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9 min read

The Top 10 Sales Demo Best Practices Based on Science

The Top 10 Sales Demo Best Practices Based on Science

We hope you’re all packed because we’re about to embark on a journey that will quite literally make or break your sales game – the journey that is creating and delivering the perfect sales demo.

The market is changing and buyer needs are evolving fast. They want better, more personalized service from their sales reps, and expect much more from the buying process than in the past. 

So, even though you’ve got an amazing product or service that’s destined to change lives, if you can’t showcase it in a way that makes your audience go “Wow!”, you might as well be singing a catchy jingle in an empty room. 

And we wouldn’t want that.

So we did the research and we want to help. Here, we’ll give you the top 10 best practices for crafting a sales demo that’ll leave your prospects impressed. 

Here are our top 10 best practices to nail your sales demo

top 10 best practices to nail your sales demo

1. Understand your customer’s needs

Nearly half (45%) of SaaS buyers say an impersonal sales process will lead to a lost deal.Walnut’s SaaS Buyers Report

Why is this person in contact with you? What’s in it for them? What do they stand to gain? 

Understanding what the customer is trying to accomplish is the compass that’ll point any sales journey in the right direction. It’s the crucial first step in the intricate dance of sales.

You can find this information out by diving into who this person is, using sales tools, CRMs, social media, and past interactions. You can also learn about their needs in a discovery call or by tracking how they engaged with your interactive marketing demo

One size doesn’t fit all, especially in the world of sales. By taking the time to understand your customers’ needs deeply, you can make sure to showcase the elements of your product that address their specific pain points. And this is essential if you are trying to make an impact on today’s buyers.

2. Create a personalized demo

More than half (52%) of sellers say demos that focus on prospects’ needs are key to success.Walnut’s SaaS Sellers Survey

Modern buyers don’t want to listen to you go on for hours about all the bells and whistles of your product. They are interested in one thing and one thing only: how it will address their specific challenges and pain points.

And that’s exactly what your demo needs to convey. 

Instead of one standard demo that you show to every prospect you encounter, you need to showcase what they specifically can gain from using your product and why they can’t live without it. 

Because buyers expect a more personalized sales experience, which includes the demo, we recommend not only tailoring demos with their name, company logo, and other brand elements, but also creating multiple demo templates that you can personalize to show specific product flows or use cases, and are catering to different personas, industries, and parts of the sales cycle.

3. Keep it short

Prospects spend an average of just 6 minutes on each interactive demo.Walnut’s Full-Funnel Report

Short and sweet is the name of the game when it comes to your demos. 

This makes sense given that buyers don’t want to waste time on the parts of the product that aren’t relevant for their specific needs. 

On top of this, the way modern buyers consume content has shifted, with prospects now preferring product content that is short and easy-to-digest.

So, even though sales reps typically schedule demo calls for around 30 minutes, your demos will likely make more of an impact if you cut down that time. 

4. Start the demo with a bang

People can only pay attention to one screen for an average of 47 seconds.Attention Span

You only have a short window of time to get buyers hooked and interested in what you’re saying before they start spacing out and thinking about the million things they need to get done before they finish work today. 

This means that to grab buyers’ attention, you need to show them the most important part of your product from the get go. 

While you may be saying to yourself, “No sh*t, Walnut,” you’d be surprised just how many reps start the demo by talking about themselves or their favorite features.

To get buyers hooked and interested from the beginning, make sure you get straight to the point and showcase the biggest reason your product will be life-changing for the prospect. 

Once you cover the best and richest part of the product, you can then get into other features that could be useful for their specific needs.

5. Make it specific to their industry

Companies use an average of 39 interactive demo templates.Walnut’s Full-Funnel Report

Based on this stat, we can see that buyers want you to personalize the experience for their specific industry. 

This means that one generic demo isn’t going to cut it with today’s modern SaaS buyers. 

You need to have multiple demo templates that can be customized according to the specific industry they are in or the specific step in the funnel. This will show that you understand exactly what the prospect’s needs are and how your product can address those needs. 

On top of this, if you have multiple demos at your fingertips that showcase different aspects of your product, you can use these demos to handle objections that may come up or answer any of your prospect’s questions. 

6. Deliver multiple demos throughout the funnel

Buyers view an average of 3.4 demos per deal — throughout the funnel.Walnut’s Full-Funnel Report

Old school sales processes usually consist of multiple discovery calls before the prospect is finally able to see the product during the demo call. 

But this is outdated and definitely not what modern SaaS buyers want. 

Prospects want to be able to see the product whenever it works for them during the sales cycle. And see it at a pace that works for them. 

On top of this, we know that buyers want to interact with the product multiple times throughout the sales funnel. 

Luckily, with an interactive demo platform, you can create and share interactive demos with prospects at any stage of the sales cycle so they can view them on their own time. 

7. Share it with multiple people from their team

More than 3 prospects view each interactive demo. — Walnut’s Full-Funnel Report

In today’s market, there usually is more than one decision-maker that reps need to convince to sign on the dotted line. 

That’s why it’s critical that you not only be in contact with multiple people within a company, but also that you’re able to show the product to every stakeholder involved. 

One of the benefits of interactive demos is that you don’t need to find a single time that works for the multiple stakeholders that are being targeted in the company and who are involved in the decision-making process.

 Instead, it’s better to send an interactive demo to every stakeholder so that you can get the product in front of all the decision-makers and allow the demo to do the work for you when you’re not there.

8. Address the audience by name

There are several regions in the brain’s left hemisphere that show greater activation to one’s own name.NIH

It’s not enough to just grab your prospect’s attention at the beginning of the demo. You need to make sure you keep them focused and engaged from start to finish.

And one way to do just that is to call your prospect by their first name. 

This will help ensure that they don’t doze off halfway through the demo or start day-dreaming about what they are going to order for lunch. 

9. Check in with your audience

The level of audience engagement is roughly 92% when they are allowed to participate in the discussion. Salescrunch

On top of calling your prospect by name, consistently checking in with them throughout the demo can help you make sure that they stay engaged and interested in what you have to say. 

That’s why it’s a good idea to make your presentation more of a discussion and ask your prospect questions.

Checking in periodically will help you make sure that what you’re showing them really resonates with their needs and that you aren’t missing anything that could be important to them. 

10. Let them see the demo on their own

Prospects view each interactive demo an average of 3 times without the rep being present.Walnut’s Full-Funnel Report

This stat shows us that for modern buyers, it’s important to be able to educate themselves and see demos on their own time when they make buying decisions. 

Before purchasing a product, we know buyers want to see product reviews, case studies, and data regarding the impact of your company. 

But it goes further than that. Buyers also want to be able to see and try a product for themselves before they commit to buying it. 

So, in order to give buyers what they want, sellers need to make sure prospects can test out the product, learn how to use it on their own, and share it with their own teams. 

Science says interactive demos are the future of SaaS sales

The numbers don’t lie. And all the figures point to interactive demos being the future of SaaS sales. 

That’s why it’s critical to have the tools you need to make sure you can put all of these best practices into practice.  

And the only way to make sure you can follow all of these sales demo best practices is by using an interactive demo platform (like Walnut). 

This type of platform allows you to create engaging and interactive demos that prospects can see at any stage in the sales cycle.

The fact is that using interactive demos doesn’t just help you. It’s also giving buyers exactly what they want. 

Click the “Get started” button to start creating winning interactive product demos.

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