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SaaS Q&A: How can I give a better product demo?

When designing a product demo, it’s easy to think “the more, the better.” The more features, use cases, and information you share, the more captivating for a potential buyer, right? Not really. Here are some best practices for executing a focused, effective product demo.

The quest for a rock-solid product demo is common to most companies, young and old, SMB and enterprise. There are standard best practices that are often overlooked or misunderstood, though, which you should implement to build a strong foundation for the product demo and eventual sales pitch.

Qualify your product demos.

A qualified demo meets the following three criteria:

  • The prospect is aware of the problems they’re facing.
  • The prospect is seeking a solution to the problem.
  • They are starting to see your company as a potential solution.

Only once you’ve confirmed they have a need for your product can you create a sense of urgency and interest for them to purchase it. Qualifying your demos makes sure a real sales opportunity exists, and as a result it saves you from wasting time on unlikely prospects.

Understand your product demos.

You need to know exactly the problem the prospect is trying to solve. Ask questions ahead of time, or at the very beginning of the demo, to understand their business and their pain points. Then you can proceed strategically, focused on demonstrating how your product provides that specific solution.

Keep it short.

Less than 15 minutes. Any longer and you would lose their attention anyway. And at least this way you show that you respect their time.

Also: don’t forget to set aside a bit of time before the call or meeting to prepare, so that you are in top form.

Focus on benefits, not features.

Prospects care about how your product will change their workflow, their revenue, their company. That’s the value of benefits. They don’t think in terms of features. It’s your job to translate features into benefits that are valuable specifically to their business.

“Demos are not about your product. Not about showing off your product’s capabilities.” – Dave Brock

Ask them questions.

And ask them throughout the product demo. Sprinkle them through your presentation to keep them engaged. Even if it’s just, “Do you have any questions?” or “Does this all makes sense?” or “Would you like to see how this works?” Of course you want to build in time for the prospect’s Q&A to you, but often people forget that questions can (and should) go two ways.

Plus, you learn a lot from asking the prospect questions. Steli Efti even recommends flipping a prospect’s question back around onto them. For example, if a prospect asks how they would do a specific task using your product — don’t just tell them how they would do it. Ask them how they’d prefer to do that task. Then, armed with that answer, proceed strategically and demo something that would appeal to them.

Flipping questions is a great way to learn more about the underlying motives and reasons for why a prospect wants things a certain way.” – Steli Efti

End with a goal.

Sale > Trial > Feedback

Don’t just thank the prospect for their time. Go all the way to the sale. That’s the ultimate goal, after all. And if the sale doesn’t go through, there are still other tiered goals you can aim for. If not a sale, then a trial sign-up. If the customer doesn’t even want a trial of your product, then you should leave the conversation with precise feedback on why not. This could be invaluable insight into the product and also the product demo itself.

Of course, as many people have said, not much can beat practice, practice, practice.


This answer was originally published on Quora. View the original thread here: How can I give better SaaS product demos?

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