5 ways to make your product demos successful
Everyone of us have to navigate through the three stages of the sales funnel – Top, Middle, Bottom. Getting a prospect at the top of the funnel is very tough. There is a lot of struggle done through multiple inbound and outbound channels to get the prospect in. You will have to convince them by showing a demonstration of the product at the top of the funnel – first meeting. Sometimes, the demonstrations are also shown in the middle of the funnel. However, this could be with a few key members of the Decision-Making Unit.
When we analyze the sales pipe, we find that the demo to proposal ratio is going down. We are surprised. This is because the demo went well. The prospective buyers listened to the entire demo without uttering a word. They nodded their head in positive and said that they will get back to us. However, when we began following up, they did not respond and you never heard from them again.
Experience shows that this happens because of your extensive focus on yourself! Your company, your product, your capabilities to name a few. You totally ignored the buyers’ point of view. They were dazzled by your presentation and kept nodding their heads. But they never got to understand how your solution will help them reach their business goals. So, they decided to go to another vendor they understood better – someone they could connect better.
What should you do in the demos? Here are five tips that we gained by talking to a few experts.
- Be Flexible
A demo is not a combination of hard-wired slides/ screenshots/ click throughs and dialogues that need to be told to the client. The demo should not be treated like it is a set of learning modules that need to be taught to the prospect. Yes, it is good to have a structure to present. However, we need to have sets of mini structures that will help us to modify the script and the direction of the demo as we move on.
- Analyze your buyers need
Your buyers are not buying your product or your solution because of the technology platform or the awards. They are fundamentally buying the solution because they have a business problem that they are unable to solve. They are struggling to reach their business goals. They see one feature / attribute in your solution and will buy your product because this feature will solve their pain points. So, it is very important that you ask questions either at the beginning of the presentation or as you progress with the demo. This will help you set the context and be meaningful when you would do the demonstration.
- Have multiple use cases ready
There are many times we felt a little awkward when the buyer asked us a set of use cases that we did not have in the demo or in the slides. We had to excuse ourselves and tell them that we will email the information to them. Think deeply on how the customer will visualize their pain points and what sort of questions they will ask you. Prepare use cases accordingly. You will not get this in the first demonstration. You will need to evolve with multiple presentations based on the questions asked in the earlier one. This way, you would have built a great repository of use cases and can tackle any questions.
- Understand the audience present
Now that you have understood how to handle any questions, you will have to figure out who is available in the audience. This is because, there will be a combination of a variety of buyers that include the user, technology and finance teams. Each one of them will look at the same problem or the same solution from their point of view. You will have to first get a quick intro of who they are and then begin covering all the features of your product. You will have to articulate it in multiple ways so that all the team members understand how your solution can solve the problems.
- Go for the next steps gradually
Yes, the demo is over. The buyers are happy. However, this is not the end all situation. You should not go in for the close and ask when you can get the go ahead. You will have to continue probing and find out what the next steps from their end will be. Will they be talking to other decision makers, do they have any questions in the product, do they feel that your product cannot address any of their business pain points etc. This will help you to determine where you are at this stage with the potential buyer and can plan for your next step with them.
Treat this demo as a way to communicate and to engage with your buyer contextually. Do not treat this opportunity to flaunt your capabilities and feel good about it. You will be better off if you can talk to the potential buyer on what their pain points are then show only those features that are meaningful to them.