Delivering Compelling Technology Sales Demonstrations
by Elay Cohen
February 24, 2019
Delivering compelling technology sales demonstrations is not easy. How to plan and host compelling sales demonstrations is really hard work. It’s takes planning, research, creativity, patience and curiosity. It takes excellent communication skills. It requires us to write down a thoughtful storyline that is tied back to our buyer’s top priorities. We need to engage our audience with questions. We need to create a dialogue by listening and asking questions while we’re creating sales demonstrations and delivering them too.
Sales Demonstration Checklist
Here’s a checklist of sales demonstration tips and reminders for the amazing pre-sales solution consultants who help salespeople close bigger deals. You’re all amazing. This curation of tips and reminders is crowdsourced from the best in the business.
#1: Map your sales demonstration flow map to business problems and priorities. Create a demonstration flow that answers the why and explains the context.
#2: Turn your demonstration flow into a compelling narrative and story with real life examples. Weave a story through the demonstration flow, it will help the audience to follow along better.
#3: Have your demonstration flow talk track focus on benefits and value versus clicks and features.
#4: Customize the demonstration flow to make it relevant to the people seeing it and customize the talk track and terminology too. Imagine that the sales demonstration was so customized and personalized to your buyer’s business, that your champion wanted to deliver it themselves?
#5: Type up your sales demonstration flow and share it with your champion to get their feedback. Have your champion “redline” the story just like a commercial agreement. Validate your demonstration flow with your champion before delivering to the broader stakeholders.
#6: Map real and quantifiable customer stories that are relevant to audience and meeting participants to the sales demonstration flow.
#7: Know your demonstration flow and clicks very well to avoid surprises.
#8: Summarize your demonstration flow before you start and at then end too.
#9: Frequently stop/pause doing your demonstration flow to get feedback from the meeting participants. You can also send a note to your champion and meeting participants after the sales demonstration asking for feedback.
#10: Ask many open-ended feedback questions doing your demonstration flow.
#11: Practice your sales demonstration flow a few times with your sales team and with your champion if possible.
#12: Breathe during your sales demonstration flow.
#13: Do research on the sales demonstration meeting participants and connect with them on LinkedIn too either before or after the sales demonstration. My preference is to connect with folks before the demonstration with a personalized connection request too.
Sales Demonstration Open-Ended Questions
It’s critical to stay curious and ask questions while you’re delivering a sales demonstration. Here are a few questions you can use the next time you deliver a technology sales demonstration:
How are we meeting your expectations in this demonstration?
What parts of the demonstration do you like and why?
How does our solution map to your priorities?
What would you like to see that we haven’t shown you yet?
How does our solution map to how you’re doing things today?
Someone once told me something profound about sales demonstrations. If a sales demonstration last longer than ten to fifteen minutes, then you’re doing training versus a sales demonstration. Wait until you close the deal before you do the training.
About the Author
Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $300M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.
Leave a Reply