Your knees are weak, palms are sweaty. Vom… that’s enough of that.

You’ve got a sales demo and you don’t know what to do.

Sure, it happens. A sales demonstration is a daunting prospect for anyone.

Luckily, we know all about them. We’ve covered the whole process from what it is to how to do it.

What is a demo?

A sales demonstration, or sales demo for short, is the action of presenting a product or service to a prospective customer. Generally sales demonstrations are conducted by a member of the sales or customer success teams, who showcase the benefits, features, and prospect-fit of a product or service. The goal of a sales demo is to persuade a lead to buy a product or service.

When do we conduct a sales demo?

A sales demo is conducted at the presentation’ stage of a sales process after a lead has been successfully nurtured.There are some tell-tale signs that a lead has been successfully nurtured. Maybe they’re completed a mini-conversion like signing up for your newsletter; they’ve contacted your sales team asking a question, or they’ve specifically requested a consultation.

Where do we conduct a sales demo?

In the free-love wielding 90’s, sales demos were almost exclusively held face-to-face. These days everything is more complicated. There are a number of different channels to conduct a sales demo, such as phone, email, video chat, or a much less personal recorded video presentation.

How long is a sales demo?

Generally speaking, a sales demo should be no shorter than 20 minutes, and no longer than an hour. For the NetHunt sales team, a typical sales demo example looks a little something like this…

Sales Demo Srtucture Example

What is the difference between a sales demo and a product demo?

There is a difference between a sales demo and a product demo, but only a slight one. They both involve showcasing a product or service, but a product demo is held with an existing customer. As previously mentioned, a sales demo is held with the aim of selling a product to a prospect or lead.

A product demo aims to show customers how to use a product. Still, the process is very similar.

How to deliver a sales demo.

Disclaimer: there are 10 steps in this sales demo process example. I understand this sounds like a lot. But, once you get your sales demo routine down to a tee it becomes second nature. This definitive guide covers all aspects of a sales demo, explains how we build up to a sales demo, what happens during the demo, and the steps that should always follow when sales demoing.

Oh, and there are a few useful sales demo tools thrown in there for good measure.

What to do before a sales demo.

1. Secure the sales demo

This isn’t necessarily how to do a sales demo, but what’s the point in learning how to sales demo if you haven’t got the nurtured leads in your pipeline to demo to? Your business needs a solid lead nurturing campaign which keeps you fresh in your prospects mind. Have you tried drip campaigns?

2. Research your sales demo prospect

Going into a sales demo without prior research on your prospect is an awful idea. You need to customise a sales demo to fit the prospect’s specific needs and show that you understand their situation. Without prior research and subsequent personalisation of your demo, don’t expect much.

LinkedIn should be your first port of call when researching a professional individual or company. To build an impressive sales demo, you need to specifically look into five different aspects of their business. These aspects will help you shape your demo, speak their language, and hone in on a deal.

  • Role of the individual whom you are engaging with.
  • The sphere of their businesses and their competitors.
  • Their strategic objectives.
  • Challenges and hurdles they might face.Consequences of them not buying your product or service.

3. Plan and design your sales demo

Nobody wants to listen to you talking for an hour straight. That’s boring, and even more so that’s not effective. You need some visual cues to back up what you’re saying and, let’s be honest here, to help you remember what comes next. A good slideshow is an essential part of your sales demo.

Include screengrabs, illustrations, pictures, and whatever else that’ll clarify exactly what your product is. Give them answers to questions before they get the chance to ask them. Identify their problems and serve up some solutions. Exemplar exactly how particular problem-solving features work.

“Canva is like Powerpoint, but way easier to make something cool. First, you choose a format of presentation. Then, you choose a template style and colour scheme. The rest is up to you to brand it any which way you want. There are guidelines to help you understand that everything is in line and measured up correctly; there’s a massive library of free stock images. The best thing? Canva is free!”

- Olga Schastna delivers sales demonstrations for Apex Education

What to do during a sales demo.

4. Break the sales demo ice

“Right, let’s get this demo started…” is a bad way to get the sales demo started. As painful as it is, small talk and chit chat is a big part of any salesperson’s job. Find some common ground outside of work: weather, sport, television, the price of fish... anything. After all, you’ve done your homework.

Be yourself. But if yourself isn’t such an interesting person, try these convo-starters for size…

  • How long have you lived in [city]? How do you like it?
  • How long have you been in your current role?
  • I already know [this about your business], can you tell me a bit more?

If all else fails, a simple ‘so, how’s your day going?’ very rarely does.

5. Set the sales demo agenda

Don’t forget to include an agenda slide in your presentation. Notify your lead whenever you’ve moved onto another section of the agenda and open the floor to questions about the previous section. Structure is important; you look professional and it helps your prospect understand where you’re at.

6. Refer to previous conversations

The best way to neatly summarise previous conversations is by outlining the prospect's goals, plans, challenges, and timeline (GPCT). Include it as part of your sales demo slideshow presentation. This gives you an extra edge of professionalism, puts prospects at ease, and sets the scene for your pitch.

“Okay, so you’re looking to achieve [this], by doing [this]. You’re looking to do it by [when], but you’ve got to overcome [this]. Does that sound about right?”

But with all those prospects and sales demonstrations booked in, it can be hard to know where you’re up to. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) organises your business data into neat and tidy deal records. In these records, you'll find multi-channel interaction history for each individual client. After that, there are a bunch of automation features, like lead generation, drip campaigns, and alerts and notifications. The list goes on.There’s a 14 day free trial waiting for you, so why not give it a go?

7. Provide background

Most of the sales demo battle is fought with you trying to attach some legitimacy to your product, service, and overall business. Gaining the trust of the prospect is a critical component of closing any deal. Introduce yourself and who you are, and take a little time to tell the short version of your story.

Storytelling is a narrative to connect your brand to its customers, with a focus on linking what you stand for, to the values you share with them. Stories add value to a product, they build trust, and offer a closer connection to customers. Find out more about the different aspects of a good brand story.

8. Explain your product or service

You can’t believe it took eight steps to get here, right? It’s time for the meaty part of your sales demo.

Start with a general overview of your product, when it was released, how many people you serve, and just generally what it is. Afterwards, bring in a few wow factors and unique value your product offers. These wow factors need to be connected to particular features that your prospect is interested in. I’ve no shame in repeating myself: a personalised sales demonstration is essential to sealing the deal.

Going further, here are some sales demo best practices for explaining your product or service...

Sales Demo Best Practices

9. Open the floor to questions

A sales demo Q+A is the first time you’ll understand whether you’ve done a good sales demo or not. A customer should always have questions or follow-up remarks about your pitch and product. Answer questions as an expert and answer them for as long as it takes. Be nice… even if it’s a stupid question.

My best tip here would be to listen to their tone and watch their facial expressions to give yourself the best idea of what you need to do going forward. Print an invoice or smooth talk even more? You should be able to get a grasp for what’s going to happen in the coming days, weeks, or months.

After a sales demo

10. Follow up with your prospect

If your sales demo is held in person, don’t forget to give your prospect a business card. If it’s a cyber-demo, just make sure they’ve got your email address and you have theirs. Set a reminder for yourself so you follow up with the prospect a few days after the sales demo. Don’t forget to follow up.

Your prospect is likely to have additional questions. A sales demo follow-up gives you the opportunity to answer them and reinforce any selling points. Both phone and email works; if one fails, just try the other! We’d recommend waiting 2 - 3 days before following up with a client. Good luck!

Wanna see a real sales demo? Book one in with our customer success team. We’ll show you the sales demo best practices, sales demonstration techniques, and teach you how to use NetHunt CRM to secure and carry out your sales demos!

Deep breath and most importantly, don’t forget to smile!

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