How to train your salespeople to give better demos
Break up the monologues
A great demo gets a buyer eager to get their hands on your product and emotionally invested in going to bat for you with their boss. Unfortunately, most demos do the complete opposite, overwhelming buyers with too much information that leaves them confused and forces them to evaluate you solely on your price.
The reason? Monologues. Monologues are the death of demos.
When salespeople monologue, buyers disengage. Yes, they might nod from time to time. Yes, they might answer affirmatively when asked, “does that make sense?”. But engaged they are not.
It’s incredibly easy and common for salespeople to fall in the trap of monologuing during a demo because it feels comfortable to talk about something familiar (your product), which makes you feel in control of the conversation. In fact, the more you monologue, the more in control you feel—even though you are actually losing control of the buying process.
The key to overcoming this is to break up the monologues and keep your buyer engaged. Here’s how.
Identify your customer’s pain points
This does not mean every pain point you think your product solves. It means the pain points that are top of mind for your buyers and that they care about. For a refresher on how to do this, check out How to get your buyers to tell you exactly what you need to close a deal.
Tie your demo directly to their pain points
This means demoing only the areas of your product that address their pain points. And. Nothing. Else. Not even the shiniest of shiny features that your product team just spent months shipping. If its not relevant to your customer’s pain points, telling them about it will just confuse them and cause them to disengage.
Split your demo into sections
If you try to cover all the pain points in one go, you will end up monologuing and run the risk of your buyer not understanding something, getting frustrated and disengaged. Instead, split into sections; one section for each pain point.
Start each section with a recap of the pain point
Remember how confused you were the first time you sat through a demo of your own product as a new hire? That’s how your buyer will feel if you aren’t careful. When you start by restating the pain point, it gives the buyer context for what you are about to show them..
For example, “You mentioned reporting is a massive time suck in your current setup. Let me show you how simple it is in our product.”.
Tell a pocket story to bring the product to life
No matter how slick your demo is, it’s often hard for your buyer to join the dots between what they are seeing on the screen and the impact they’ll get from using it themselves. The way to bridge this is through telling a pocket story about another customer who had the same pain point and solved it by switching over to your product. Pocket stories aren’t full blown case studies. They’re much simpler.
For example, “Our customer Arnie at Acme had the same problem as you in getting data out of the product you are currently using. He was spending several hours a week preparing reports for his boss. After switching over he reduced that down to a few minutes. In fact these days he just sends his boss a link to view the report directly in our product and uses the extra hours to work on other projects for his boss.”
End each section with two questions
Asking questions during a demo is the only way to keep a buyer engaged. Do not ask, “does that make sense?”. Very few people will admit if something doesn’t make sense because they are either afraid of looking dumb or afraid of being perceived as rude. Instead, ask these two questions.
“Can you see yourself using the product to accomplish the task (e.g. reporting)?” If they can’t see themselves using the product, they aren’t going to buy it. If they say “No” or “I’m not sure”, you can immediately ask why.
“Is there anything you’ve seen so far that would stop you from using the product?” While this feels redundant to ask, it’s the only way to surface any hidden objections. After all, if they ain’t objecting, you ain’t selling.
If you follow this outline, you’ll not only break up the monologue and engage your buyers, your demos will be shorter, leaving you more time to discuss how to help your buyer go to bat for you with their boss and help you win their business.
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