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

Demos are a foundational sales process for many organizations. They are prevalent in B2B businesses that often have higher fees and complex contracts; however, B2C businesses can certainly increase revenue by using demos. There are several types of demos, all of which aim to give potential customers more information about what your company offers. 

The two most common types are sales demos and product demos, but there are certainly other types of demos to explore. What’s the difference between a sales demo, product demos, and other types? Keep reading to learn how they vary and how they help close sales in different ways.

Sales Demo vs. Product Demo: How Are They Different? 

Most demos fall into one of these two categories, with each having a varying focus, audience, and presentation. Let’s break down how these similar yet different demos help move customers through the buying process.

Sales Demo

A sales demo aims to persuade the potential customer to make a purchase. These demos focus largely on the unique value proposition of the SaaS platform, product, or service. 

Audiences for sales demos are usually decision-makers, which might include procurement specialists, managers, or executives. Tailoring demos to the specific lead can help increase the effectiveness of these demos. For example, the salesperson might use different sales demo environments based on the lead’s specific needs.

Persuasion is the cornerstone element of these demos. Going over possible return on investments, competitor comparisons, or showcasing specific use cases are common tactics to help close the sale.

Product Demo

Product demos can still have some elements from sales demos, but the focus is on imparting information about the product itself. The primary goal of these demos is to educate the lead about the product’s features, capabilities, and utility. Additionally, there is usually a stronger focus on the technical aspects of the product, especially for SaaS platforms.  

The audience of a product demo won’t always be decision-makers but might be developers or engineers. Product demos can also be for the general public, such as revealing a new product or service.


What Are Other Types of Demos?

Sales and product demos are the two most common demos businesses frequently conduct when moving leads throughout the customer journey. However, there are certainly other variations to product and sales demos that are also useful. Let’s review other types of demos to demonstrate and how they help attract new customers.

Automated Sales Demo

Sales demo tools have led to automated demos that can be made available on-demand to help further qualify leads as they make purchase decisions. Automated sales demos can be viewed without a presenter, letting potential customers learn more without waiting for a traditional demo. 

These demos are useful for more straightforward products or services that can be more easily explained for a wide audience. Alternatively, they can be excellent pre-qualification tools before moving on to a traditional sales demo.

Interactive Product Demo

Interactive product demos give viewers hands-on experience with the product or service. These types of product demos are common with SaaS platforms as they allow users to move through the platform to see how it might meet their specific needs.

An interactive demo can be used in conjunction with traditional product demos or made available on-demand. There isn’t necessarily a need for a presenter, but for more complex products or services, it may be a detriment to make them available without guidance. You’ll need to explore different options to understand how to integrate interactive product demos with your service best.

Virtual Product Demo

This type of demo has plenty of similarities to traditional and interactive demos but leverages other technologies to create a more immersive experience. Virtual product demos are typically used to give customers a better understanding of physical products by using augmented reality (AR) to showcase the product in a real environment by using smartphone cameras.

For example, B2C products often use virtual demos to let customers remotely ‘try on’ clothes or accessories or see how a couch may look in their living room. Additionally, digital products that will exist in a virtual environment use these demos to help customers make a more informed purchase decision.