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5 Elements of a Killer Sales Demo

October 25th, 2018


Content Team


Sales Forecasting



Estimated Time

16 Min

[ This article is inspired by the commentary from a thread composed by members of the Modern Sales Pros community — an exclusive, invite-only, group of sales operations, enablement, management, and leadership experts. We are sponsoring membership for any of our readers who want to join the community — apply for community membership here and put us “MoData” down as your sponsor. ]

An amazing demo is arguably one of the most important parts of your sales process. It’s the critical point of contact where you finally have your prospect’s full attention and its time to show them why they can benefit from your product or service. But what are the best techniques for making a killer demo? With so many different unique products and customer bases, there are literally endless possibilities. But consistent in essentially every effective demo there are 4 basic elements that are always present.  


1. Tell a story

It’s pure proven psychology that information transferred in a storytelling format ignites more of the brain than simply stated facts. If you want to captivate your prospect then you must think about what story you are telling during your demo. It could be a story around what has changed in the market, a story about someone experiencing an issue and finding a solution or even a story about how the company came to be. What you need to focus on here is that story-telling is a METHOD of communication and you must find a way to utilize it during your demo.


2. Make it a conversation, not a pitch

Engagement runs on a two-way street. If you bring someone in, ask them some questions about their goals and business for a few minutes, and then proceed to pitch at them for 15 minutes it’s guaranteed you will have greatly lowered their level of attentiveness and absorption. An outstanding demo is filled with back and forth conversation, discussion, thoughts, and communication on both sides. When a prospect is actively engaged in helping drive the exploration, providing thoughts and past experiences or ideas, they are significantly more likely to feel confident in the solution and maintain interest after the demo is over. If more than 2-4 minutes pass without your prospect saying anything, then its time for you to stop your pitch and let them talk. You can even frame it at the beginning of the call that you want it to be more of an open discussion between you so they have the expectations that you want to hear what they have to say along the way. After all, a demo is all about how you can help THEM, it only makes sense that they should have a huge role in the discussion.  


3. Explain benefits not features with practical use cases

Something that is often lost, even when you try to plan otherwise, is focusing on the benefits over features specifically in the context of real-life use cases. Explaining a feature and then wrapping it up with “This will lower the time you spend on X by Y%” is enough to qualify as describing the benefit. While yes, that is technically a benefit, it’s not framed by any sort of context or story-telling as mentioned earlier. Instead, try to paint the picture of how the benefit will affect the rest of their day, what possibilities it opens up, or how the change has affected other customers in both their immediate and long-term.


4. Don’t assume they have no knowledge

Last but certainly not least, never make the mistake of assuming you need to start over from ground zero during your demo. Always make sure you get a feel for the level of knowledge they have and continue to ask questions to help you shape the conversation. An example of this would be a display ad company taking 5-10 minutes to explain why you need display-ads. 9 times out of 10 they know why they need display ads, otherwise, they wouldn’t be talking to you in the first place. With the extreme access to information, buyers have in today’s world, it’s unlikely that you are bringing something so different to the table that they need to understand what you are even talking about. Most likely they will tune out right at the start at it will be difficult to ever recover they full attention. Instead, show them respect by assuming they have a basic understanding of why you exist and replace that time with how you are different from your competitors.  


5. Data methodology

To top it all off, I wanted to mention the importance of data during this process as well. The numbers will always be able to guide you if you commit to using them as your guiding star consistently. Compare the performance of your demos specifically within the demo deal stage and look for the variance. If someone stands out as having more success than others, pay close attention to how they execute. As you try different techniques, keep careful track of their performance so that you can compare the results. Additionally, invest in some analytical tools supplement the analyzing process of your demo. The chorus for example will help you see the breakdown of how often each side is speaking and will provide transcripts of the calls with key buzzwords that prospects mention the most. MoData also offers free rep comparison reports across deal stages so that you can easily track your progress on conversion side.


Delivering a killer demo really comes down to engagement, connection with your prospect, and utilizing a data-centered approach to guide your development. There are various communication techniques that can be applied which fall under these larger methods, so find what fits your personal style, but the basics listed here are the foundation of your killer demo. Good luck!

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