Would you ever buy a product without understanding its purpose or its capabilities?

I'm guessing your answer to this question is a 'no'.

Whether you're purchasing a new television for your apartment or buying a new CRM software for your company, it's imperative to know exactly what you're getting in return for your money.

Online research is a great place to start. But, there's a difference between looking at a page of specs and seeing the product in action. This is where a product demo can fill in the gaps.

Access a guide to creating winning sales presentations.

What is a product demo?

A product demo is a demonstration of how a product or software works. It's used by salespeople to introduce a product, its functionalities, and its value to potential customers.

The product demo is different from a technical demo. A product demo is used to provide an overview of the product and the value it provides. On the other hand, a technical demo is more interactive and allows the prospect to gets to experience the product or software in a demo or sandbox setting.

Why's a product demo important? It gets the prospect excited about your product. The demo will give them an overview of your solution. Plus, it tells them how they can apply specific features to address their business needs and goals.

1. Prepare in advance.

Before the product demo, you should know who you're meeting with. You'll want to craft your demo to cater to the specific audience you're addressing. To do this, you should understand your prospect's:

  • Business
  • Challenges
  • Goals

Identify who from the prospect's company will be participating in the product demo and what role they'll play in the decision-making process. How can your demonstration address the questions they might have?

Additionally, you should identify 2-3 value propositions for the prospect. Identify how your product or solution addresses their priorities and helps them reach their goals. These are a few things to consider that will help you prepare the demo and set an agenda.

2. Set an agenda.

Let them know the structure of your presentation. The agenda can be sent in an email to all the demo participants before the meeting.

Don't forget to include the amount of time you expect to spend on each section of the demonstration. The last thing you want the prospect to think is that their time is being wasted. Make the most of the short amount of time you have, and ensure the demo caters to the prospects' needs.

3. Include time for initial questions.

Use the first few minutes of your demonstration to ask if the prospect has any questions about how the demo will be run. Then ask some questions of your own.

  • "I understand that your goals are X, Y, and Z. Is my understanding correct?"
  • "You're facing X challenge with your current software provider. Do you plan to address this challenge the new software you choose?"
  • "What's the selection criteria for the next software/solution you choose?"

Asking questions like these will help you identify if there's anything you missed in your research. You'll address the prospect's questions throughout the demonstration and you might even be able to identify another value proposition.

4. Describe the value propositions.

Once you provide a broad overview of the product, dive into the value adds the prospect will see from using the product. This is where you can address the goals and challenges they're facing, and dig into the specific tools, features, and functions that apply to them.

For example, you could say, "You mentioned that X was a priority. Here's how Y tool/functionality can help you address this and impact Z result/metric." Then explain in further detail the value the specific functionality will provide to the prospect.

5. Communicate the next steps.

At the end of your product demo, include some time for any last minute questions the prospect might have. If there's something you aren't able to cover during the demonstration, send a recap email to set up another meeting. And include details about what you covered during the meeting to ensure you're both on the same page.

Best Product Demos

Here are a few of the best product demo videos. They're standard demos whose style can easily be used for your demo presentation and customized for individual prospects. Use them as inspiration to create a product demo of your own.

1. Slack

This isn't your typical product demonstration deck or video. Slack created a landing page, similar to a timeline, that reveals more product features and video demonstrations as you scroll. It walks you step-by-step through the tool and its key features. See the product demo for yourself here.

Slack Best Product Demos

2. SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey's demo is short and sweet. It gets straight to the point and uses animation to demonstrate the primary features and functionalities of the survey tool.

SurveyMonkey Best Product Demos

3. Owl Labs

Rather than demonstrating software, this product demo introduces the features of a physical product. It captures viewers' attention by using storytelling to introduce a real-life application of the device.

Owl Labs Best Product Demos

4. Automate.io

This product demo demonstrates Automate.io helps its customers create custom integrations to connect and sync their cloud apps.

5. Databox

Databox starts the demo by introducing the challenges their customers face before adopting their solution. Using a voiceover, the video provides an overview of how the product works. It breaks down the demo into different sections so you can easily skip to the product features that are important to the prospect you're working with.

Databox Best Product DemosWith a well-run product demo that identifies and addresses the prospect's needs, you'll be ready to move the deal forward. And this will likely result in a closed-won deal. To learn more, check out the best sales decks next.

Sales Presentations

Originally published Apr 30, 2019 7:30:00 AM, updated April 30 2019