Sales Demo: 15 Tips to Boost Closing Rates

Jason Gong
June 6, 2024

Deliver effective sales demos by showcasing product value and addressing objections.

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Sales demos are a crucial part of the sales process in 2024, playing a vital role in converting leads into customers. A well-executed sales demo can showcase your product's value, address potential objections, and ultimately close the deal.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive deep into the world of sales demos, answering all your burning questions and providing actionable tips to help you maximize your closing rates. Are you ready to take your sales game to the next level?

What is a sales demo?

A sales demo is a visual presentation showcasing a product or service's features, benefits, and value to help potential customers make a purchase decision. It's an essential part of the sales prospecting process, bridging the gap between initial interest and closing the deal.

Imagine this scenario:

Sarah, a busy sales manager, is considering purchasing a new CRM software for her team. She schedules a sales demo with the software provider, where the sales rep walks her through the key features, demonstrating how it can streamline their sales process and boost productivity. Sarah sees the value firsthand and decides to move forward with the purchase.

Why Sales Demos are Crucial for Sales Success

Sales demos are a critical component of the sales prospecting process, allowing reps to showcase a product's value and address prospect's specific pain points.

Sales demos build trust between the rep and the prospect. By taking the time to understand the prospect's situation, answer their questions, and demonstrate the product's value, reps establish credibility and rapport.

Seeing is believing, and sales demos provide proof of a product's capabilities. Prospects can experience the product firsthand, helping them visualize how it would fit into their workflow and streamline their sales process with integrations.

What's included in a sales demo?

A typical sales demo includes:

  1. Introduction to the company and product
  2. Recap of previous conversations and prospect's needs
  3. Demonstration of key features and benefits
  4. Real-world use cases and examples
  5. Addressing questions and objections
  6. Call-to-action and next steps

The goal is to tailor the demo to the prospect's unique situation and show how your product can solve their specific challenges.

In the next section, we'll explore the differences between sales demos and product demos, and why understanding this distinction is crucial for sales success with HubSpot.

Sales Demos vs Product Demos

Sales demos and product demos are often confused, but they serve different purposes. A sales demo is a personalized presentation focused on showcasing how a product solves a prospect's specific pain points, while a product demo is a general overview of a product's features and functionality.

Imagine a company selling project management software. In a sales demo, the rep would focus on the features most relevant to the prospect's needs, such as task assignment and deadline tracking. In a product demo, the rep would provide a comprehensive overview of all the software's capabilities.

Sales demos are crucial for closing deals because they allow reps to build trust, address objections, and demonstrate value in a way that resonates with the buyer.

In the next section, we'll dive into common questions about sales demos to help you master this essential sales skill.

Common Questions About Sales Demos

When it comes to delivering effective sales demos, there are multiple key questions to answer in order to find the right formula: who should present them, why are they important, when is the best time, and what channels work best.

A well-organized sales demo tailored to the prospect delivered by a knowledgeable rep who focuses on the prospect's needs can make all the difference. In contrast, a generic, unstructured demo that doesn't address the buyer's specific pain points is unlikely to move the deal forward.

Why Is It Critical to Deliver Sales Demos?

The primary purpose of a sales demo is to clearly showcase how your product solves the prospect's specific pain points. It's an opportunity to make your offering tangible.

Effective demos allow the buyer to visualize using your product and understand the value it would provide. Without a demo, the buyer may struggle to connect your solution to their needs.

Who Should Be Presenting Sales Demos?

Typically, sales demos are delivered by the sales rep who has been working with the prospect. They are the ones most familiar with the buyer's unique challenges and goals.

Having the rep who has built a relationship with the prospect give the demo helps establish trust and credibility. If the demo is handed off to someone else, it can disrupt the sales prospecting process.

When Is the Ideal Time to Present a Demo?

The right time for a sales demo is after you've had discovery conversations to understand the prospect's situation, challenges and objectives. Presenting too early, before you have enough context, makes it difficult to personalize the demo.

On the flip side, waiting too long to offer a demo can slow down the sales cycle. Once you've qualified the opportunity and understand their needs, a demo is the next logical step.

Which Channels Work Best for Delivering Demos?

The ideal demo format depends on your product and the prospect's preferences. In-person demos work well for physical products. For software, web conferencing allows you to easily share your screen.

Some buyers may prefer a recorded video they can watch on their own time. The key is to be flexible and let the prospect choose the format that works best for them.

Ultimately, the most suitable answers to these common sales demo questions will vary based on your unique product and target buyer. Next up, we'll dive into 11 best practices to ensure your demos are as impactful as possible and drive the sales results you need.

11 Sales Demo Best Practices

Sales demos are a popular and effective way to showcase your product and convert prospects into customers, because they:

  • Provide a hands-on experience for potential customers
  • Showcase the product's value and benefits
  • Address specific pain points and objections
  • Build trust and credibility with prospects

Without a compelling sales demo, it's challenging to convey the true value of your product and convince prospects to take the next step. By following best practices, you can deliver engaging, informative demos that maximize your chances of closing the deal.

Research Your Prospect Before the Demo and Speak Their Language

Take the time to thoroughly research your prospect's company, industry, and specific challenges. Use this information to tailor your demo and speak directly to their needs. For example, if you're demoing to a healthcare company, highlight features relevant to HIPAA compliance and patient data security.

By understanding your prospect's world and using their terminology, you'll build credibility and show that you're the right partner to solve their problems.

Start the Demo with Enthusiasm and on a High Note

Your energy and attitude set the tone for the entire demo. Come in with a smile, express your excitement to be there, and kick things off on a positive note. Share a relevant story or statistic to pique their interest right away. Remember, if you're not excited about your product, your prospect won't be either!

A strong start grabs attention and makes prospects more receptive to your message.

Practice Makes Perfect: Rehearse Your Demo Beforehand

Never wing a demo! Take the time to thoroughly practice your presentation, including your key talking points, product demonstrations, and transitions. Rehearse in front of colleagues and get their feedback. The more you practice, the more confident and polished you'll be when it's showtime.

A smooth, well-rehearsed demo instills trust and shows the prospect you're a knowledgeable, credible resource.

Exude Confidence and Keep Your Audience Engaged Throughout

Confidence is key! Speak with conviction, maintain good posture and eye contact, and let your passion for the product shine through. Keep your prospect engaged by asking questions, encouraging interaction, and reading their body language. If you sense their attention is drifting, switch gears or take a quick break.

An engaged, bought-in prospect is much more likely to ultimately buy. Your confidence and poise will put them at ease and build their faith in you and your solution.

Personalize the Demo and Focus on Relevant Value

Cookie-cutter demos don't cut it. Use your research to customize the demo around your prospect's specific needs and objectives. Zero in on the features, use cases and benefits that matter most to them. If you're demoing to a sales team, highlight your CRM integration and forecasting tools.

By showing your prospect exactly how your product will make their life easier and their business better, you'll make a compelling case for why they need to buy.

Use Real Data to Illustrate Your Product's Impact

Back up your claims with hard data and customer proof points. Share relevant case studies, ROI numbers and performance metrics to demonstrate your product's real-world impact. For example, if your solution saved a similar company 20 hours per week, make sure to highlight that!

Concrete evidence and customer stories are far more persuasive than empty promises. Data adds substance to your demo and makes your product's value undeniable.

Keep Your Demo Concise and to the Point

Respect your prospect's time by keeping your demo focused and digestible. Aim for 30-45 minutes max, and stay on track by sticking to your key points and not getting sidetracked. If you're running long, offer to follow up with additional details later.

An efficient, well-paced demo shows you value your prospect's time and prevents information overload. Leave them wanting more, not wishing it would end!

Listen Carefully and Let the Prospect Do the Talking

A demo is a two-way conversation, not a monologue. Encourage the prospect to share their thoughts, ask questions, and voice any concerns. Practice active listening and let them do most of the talking. The more you learn about their needs, the better you can tailor your pitch.

By making your prospect feel heard and understood, you'll build rapport and gain valuable insights into what it will take to close the deal.

Always Articulate the "Why" Behind Product Features

Features tell, but benefits sell. For every feature you showcase, clearly explain why it matters and how it will improve your prospect's life. Instead of just saying "we offer customizable dashboards," emphasize "you can easily tailor the data and KPIs to your exact needs, so you always have visibility into what matters most."

By translating features into clear-cut value, you'll keep your prospect engaged and make it easy for them to see why your product is the right choice.

Be Ready to Adapt and Think on Your Feet

No two demos are alike, so be prepared to adjust your approach on the fly. If your prospect asks an unexpected question or wants to see a specific use case, roll with it and adapt. Have backup slides and examples ready to go. The ability to think on your feet and tailor the conversation will set you apart.

By being flexible and responsive to your prospect's needs, you'll keep them engaged, build trust, and show that you're the right partner for their business.

Proactively Seek Feedback and Use It to Improve

Always end your demo by asking the prospect for their honest feedback. What resonated with them? What concerns or hesitations do they have? Use their input to continually refine your approach. For example, if multiple prospects ask about a certain feature, consider expanding on that section in future demos.

Actively seeking feedback shows you value your prospect's opinion and are committed to meeting their needs. Plus, it gives you valuable data to optimize your demos over time.

While each of these best practices is powerful on its own, they're even more impactful when used together. By combining thorough research, confident delivery, customized content, data-driven proof points, active listening, and continuous improvement, you'll create demos that truly stand out and drive results.

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Now that you know the secrets to a great demo, let's dive into how to effectively close and secure next steps after your presentation.

How to Close a Sales Demo?

Closing a sales demo successfully requires careful planning and preparation. Sales professionals should have multiple strategies ready to recommend the next steps to the prospect or lead.

Schedule a Follow-Up Meeting

If the prospect seems interested but not quite ready to commit, suggest scheduling a follow-up meeting. This gives them time to digest the information and allows you to address any lingering concerns.

An engaged prospect might say, "This looks promising, but I need to discuss it with my team. Can we schedule a call next week?" A less interested lead may respond, "I'm not sure if this is the right fit for us right now. Let's touch base in a few months."

Offer a Free Trial or Pilot

For prospects who are on the fence, offering a free trial or pilot program can help seal the deal. This allows them to experience the value of your product or service firsthand with minimal risk.

An interested lead might jump at the chance, saying, "A trial would be perfect. Let's set that up!" A hesitant prospect may need more convincing: "I'm not sure if we have the resources for a trial right now. Can you send me some case studies?"

Send Additional Resources

Sometimes, prospects need more information before making a decision. Offer to send them additional resources like case studies, white papers, or testimonials that showcase the value of your offering.

An engaged lead may request specific materials, noting, "I'd love to see a case study from a company in our industry." A less enthusiastic prospect might politely decline, saying, "Thanks, but I think we have enough information for now."

Ask for the Sale

If the prospect seems fully bought in, don't be afraid to ask for the sale directly. Be confident and clearly outline the next steps for getting started.

An eager buyer might say, "This is exactly what we've been looking for. What do we need to do to get started?" A more reserved prospect may hedge, responding, "It looks great, but I need to get final approval from my boss before we can move forward."

The key is to gauge the prospect's interest level and tailor your closing strategy accordingly. By having multiple options ready, you can keep the momentum going and increase your chances of success. Remember, the end of the sales demo is just the beginning of the sales process. Keep nurturing the relationship and providing value to turn that prospect into a loyal customer.

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Sales demos are a crucial step in the sales prospecting process, helping to showcase value and drive conversions. In this guide, you discovered:

  • Sales demos are visual presentations that highlight product features, benefits, and value to potential customers.
  • Sales demos differ from product demos in their audience and purpose, focusing on closing deals.
  • Common questions about sales demos include who presents them, why they're delivered, when to present them, and what channels to use.
  • Best practices for sales demos include researching prospects, being enthusiastic, practicing, personalizing, using real data, and being adaptable.
  • Closing a sales demo involves offering next steps like follow-up meetings, free trials, additional resources, or asking for the sale.

Remember, a well-executed sales demo can make all the difference in your sales success. Happy demoing!

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