The B2B Sales Rep’s Guide to the Perfect Product Demo

product demoProduct demos are anxiety-inducing for even the most experienced B2B sales reps. After all, a product demo is a critical part of the sales process. Think about it, a prospect uses the demo to learn whether or not your service is right for their needs.

A stellar product demo can quickly lead to a closed deal. But, on the flip side, an underwhelming demo can lead a potential customer to look elsewhere. But, sales reps can succeed more often than not if they take the proper approach to product demos. 

Today’s blog post offers some key tips to wow your prospects in every single product demo. Keep reading!

1. Demo the product at the right time.

You should only deliver a product demo to prospects who are qualified and ready to participate in one. Sounds obvious, right? Unfortunately, many sales reps jump the gun when it comes to product demos– even if the prospect isn’t ready.

Demoing a product too early can lead to several problems. First, the prospect may not be qualified to purchase your product or service, or may be too early in their buyer’s journey to know their exact needs. And, if you haven’t spent enough time with the prospect, you won’t be able to deliver a demo that is tailored to their needs and preferences.

If a prospect requests a demo too soon, you should schedule a preliminary call instead. Then, you can use this call to ask a series of qualifying questions. For more on qualifying prospects prior to a product demo, check out the following blog post: 12 Sales Qualification Questions to Ask Prospects.

2. Build a creative sales presentation.

B2B products don’t typically lend themselves to flashy and exciting presentations. So, inject some life into your product demo by creating a visually-captivating presentation. There are plenty of tools at your disposal, including videos, infographics, interactive slides, and more.

Leverage these visual elements to grab the prospect’s attention the moment the demo begins. Just be sure not to go overboard with too many gimmicky effects –visuals should complement the content of your demo, not distract from it.

Learn more about the perfect sales presentation here: 7 Ways to Nail Your Next Sales Presentation.

3. Test and rehearse.

In today’s digital-first world, product demos are hugely reliant on technology. Technology helps you create a captivating demo– but it also leaves plenty of room for error. A malfunction or mistake can be costly if it occurs during your live demo.

So, be sure to perform a dry run of your product demo a few times prior to presenting it to a prospect. Work out any kinks you experience with the technology and familiarize yourself with the content you plan to present. Mistakes happen– but try to make them in preparation, not during the actual demo.

Check out the following article for more information about building the perfect technology stack: How to Build a Better B2B Sales Technology Stack.

4. Set an agenda for your product demo.

It’s important to manage prospect expectations ahead of your product demo. If you catch them off guard or surprise them in a negative way, you may lose the opportunity to move forward with them following the demo.

So, set a clear agenda ahead of your presentation. Give your prospect an overview of what you will discuss and show them, and the main things they’ll learn about your product and services. Explain the structure of your product demo so the prospect knows when they’ll have the opportunity to provide feedback or ask questions.

5. Personalize each product demo to the needs and wants of your prospects.

Most B2B products are complex and include a multitude of features. But, that doesn’t mean your product demo should include a breakdown of every single feature you offer.

Remember, the purpose of your demo is not to show off a product, it’s to provide value to your B2B sales prospect. Tailor each demo so it addresses that particular prospect’s problem and the ways in which your product can address it.

If a certain feature isn’t relevant to your prospect’s needs, don’t dwell on it. The prospect can learn about the intricacies of your product later on. Instead, focus on only the features and capabilities that will be of use to the prospect on the other end of the line.

6. Leverage the art of storytelling during the demo.

The information you deliver is only one piece of a successful demo –how you deliver it matters just as much, if not more. If you want your product demo to resonate with your prospect, it should be structured around a compelling story.

Use B2B storytelling to really put your prospect in the right mindset.  Paint a picture of each prospect’s pain points and how they have negatively impacted their business. Describe a hypothetical future where the prospect no longer has this problem and brings their business to new heights– and, lastly, explain how your product is the solution that can get them there.

Storytelling is an underutilized tool in sales demos, but it can accomplish the following:

Provide context:

B2B products are often highly technical and difficult to grasp on a tangible level. By casting your prospect in their own story, you allow them to view the product through their own eyes and visualize the real-world impact it can have on their business.

Elicit emotional response:

A compelling story targets the prospect’s emotions, including frustration over their problem and excitement at the thought of their problem vanishing. Your demo will become personal, rather than a collection of figures and statistics.

Make your demo memorable:

Listeners remember stories up to 22 times more often than facts and figures alone (source). Storytelling ensures that your demo will stand out in your prospect’s mind, long after you’ve finished.

7. Sustain engagement with questions.

Think of your product demo as a conversation rather than a presentation. No matter how compelling you are, the prospect will lose focus if the demo is too one-sided.

Ask frequent questions about the prospect’s needs, workflow, and preferences. You may already know the answers– but by asking questions, you’ll keep the potential customer engaged and alert—plus you’ll show them that you truly care about solving their problems.

Be sure to provide opportunities for the prospect to ask questions as well. They may need clarification about a feature you mention or want you to elaborate on a point you ran through too quickly. The prospect should never leave the demo with unanswered questions.

8. Close with a timeline of next steps.

The conclusion of your demo can make or break your ability to close a deal. First, quickly summarize everything you covered in the demo and answer any final questions. Then– and most importantly– you must outline clear next steps the prospect must take to reach the ultimate goal, closing a deal.

Provide a timeline of what the prospect can expect if they move forward with the deal. We recommend you schedule a follow-up at the end of the demo. That way, the next step is already penciled into the prospect’s calendar before they leave.

Key Takeaways About Successful Product Demos

Delivering a successful product demo is no easy task. But as you gain experience and grow more comfortable, you will soon approach a product demo as an exciting opportunity rather than a daunting challenge.

Remember to nail your preparation, offer a compelling presentation, and always put the prospect ahead of the product. Follow these tips, and you will be on your way to mastering the art of the product demo!

For more information about the ZoomInfo contact database, reach out to our sales team today. We can help you close more deals and exceed your revenue targets! What are you waiting for?