How to Help Your Sales Team Give More Impactful Product Demos

How to Help Your Sales Team Give More Impactful Product Demos

Categories: Sales Messaging  |  Company Alignment  |  Selling Technology

The product demo is an important part of any sales process, but they can also be a tricky stage to navigate while maintaining a value selling approach. We often advocate for sellers to move away from the 'features and functions' conversation in favor of discussing business problems and solutions. The demo is a time to discuss both. That can be a difficult balance to strike, especially when selling complex technical solutions. When executed correctly, the demo can be a valuable step to tying the technical capabilities of your solution to the business problems of the customer and progressing deals forward at a high value.

Here are some strategies to help you guide your team to execute demos that create commitment and urgency with buyers.

If you lead a team selling a highly technical solution, make sure to also check out our playbook for leaders on improving technical sales execution for more detail on this topic.

When to Give a Product Demo

Buyers often push for a demo early in the sales process because that’s what they’ve come to expect from sellers. However, if you want your team to successfully execute a value-driven engagement, it’s important to hold off on giving a demo until they have sufficient evidence of the customer’s business pains and outcomes.

By giving a demo without knowing what’s important to the buyer, your team could be giving up an extremely valuable opportunity to build visible alignment between the technical abilities of your solution and the customer’s desired outcomes to prove business value. Giving a demo at the wrong time can result in objections like “You don’t have a feature that we want” or “we don’t see the value of your extra features and chose a cheaper competitor.” You don’t want to lose on a technicality when your solution is the best option to deliver on the customer’s desired business outcomes.

Sales Engineers and the Product Demo

If you sell a technical solution, you likely have a Sales Engineer, Solutions Architect, or related role who is instrumental to product demos. Sales Engineers are an extremely valuable tool because the buyer tends to view them as a trusted advisor or subject matter expert rather than a salesperson.

As a sales leader, you can maximize the impact of this role by aligning the Sales Engineer with the Account Executive and providing a framework for greater collaboration in their process. Encourage reps to work with the Sales Engineer not just as a resource or handoff point, but as a partner in helping the customer diagnose and triage their business issues. When these two roles work in tandem, the Sales Engineer can help the Account Executive execute a deeper level of technical discovery. The Account Executive can then tee up the SE to validate specific business outcomes and capabilities with their demo.

Value Message in the Product Demo

Many demos fall flat because they aim to win the technical sale. A well-executed demo should advance both the technical and economic sale. As a leader, you can support your team to have more effective demos by aligning every customer-facing role on a clear narrative for your technical value and differentiation. Consider the following four questions, a demo-specific adaptation of our Four Essential Questions for value selling. Does your team answer these in every demo?

    • What are the key problems that our technology solves on a business level for the person(s) I’m presenting with the demo?
    • Which technical features enable us to solve those problems?
    • How do our technical features offer a value that is unique from the competition?
    • How have these product features produced results for past customers?

Improve Tech Sales Win Rates

Top tech sales organizations consistently manage complex deals to a high-value close by aligning their Account Executives and Sales Engineers on an integrated sales approach. We break down this approach and how leaders can implement it with their teams in our playbook, Improve Technical Sales Execution.


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