Remote sales may have become mainstream as a workaround while social distancing, but it is here to stay. In-person sales meetings certainly have their perks (especially when food is involved,) but virtual selling offers its own set of perks and long-term benefits, such as greater efficiency, flexibility, and scalability. But your team isn’t just any sales team! If you want your demos to really pack a punch, your demos need to have that ‘wow-factor’ and really stand out. 

Well, you got a friend in us. In this article, we’ll guide you through the top three ways your remote sales team can deliver impactful live product demos that will leave your prospect coming back for more.

Here’s what needs to be established before we begin...

Customer needs have dramatically changed in this post pandemic world. We know this is an obvious blanket statement, so allow us to elaborate.

Virtual selling offers many perks, especially when you factor how it helps overcome challenges such as aligning schedules and arranging travel plans. With virtual sales, meetings can occur right when they are needed. Simple enough, right? Well there is more to it than that. Now more than ever, sales teams need to possess situational fluency. 

From a traditional standpoint, situational fluency refers to fundamental, fluent and supporting competencies that constitute a professional salesperson’s ideals, which includes the credibility of the sales rep, industry knowledge, selling skills, and the general vibes they let out. It expanded to include more depth since 2020.

Bear in mind, the buyers of today are far more informed than the buyers of yesteryear. They are more empowered in their purchasing evaluations and decisions, because they have more access to information than ever before. The modern buyer doesn’t have time for amateur sellers—they only want to interact with sellers who are well-versed in the business, as well as the opportunities, challenges, and situations that are being faced by the buyer. Time is their most precious commodity, and they want to have direct exchanges with specialists who can offer valuable insights, not generalists that try to get by solely capitalizing on their charming personalities.

According to the book The Collaborative Sale, by Keith Eades and Tim Sullivan, there are five key components to sales situational fluency, which play a significant role for sellers that are looking to align with the needs and preferences of the modern buyer, in an effort to sell more effectively:

  • Situational Knowledge
    This refers to the awareness of a buyer’s circumstances, in addition to the understanding of the implications of the situations they are facing, which is based on the seller’s experience or learning. Mastering this requires knowing all the ins and outs. This includes thorough knowledge and understanding of the buyer’s industry, trends, key players, problems/challenges/opportunities, and of course—desired results.
  • Capability Knowledge
    This refers to the need for sellers to focus less on the technical components of their product/service, and more on how it is of value for their prospects. How can these capabilities convert to desired results? How will this solution make life easier for the buyer and their team? 
  • People Skills
    It may be tempting to speak in a super formal manner while presenting to company executives, but it is important to remember that at the end of the day, they are still just regular people. And people respond better to, and ultimately buy from other people—not robots. On that note, buyers are far more inclined to do business with people that they instinctively like. To start remote sales presentations on the right note, sales representatives must possess good interpersonal skills, so that they can appeal to buyers’ intellect and emotions.
  • Selling Skills
    This is more so something that needs to be part of sales training and refresher exercises, as it taps into the ability to execute essential selling functions. These functions include stimulating buyer interest, qualifying opportunities, identifying buyer needs, diagnosing problems, presenting solutions, conveying value, negotiating, and last but not least, closing the sale.
  • Collaborative Attitude
    As the name implies, this refers to the ability to work with buyers to create and/or enhance solutions. Doing so actively helps demonstrate that sales reps are acting with the buyer’s interests in mind first and foremost.

Live interactive product demos are the best way to ensure that all those situational fluency boxes are being ticked, especially when attention is placed on the core element of customization.

What is a customized live interactive product demo? Finally—we thought you would never ask! With Walnut, it’s about running product demos as a live experience for the buyer, even when the actual product is offline or in development. It grants the ability for users to add/remove and personalize tons of features, including logos, numbers, text, and so much more. From the buyers perspective, the visual of experiencing a presentation that was tailor-made for them is so much more meaningful and impactful than a general one-size-fits-all snoozefest.

According to Hubspot’s 2021 Sales Enablement Report, over 40 percent of sales leaders missed revenue targets in the past year. Out of over 500 responses from sales leaders behind over 15 industries, the top performers adapted their sales models, enabled their team with tools and technology, and used data to focus on coaching opportunities.

Here are some main point for sales teams to meet and exceed revenue targets AND win hearts along the way, all while conducting live interactive product demos remotely.

Remember that you’re not dealing with robots in live product demos

Okay, this might seem elementary, but it needs to be said. Over and over again. Sales professionals must always remember that they are speaking with people, not robots, and sensitivities are heightened in remote sales. The remote sales relationship needs to be handled like a romantic relationship if you want them to come back for more. Show them you care by letting them feel heard, and being sensitive to their needs.

By presenting the product/service with graciousness, sales teams are immediately enabled to be more of the following three R’s:

  • Relevant: because they’re focused on improving life for customers
  • Resilient: because believing in a cause bigger than themselves allows them to persist in the face of adversity
  • Revenue-generating: because they build deep relationships on the basis of impact and value

These ideals, by extension, serve as the base of the storytelling element, making presentations that much more riveting and relatable. (Hmm, maybe that makes it ‘the five R’s’.)

We have no doubt that your product/service is brimming with features and elements worth geeking out on, but hold that temptation. The goal is to make the buyers feel intrigued, not bombarded with facts, figures, and dreaded jargon, such as these 70 annoying words. The best way to intrigue buyers is by focusing on the features and functionalities that particularly address their needs, instead of babbling on about the whole shebang. Don’t forget that whatever is perfect for one prospect may not necessarily work for the next—even if they are in similar industries. 

Work on creating a vision in your pitch by addressing (and empathizing with) their challenges; helping them envision a world without those challenges, then finally how your product/service will help them reach that utopia. Of course, this is much easier said than done, and in doing so, it is also important to consider the key differentiators of your product/service. Your unique selling proposition would need to be something desirable that none of your direct competitors are offering. As long as it is relevant to client needs, it will set you apart from the competition.

Incorporate psychological hacks into your live product demo

Don’t worry, we aren’t expecting you to ask your prospects about their childhood, or about what images they see when presented with inkblots. We’re talking about crafting your presentation based on the type of person that your prospect is.

Here are four of the most common types of participants in meetings, each of whom require a unique presentation style to make things click:

  • The Wallflower
    The wallflower is a reserved person who may need you to prompt them with questions or ask them for their input to really spark a conversation. The best way to connect with them is with open dialogue, and customized presentations. They need to consistently feel included in the presentation.
  • The Questioners
    If you know that a lot of questions are going to be asked, be sure to be ready to answer anything that may come your way with conviction. If their questions are not adding value to the demo presentation or become too disruptive, it may be best to politely ask them to hold questions until the end of the demo.
  • The Combative
    If you know that the crowd will be particularly difficult to please, be sure to do all your research beforehand and anticipate what all their potential push backs might be. That will be the best way to avoid getting flustered during the demo. This is another instance where it may be best to ask the audience members to hold questions and comments until the end of your presentation. 
  • The Multitasker
    While this was once considered rude, it is now common practice. If you’re presenting to people who are using their phone or laptop during the demo, you should start your presentation with a bold statement, humor or question. That will be the best way to grab their attention and really hook them in. You can keep that momentum going by making the presentation interactive and relatable to pull them away from their devices. 

If all the meeting participants are brand new to you, and you find yourself gauging them for the first time while on the fly- you would quickly need to determine how to get them to nod their heads within the first five seconds. Engage your audience. If they’re an easy-going crowd, you can pause between sections to let them ask follow-up questions. Don’t forget to allow adequate time for a Q&A at the end of the demo. The bottom line is that this needs to be more like a conversation, not a monologue. 

There are many reasons why a psychological, storytelling approach works for remote sales conversions. In a Walnutshell (pun absolutely intended) by being more human and approachable in demo presentations, trust becomes established, and the product/service becomes that much easier to remember because of the pleasant experience.

Personalize the remote sales demo

In the old days, personalizing demos simply meant updating presentations by doing a series of “find” and “replace” as needed to update names, and maybe a couple of words. How cute.

Now, personalized demos, especially for remote sales teams, are about providing an interactive experience that truly is unique for each prospect. They are also the reason our team at Walnut wakes up every morning. Our product makes this process easier than ever thanks to our codeless demo platform. We made it codeless so you wouldn’t have to worry about turning to the developers, R&D team, or anyone else for assistance. Cause at the end of the day, we all want instant gratification, right? 

We recently unleashed a few new features, to add even more capabilities to demos than before. These include annotations, to make the demo more intuitive; the ability to edit HTML, for the code-savvy among us; sharing panels for better collaboration between team members and prospects; and more! We tend to geek out a lot when it comes to further enhancing our product. That’s because we’re all about the optimization of remote demo presentations in every way possible, for higher conversion rates— all with minimal effort on the part of the sales team.

Bonus: What not to do during your live remote sales demo

Okay, we served up a lot of takeaways within the three recommended ways for remote sales teams to deliver impactful live product demos. Before signing off, we also wanted to equip you with insights on what NOT to do. We previously covered the seven most common sales demo mistakes, and how to avoid them on our blog, and this is a post worth sharing with the rest of the team (if we may say so ourselves.) 

And there you have it! Be sure to take all these tips and tricks to heart to deliver impactful live product demos for greater remote sales conversions. And if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for success in remote sales, ahem, we’ll just leave this right here.

Related reads:

  1. What's a Product Demo? The Full Guide for Sales Teams
  2. Product Demos: The Different Options and Their Benefits
  3. The Ultimate SaaS Product Demo Checklist
  4. The Top 6 Live Product Demo Fails Of All Time
  5. How to Create an Interactive Product Demo in 5 Steps

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