“Instead of having a one-way discovery conversation where you’re trying to get everything that you need and then doing a demo where you’re providing a one-way pitch, try to combine the two and have a conversation.” – Scott Ingram in today’s Tip 386
How is your demo?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. In yesterday’s tip from Pranav Hundoo, Pranav called me out for not having featured any tips related to demos on the podcast. He was right AND he did something about it by sharing his own tip, which was fantastic.
I thought I’d continue on the theme and turn this into a bit of a demo weekend and share one of my personal philosophies around demos and a strategy that used to work really well for me.
Now to be fair I haven’t really done demos the last few years as I’ve been working in the professional services space, but before that when working with Eloqua and then in the event technology space, as much as possible I did my own demos.
I always wanted to show my prospects that the solution was easy and intuitive enough for the sales guy to use because I always worried that bringing in some technical expert to run the demo just implied that it was difficult or complicated.
It also put me in a position to control everything. I didn’t have to stress so much about having a perfect mind melt with my sales engineer who may or may not take people down a path that I thought would be most relevant.
What I really want to talk about though is a process I developed called the demoscovery. This was driven by the idea that so often your potential new client just wants to see a demo. They want to get a sense of the solution, see what it’s actually about and make a determination for themselves around whether or not it might help them solve a particular problem or business issue.
Instead of doing that demo for them, we, of course, want to do a bunch of discovery. We want to try to understand their needs, their pain points, how much that gap in their business might be costing them an all of that. So instead of doing what the customer wants, we try to force them into a discovery process that for them is a time commitment that they often can’t even tell is worth it or not, because we haven’t showed them anything.
It creates friction and really goes against what the customer wants.
So I put the two together. I built a demo that was all about give and take and allowed me to run a really good discovery process while also demonstrating the solution. Now I totally get that this might not even be possible for some solutions, but where I did it most effectively was in that event technology space.
One of the primary things that my future clients wanted to see was a walkthrough of the event registration process. Both the front end and the back end. Fortunately for me, the software was easy to use and super customizable, so I built a demo event whereas we walked through that registration example I had embedded all of the things I wanted to know.
Some elements I would have pre-filled based on the research and prep I had done for the call. So at it’s most basic, I might have their name, email address, company and title pre-filled. This let me show off some of the marketing capabilities and demonstrate how we could set things up to show things that we already knew about their attendees once they clicked a registration link in an email.
From there I could talk to them all about the events they ran. How many, what type, how complex were they, how many people attended, all those kinds of things. While they’re telling me this I’m actually capturing the details inside the demo.
Then I could start asking about different functionality they might need. Would they need to manage hotel registrations, were they going to want a mobile app, all of those types of details.
This is what then drove the rest of my demo. I wouldn’t show them anything that wasn’t relevant. If they don’t need to worry about hotel registrations, then why on earth would I show that to them? If they told me a particular capability was really important I could go in more depth and also learn from them exactly why that specific capability was so important.
When I was done, and after using the option to register multiple attendees simultaneously if there were multiple people on the call. I would show them the confirmation email capabilities… Here I was able to send them that email confirmation with all of the details that I had captured through the process. It was the ultimate leave behind follow-up and it just happened in real-time. And of course, that confirmation email came from my email address and included my contact details.
Then as we transitioned into the back-end I was able to show them their own data, how it was used and what else we could do with it based on additional discussion around how they were hoping to make use of all of this information to drive sales, deliver better experiences or whatever else was important.
Now I wanted to give the specifics of this example to make it more real and show that this isn’t just some theory. Sure I had about the perfect product to run this Demoscovery process inside of, but I’ve been able to do versions of this with other solutions.
The point is this. Try to find ways that you can do your demo earlier. Turn it into a conversation. Instead of having a one-way discovery conversation where you’re trying to get everything that you need and then doing a demo where you’re providing a one-way pitch. Try to combine the two and have a conversation.
It’s a way better experience for everyone. It worked well for me, see if it works for you.
Thanks for listening and hey, if you want to share this. You can send your friends and colleagues to DailySales.Tips/386. Then, come on back tomorrow for another great sales tip!