Product marketing is the strategy that takes the product to market, from discovery to sales enablement. It focuses your team to experience the product, analyse it for its suitability, and establish if it fits the purpose.
Many companies focus on product-led growth, which puts the product at the top of the funnel. But does that mean removing the demonstration of the product from the sales and onboarding experience?
I think not.
Complex platforms and some enterprise SaaS products require step by step software demos, and therefore a product demo checklist is needed for your sales team.
In the world of product marketing, a first-rate product demonstration has a significant impact on your sales campaign. It’s obvious why customers want to see your software in action before they commit to buying it. And in your demo, you need to show your product meets their expectations and manage their needs.
But with 1,000s of competing products up against you, it’s essential to make the most of the time you spend with prospects. How do you manage this? With the three checklists below to schedule, prepare, and complete your presentation.
Scheduling your platform demo
Scheduling your product demo should be easy enough. Demos should be coming via your website forms, marketing campaigns and sales outreach activities. Other sources of demo bookings are partnerships and referral sources.
Here are the essential tasks and requirements your sales reps have to consider when planning your demo with your prospect:
Explain how your product will help your potential customers?
Work out your USPs (value proposition) to sell your product effectively—you need to explain why your product can help customers.
Request prospects attend your demo.
Highlight how your product can achieve your prospect’s objectives and always make sure that a decision-maker who can sign off is present
Identify the best place to find your prospects.
Work with your product marketing, marketing, sales, etc. counterparts and understand the best time and place to approach prospects with your demo.
Send calendar invites to your attendees.
Forward on your invites across your platform of choice. Calendar tools like Calendly can help your team schedule meetings in today’s marketplace, but CRM tools like HubSpot make an all-around better fit. Their comprehensive toolkit will give you better insights into your prospects, enabling your sales team to deliver more aligned demonstrations to their pain points.
Preparing to show how your product works
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”, said Alexander Graham Bell, and he was spot on with this quote. The best sales reps will practice their demos so that it is second nature to them, allowing them to learn as they practice in live situations and hone their skills. Complete the following to up your game and close more prospects.
Understand how your presentation software works.
Preparation is key. It’s essential to know how your product works inside out. But you also need to know what you’re doing with your presentation.
Time your demo perfectly
Keep your presentation short but impactful. You need to demonstrate your value to prospects in a short amount of time.
Have an entire run through your demo with colleagues.
Practice your craft—have a demo run or two to get a feel for your presentation. You could even record yourself to see what you do/don’t like about your presentation.
Prepare for possible technical glitches.
You may well have issues during your demo (e.g. a break in your internet connection). Have processes in place to get around them. For example, an internet dongle in case your WiFi connection fails.
Experiment with ways to present your software to prospects.
Use different presentations—shorter, longer, more detailed etc. Over time you can work out your best approach, and you might even have different strategies for different personas.
Don’t use placeholder data on your presentation.
Show the type of stats your prospects will want to see. For example, stats about how your software improves productivity saves money, improves business management, etc.
Don’t clutter your demonstration.
Close all non-essential apps before you begin. You don’t want interruptions during your presentation—it looks unprofessional. That means shutting down the likes of Slack, email notifications, or anything else that can get in the way of your demo.
Record the demo and take notes
You’ll need a notepad/note-taking software to jot down any questions during the demo.
What to do during your demo
Now that you have prepped and planned, it’s time to execute.
Stick to your schedule.
Begin and end on time. It sets a good impression and means you cover all your key points without talking for too long.
Get prospects’ attention immediately.
Start with a bang. Use your main USP and whatever part of your software solves their issues.
Take the micro approach.
Cover the minor details as well as the bigger picture. A brief overview of your key USPs is fine, but explaining the finer details will help hammer home your product’s value.
Don’t sell your features—demonstrate the value of your software.
Explain how your product will solve your prospects’ problems/needs. It’s essential to cover the value rather than simply discussing what your software does.
Don’t overcomplicate your product demonstration
Avoid industry jargon that can confuse your prospects. Keep your language clear, and to the point so you can focus on your software’s value.
Leave time for Q&As.
Allow for questions at the end of your demo. Answer questions quickly but thoroughly. You may have more than one set of questions from different attendees. It’s a chance to learn about their needs.
Demo like a pro
We have now imparted a quantifiable checklist for your sales team. Standardising the approach across teams will result in best in class buying experiences for your prospects. Take this opportunity to refine your approach to your product demo and build a better customer experience.
For help with your sales demo approach or wider product marketing strategy please do reach out to the team for a confidential consultation.