Sales demo

How to Deliver the Perfect Sales Demo

1) Confirm the Demo

Ensure your prospect doesn't forget the demo time (allow for a window to postpone). Send a calendar invite once date and time is confirmed plus any dial-in information, and then follow up with a confirmation email (a day or few hours before). Ask if there will be additional attendance. If so, add them to the calendar invite.

2) Build and Plan Your Demo Before the Call

Use technology to make your demo more engaging. Share your screen during the call with tools like GoToMeeting and, create a personalized slide deck, and have any relevant links loaded in tabs on your browser. For example a customer case study, an informative infographic, or other web pages relevant to the demo. Prepare business statements around each tool or service you plan to show your prospects, as well as tie-down questions to ensure retention. Tie-down questions spark agreement and ensure your prospect is following along, understanding your descriptions, and grasping how these tools can help them solve their business problems.

3) Take a Human Minute (or Five)

If you start the demo with, "Hi. How are you -- fine? Great! Now, here's the agenda … let's begin the demo," you haven’t set yourself apart from other boring sales demos. Take the time to talk about things unrelated to the demo at hand. This will build up a rapport with the customer. It is important to not only build it at the beginning of the call, but continue to find ways to input it into other parts throughout the demo as well.

4) Set an Agenda

Create an agenda slide and set the expectations for the demo. Let the prospect now that there will be time at the end of the demo to ask questions as well as throughout the demo. Knowing what will happen in a call puts the prospect at ease. You want to confirm that it meets everyone’s expectations --, if other topics need addressing this is the time to address them.

5) Summarize Past Conversations

Show a slide outlining the prospect's goals, plans, challenges, and timeline (GPCT). Use this information as a springboard to jump into the meat of the demo.

6) Provide Some Background

Tell the prospect about your company. Establishing your company as a reputable, innovative potential partner of the prospect's instead of a seller-buyer relationship adds another layer of rapport. If specific things about your company align well, bring them up, and customize the conversation.

7) Give the Grand Tour

Be specific and tactful in what you show, why you show it, and what you say. Start with an overview. Explain overall why this product exists, and link it to the prospect’s needs confirmed by the GPCT. Each feature you demo should tie back into this idea of "why this product is perfect to solve your problem." Answer the question, "What unique value does your product provide me?" This is where personalization is key. If the prospect wants to improve keyword strategy then show them your keywords tool and tie it into the blogging tool to increase word rankings. Link back to the plan you helped the prospect create during earlier conversations, and ask a tie-down question to ensure everyone is on the same page.

8) Address Questions

Always, always answer questions. If it can be addressed later in the demo, give a brief answer and state that you will go into more detail later in the demo. Anticipate objections, and listen for the prospect's tone. You need to be able to pick up on their tone so you can frame your answers correctly. Pull out that extra infographic example of a customer successfully solving the same problem using the same tools. Show that others have succeeded by partnering with you.

9) Set Expectations With Next Steps

Is the prospect interested in moving this conversation forward? Let them know what is required on their end for this solution to be successful. For example, I might show a final slide that summarizes what we discussed in terms of the prospect’s commitment, skills, time, and willingness to learn, and budget and begin a closing sequence. It's so important to get the demo right. Take the time to prep, understand your prospect, and link your product back to their needs. This way, you'll have much

Niti Shah is a blog writer for Hubspot.