Your sales process is one of the crucial moving parts of your business. It can make or break your company’s growth – no matter how good your products and services are.
In today’s competitive online marketplace, the traditional sales demonstration isn’t as effective as it used to be. This is why many software companies rely on sales demos to showcase exactly what their product can do – and how it’s better (or different) from the competition.
The modern sales process is driven not by hard selling, but by providing great customer experiences. To survive and grow, companies need to adapt their business strategies and embrace technology to serve the evolving needs of their customers. If you sell software products, the difference between closing a deal and losing a prospect to the competition can come down to the success of your sales demos.
Customers these days expect interactive sales demo environments that are highly personalized, and speak to their specific use cases. The more you can match your product to a prospect’s specific needs so that they can realize its value – the easier it will be to get them to take the final steps to become a customer.
If you’re the kind of person who needs 15 cups of coffee before going into a sales demo, these tips can help you develop a seamless, effective framework for delivering demos that are useful, engaging, and dare we say it – fun – for your potential customers.
Before you head into any sales demo, your prospect should be qualified as a good lead already. But you’ll still need to do a little homework before you do your demo.
Take a look through their website and familiarize yourself with what they sell, who their founders and leaders are, who the competition is in their industry, and any recent news such as funding, partnerships, or acquisitions. This can help give you a good sense of a company’s level of maturity, and what its growth needs and goals might be.
You should also be attentive to what kind of language your prospect speaks. Look at past emails, conversations, and any dialogue you’ve had with them. Do you notice them using industry terms, jargon, or anything that seems important within their company or industry?
You can use these terms and acronyms on your demo to build familiarity. Just remember not to overdo it, or it will sound like you’re trying a bit too hard.
Being prepared and having a good overview of your prospect’s company will help you ask more relevant questions on your demo call. Showing that you’ve put effort into understanding what they might be looking for will warm your potential customers up to talking more openly, and potentially working with you.
To avoid the boring traditional sales spiel of a lengthy list of product features, it’s best to adopt the strategy of asking targeted questions, and then letting your prospect do the talking.
Whether you do some initial discovery with a prospect before the sales demo, or you jump right in there and give your demo on the fly – it’s important to ask the right questions so you can deliver relevant information for every prospect.
It’s helpful to have a script of questions to ask – but this can often end up sounding boring and robotic if you’re on a call – more like you’re checking off boxes than trying to understand and solve your prospect’s problems.
If you do need a script – make sure you use it to guide your call, rather than using it as a crutch. And make sure to ask open-ended questions that need more than a “yes” or “no” as a response.
Useful questions to ask that can help you get to the heart of your prospects’ struggles might include:
With each answer that your prospect gives you – you can show them the exact way that your product can address their challenges and pain points, and help them reach their goals.
This can enable you to create a demo blueprint that’s laser targeted to match your prospect’s use cases and goals. The more specific you can get on your sales demo, the more you’ll be able to direct the demo and move potential customers towards a trial or purchase.
Too many sales demos focus on specific features. Yes, your prospects are interested in those features. And yes, those features may help them solve a specific problem.
But guess what? You need to start with the big picture. Make it clear what big problem exists in the industry, and show how your product is capable of solving that problem. This approach will demonstrate your expertise, build trust, and reduce any anxiety or objections that your prospect might feel.
Once you show a prospect that you understand their industry, the overall challenges they face, and any other nuances that are important—you can transition to explaining more specific product features.
You may even find that your prospect divulges some more of their key problems to you as you explain the industry. This gives you a great opportunity to showcase your software’s unique selling proposition and to demonstrate that you understand the struggles your prospect is facing. This will ultimately lead to a more successful sales demo, as well as potential closing.
Key decision-makers get pitched by sales teams all the time. So you can be sure they’ve heard every clichéd sales promise in the book. Whether it’s competing on price, features, or something else—you need a way to stand out. And as we mentioned above – you can do this by providing an exceptional customer experience.
Personalization is taking over every industry. From eCommerce to software demos, everyone expects a custom-tailored experience. If you can’t deliver this, you’re already behind the curve.
Interactive demo software is a great way to stand out from your competition. It’s also one of the biggest advantages that CloudShare offers, and a solution that our clients love.
An interactive demo allows you to make any sales demo a personalized and memorable experience for potential customers. Here’s why this is important:
Hands-on interaction is the core of what makes CloudShare such an effective tool for creating sales demo environments. Our software allows you to create customized sales environments that cater to the exact problems your prospects face.
The biggest mistake you can make in your sales demos is focusing on price. Although talking about budget is helpful to gauge how invested a prospect might be in your solution at the present time – putting too much emphasis on the price can quickly derail your demo.
Price is subjective when it lacks context. A specific number does very little to showcase the value your software provides. Instead, it makes a prospect anxious as they start thinking about costs. And in the case of SaaS products, those costs can be significant and ongoing.
A better approach is to focus on the value your product creates. If a potential client is suffering from a specific problem that is increasing their costs, try showing how your software can eliminate that particular hurdle for them.
If current systems are taking up too much team time – show them how your product can save them hours every day – and let them imagine the possibilities for their business if they could reclaim that time (using your product, of course!)
By positioning your product as delivering relevant and exceptional value in this way, a prospect will see why your software is useful. They’ll see that it solves actual problems they are experiencing, and what life and business might be like without those problems.
Anything they can use to improve productivity, as well as eliminate pain points and friction they are experiencing, is seen as a win in their eyes. And that makes your solution something that’s worth investing in.
We hope these software sales demo tips help you to create more effective sales demos for your company.
To grow and succeed in a competitive online market, you need to show a prospect that you understand their needs, focus on providing value, and give them an exceptional demo experience with interactive sales software.
Need help creating interactive demos for your company? CloudShare is the ideal solution for software companies that want to enhance their product demos, validate virtual POCs, and provide training for customers anywhere in the world.
See the difference interactive sales demo software can make to your revenue. Get in touch with a member of the CloudShare team.
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This post was originally published on November 2019 and updated September 07, 2022.