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Product Demos
9 min read

Live Demo Playbook: 6-Point Checklist to Deliver DEAL-WINNING Demos

Live Demo Playbook: 6-Point Checklist to Deliver DEAL-WINNING Live Demos
What you'll learn in the live demo playbook
When you should use the live demo playbook

Plenty of veteran sales reps aren’t able to grab prospects’ attention and keep them on the edge of their seats during a live demo. 

That’s because all it takes is a single slip up or one too many feature drops and your prospects will be spacing out before you can even say “efficiency” (or any other buzz word).  

However, if you can nail your live demo, you stand to put yourself in the fast lane to closed won territory. 

Follow these best practices to deliver live sales demos that’ll convince your prospects to sign on the dotted line: 

1. Kick things off with a bang

You know that your demo has gone awry if within the first two minutes, the prospect is asking themselves, “Why am I here?”

One of the most common mistakes sales pros make during live demos is not starting with the most relevant value for the specific prospect you’re presenting to. 

In fact, according to Attention Span, people can only pay attention to one screen for an average of 47 seconds. 

That’s why it’s essential to get straight to the point and showcase the biggest reason your product will be life-changing for the prospect right at the beginning of the demo. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that they’ll zone out and start thinking about what they want to eat for lunch. 

Here’s how you do it: 

1. To make sure you’re able to kick things off with a bang, refer back to everything you learned about the prospect during the discovery call

2. Ask yourself: What is their role at the company? What do they experience in that role? What are their current frustrations? What would eliminate those frustrations? Are they involved in the decision making process? How motivated are they to solve the issues they’re facing?

3. Based on all of this information, identify which part of your product will be the most valuable for those specific needs.   

4. Once you showcase the richest part of the product, pick only a few other features that could be relevant to your prospect and present them. 

Example of a highly-effective live demo opener:

Seller: If I’m not mistaken, it sounds like resolving [X pain point] is your main priority going into the next quarter. Did I get that right? 

Prospect: You betcha!

Seller: So, let me break down how our product can address that challenge. 

2. Forget features and focus on value

Don’t fall into the all too common feature dropping trap. 

While we know it’s tempting to list every single thing your product can do, you must resist the urge!

Rather than talking about tons of different features, focus on only a few that will be relevant for your prospect’s needs and zero in on the value they stand to gain from using them. 

Here’s how you do it: 

1. Identify a maximum of three features that will be relevant to your prospect’s specific needs. 

2. For each feature, outline what the prospect stands to gain by using it. This can be anything from saving the prospect time or money to boosting their efficiency in some way or another. 

3. Quickly demonstrate how to use that specific feature. 

Example of a value-focused pitch:

Seller: With [X product feature], you’ll be able to [primary benefit from X product feature]. And this will help you tackle [prospect’s main pain point], which you mentioned was a key focus for your team going into the next quarter. 

Now, let’s go over how exactly you use this feature. 

3. Personalize the demo 

Another common live demo mistake? Using the same generic demo for each and every prospect you encounter. 

These days, buyers expect more from the sales process, including understanding why they specifically should care about your product and why using it will make THEIR lives better.

That’s why you need to tailor your live demo to demonstrate how it will address their unique challenges and pain points.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Create multiple demo templates that you can customize to show specific product flows or use cases. 

2. You can further personalize your live demo to cater to different personas, industries, and parts of the sales cycle.

3. Don’t forget to personalize your demo with your prospect’s name, company logo, and other brand elements.


Seller: Given the fact that you are in [X industry] and that you mentioned it’s a priority for you to find a solution for [X use case], [X product feature] is going to help you address [prospect’s main pain point]. 

Let’s take a closer look at how it works.   

4. Engage prospects throughout the demo 

Don’t wait until the end of the demo to ask your prospect questions and check if what you presented resonated with them. 

It’s important to not only grab their attention at the very beginning, but also throughout the entire demo. 

This will help ensure that their focus remains on your pitch. On top of this, you can be sure that what you are showcasing is really relevant to their needs and that you’re not skipping over anything. 

Here’s how you do it: 

1. Call your prospect by their first name. This will help ensure that they don’t doze off or start daydreaming halfway through your demo. 

2. Consistently check in with them throughout the demo so that they stay engaged and interested in what you have to say. 

3. Make your presentation more of a discussion and ask your prospect questions.

Example of actively checking in with  prospects during live demos:

Seller: Is it clear how this feature would address [prospect’s main business challenge], Fred? 

Prospect Fred: Yes siree! 

Seller: And Fred, is there any other part of our product that you’re interested in but that we didn’t cover yet?

5. Prepare for any concerns or objections that may come up

Even if your demo goes perfectly, there’s a good chance that your prospect is going to have some questions or concerns. 

That’s why it’s a good idea to have short demos ready to go so that you can use them to handle objections that may come up along the way. 

This makes it easier to address any questions or concerns that the prospect raised, reduce unnecessary back and forth, and expedite the decision making process.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Define the demo goal, or which specific objection this demo is going to tackle. 

2. Keep the length of the demo to around 2-3 minutes. It should be tailored based on the question or concern raised by the prospect. Skip generic areas like sign up, inviting people, etc. We recommend capturing no more than 5-6 screens.

3. If you’re using a demo platform (cough, cough like Walnut), enable the Comments feature to encourage prospects to let you know if they still have any questions or objections. 

Example of objection handling during a live demo:

Seller: I understand how that can be a real issue. Some of our customers had [X problem] in the past as well and I know how annoying it can be. 

Let me show you a quick demo that showcases how [X product feature] addresses the problem you just mentioned.

Prospect: Oh great!

Seller: Fred, are there any other questions you have or is there anything else that is causing you to hesitate when it comes to our product?

6. Send a leave-behind demo with your follow-up email 

Even if you nailed your live demo, your job isn’t over yet. 

It’s a good idea to send a short demo in your follow-up email to the prospect to help you expedite the decision making process and drive conversions to the next step in the sales process. 

On top of this, there usually isn’t just one stakeholder that’s involved in the decision making process that you’ll need to convince. 

In fact, according to Gartner, there are an average of 6-10 decision-makers involved in complex SaaS deals. 

So, if you send a demo in your follow-up communications, your champion can pass it along to any other stakeholder that needs to see it.  

Here’s how you do it:

1.  Define the demo goal, which is to create a demo that can be sent after the call.

2. Keep the length of the demo to around 2-3 minutes. It should be tailored based on your conversation during the call. Skip generic areas like sign up, inviting people, etc. We recommend capturing no more than 5-6 screens.

3. We also recommend building a narrative that is less focused on “how to” and more on the main points that were discussed during the demo. 

4. Enable the Comments feature to encourage prospects to let you know if they still have any questions or objections.

5. When you send your follow-up email to the prospect, give clear guidance on what you’d like them to do with the demo and what the next steps are.

Example of a demo follow-up email

Subject line: We really enjoyed our conversation with you! Here are the next steps.

Hey Fred!

Thank you for your time yesterday and for sharing your challenge with [X and Y]. We hope the demo showed you how our product will help you address those challenges.

Based on our discussion, here are the ways [product name] meets your requirements:

Problem / Solution #1

Problem / Solution #2

In case you wanted to review the demo again or share it with anyone else on your team, I have attached it to this email. 

Given the goals and workflows you already described, I can set up custom onboarding tips so everyone can discover features that would be useful for their work right away. I’ll get started drafting the proposal and will send it by [date].

When can we get started?


Your favorite sales rep 

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