Setting up a demo structure has two advantages:
- you perfect the process over time by making adjustments
- you get to practice relevant skills (negotiation, objection handling, etc) over and over
Here is the demo structure that I recommend you to follow:
Length of demo
Demo length depends on how complex your product is. In extreme cases, you may require two or more meetings to explain everything. For most B2B products out there, a demo of 30 to 60 minutes should suffice.
The length of the demo should not be too short. Prospects need time to analyse the product to understand how it works and how it would help them. The demo should also not be too long or else it will bore, saturate or take up too much of the prospect’s time.
There are two parties involved in the demo, the demo givers and receivers. Each company has to decide who should be present in the call, but here are my recommendations:
On the seller’s side:
- one skilled salesman that knows the ins and outs of the software
- one customer success member to show a customer’s perspective (not mandatory)
On the prospect’s side:
- at least one decision-maker (the higher the seniority the better)
- one future user of the software (in case a deal is signed)
Having the people mentioned above present in the call eliminates the need to re-give the demo to other employees of the prospect’s company. You will also be able to answer all questions and objections at once.
The goal of the introduction of a demo is to get the prospect to relax and open up about the problem you wish to solve. You can do that by engaging in light banter, cracking an industry-specific joke, or any method that makes the spectator comfortable.
Once the ice has been broken, you start asking specific questions about their process. The set of questions will change from industry to industry and from prospect to prospect. Here is our own set of questions we like to ask:
- what does your company do
- how do you get leads
- how do you do outreach (if at all)
- have you used any outreach tools before
Those questions enable you to assess fit, build rapport and tailor the pitch to the prospect. Consequently, you will increase the chances of generating an opportunity.
Demo the product according to SQL’s needs
Demoing the product is all about framing it as the best thing since sliced bread while downplaying its shortcomings. I am not condoning lying (and so does hubsell). I am simply advising to focus on your strengths and how they will help the prospect fix their problem.
In a demo the difference makers are:
- a high product knowledge
- a product-prospect fit (enhanced by qualitative prospecting)
- having an overall good product
Those will make the demo process straightforward and more impressive to the prospect.
Most demos will include some form of resistance from the prospect. A prepared salesman knows that and should be able to handle it with pre-written responses. To prevent the initial push back, the account manager can even address common objections right from the start. That will show industry knowledge and impress the prospect.
Note: never get defensive or emotional when receiving criticism from prospects, which is seen as insecurity from your side. Instead, show a rock-solid belief in your product by addressing objections professionally.
Linger in a pause so that the prospect can show intentions
At the end of the demo, there is a point in which the prospect will reveal their thoughts on what they would like to do next. You can wait for the prospect to ask for the pricing plans (the ideal scenario) or you can push for it yourself. The latter works better with more passive prospects. Either way, the pricing details should be discussed only when the prospect has shown interest.
Tip: Place a pause in the conversation to bait the prospect into sharing their thoughts. You will want to ask them if they are interested (which can still work) but it is better to let them ask for more information (a clear sign of interest).
Send a follow-up
After giving the demo, send a message to thank the prospect for attending it. In the message include materials to help in the decision process.
Then you may be asking yourself, what next?, or how long do I wait? There is no absolute answer. But, the pricier and bigger the decision is for the prospect, the more time you have to give them.
For some companies, three days may be enough while others may need two weeks or more. It depends on the prospect’s budget size, their number of employees, their urgency to make a choice, and other factors.
If the prospect has not reached out to you themselves after a couple of weeks, then send them a follow-up message. Ask them if they would like to talk further about the partnership. If they chose a different solution then do not push for a deal. If they say that the time is not right then reach out a few months (if they expressed interest in the demo).