind. This should be your best feature and biggest differentiator. Check out this article on the "Upside-down Demo".
  7. Feature Two- For all of the features you're showcasing, I'd sandwich the URLs with an explainer/context slide and a summary/value slide. See an article on "Tell-Show-Tell" methodology.
  8. Feature Three
  9. Customer Story- Social proof of ROI- As oppose to directly pointing out the ROI of your product (outdated concept), the best way to showcase this is with similar customer success stories. It's best to showcase this with 3 slides. The problem they were having, the solution that was proposed and the outcome they were able to achieve.
  10. Next Steps- Review your meeting notes in tandem with your prospects and ensure mutual consensus moving forward.
SMB: 20-30 minutes

SMB demos can be tricky because you typically don't have much time to run a disco/demo. I would strip down the Enterprise outline into a consolidating presentation. There isn't as much of a need to summarize your previous discussion or go as in-depth on why your solution exists or what's included. Keep everything simple and showcase only functionality directly related to their main pain.

  1. Opener Slide/Summarize the previous discussion
  2. Why your solution exists/High-level overview of the product- I may or may not split this into two separate slides.
  3. Feature One- This should be your best feature and biggest differentiator
  4. Feature Two
  5. Customer Story- Social proof of ROI
  6. Next Steps

I may or may not include a customer story. I'd likely keep on on file to quickly access if the situation presents itself. Sometimes a prospect may need that social proof, sometimes you've done a good enough job convincing them and you're best advised to wrap things up and talk next steps.

Just like I'd keep Customer Stories on file to present if the situation presents itself, I would also do that for many other use-cases. I typically segment my platform in chapters that I can access at any moment. These chapters can be feature specific, about onboarding, technical requirements, integrations, pricing, etc. Giving myself this library allows me to simplify my demo with the knowledge that I can pull in "demo-ready" assets if the situation presents itself.


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