Established Leaders

How to Avoid “Death By Demo” in Tech Sales

Every tech sales pro in B2B software knows that product demos are a big part of “sealing the deal” in the sales process. A great discussion can produce passion and interest in potential customers. Nonetheless, most B2B product demos are boring and don’t generate any type of interest from a potential buyer. They also commonly take place before really understanding that the prospect’s needs are. So, these demos sometimes eliminate your chances of developing a connection and making a good impression. This often turns your potential customers away and toward your competition.

Think about the new prospect as a date. On your first date, do you think it’s a good idea to talk endlessly about yourself, or learn and ask about the other person? The latter, of course. Also, no one wants to get married after the first date. It takes time to listen, grow interest, and offer information. Your demo, therefore, needs to be dealt with in the same way, which will lead to a second date, to show even more value and try to close the sale.

Here are some suggestions that will help you stay away from the “death by demo” in your B2B tech sales:

Getting ideal customers to the trial

Know your buyer personas

Just as people aren’t ready to get married on their first date, even if they request a trial, leads aren’t typically ready to try it out the first time they interact on your website or get an email from you. You could go on and on about your B2B software options, but without a good understanding of who you’re talking with and what they need, it will be hard to close the deal. For that reason, it’s a good idea to start defining and researching your buyer personas (imaginary personalities that match your optimal customer). This will help you and your marketing team better prioritize your outreach and your demonstration. For example, your buyer personas could be ‘Clinician Christine’, ‘Physician Phineas’ and ‘Administrator Adam’ with a listing of objectives, obstacles, and other features that define each. Then, tailor your tech sales demo and conversions to deal with what each persona’s needs. Understand their unique struggles and make customizations accordingly. In doing so, your leads will see that your offering is not a one-size-fits-all widget.

Giving the demo

Keep it brief

Once you have gone over just how your services or products will meet the needs of the leads, take a break. Talking without a pause will make your audience bored. Be sure to keep the demo quick, concentrating on what’s most important. Also, don’t get too caught up in the presentation and ignore your leads. Watch their faces and their body language to see if they have any comments or questions. When they want to say something, allow them to interrupt you.

Be animated

B2B tech sales conversations can be very formal and boring. If you want to engage your target market, you need to put some enthusiasm into your demo. Make sure to change up your tone of voice. People will lose interest if you are monotone. Use faces and hand gestures to show your leads that you are excited to help them. Anik Singal, the Founder and CEO of Lurn and VSS Mind, is a good example of someone who makes a B2B demo engaging and dynamic.

Use case studies and stories

Don’t spend all your time talking about the advantages and disadvantages of your service or product. Use case studies and stories to demonstrate how other companies have benefited from it. For example, you could talk about how your B2B software product or service helped “X Hospital” reduce their customer waiting time by y%. Doing this will make it easier for potential customers to learn more about the value and advantages of your firm, therefore helping them make a buying decision. Marketo’s case studies are a good example of research that provides their leads on how to choose a marketing automation software program.

Stay clear of unnecessary comparisons

Many salespeople use conversations to compare themselves to their competition and talk about why their service or product is better. This should only be done in moderation. If you know that the prospect is considering a rival, they find a way to show your benefits over theirs. If you raise a point that the prospect had not considered, though, you might simply give them an alternative to think about. To stay away from these mistakes, you could ask exploratory questions to see where your prospect is in the buyer’s journey and what alternatives they are considering.

Practice makes perfect

It’s a good idea to practice your presentation at least two times before the real thing. This will make you more comfortable with the content and will relax your nerves. It will also help you identify any mistakes and find ways to fix them. Find a coworker to play the role of the prospect and offer you comments. Remember to test any tools or devices that you will need in the presentation to make sure they work.

Be on time

No matter what, make sure the demo starts and ends on time. Starting or ending late will just irritate the potential customer and will hurt your chances of making a sale. If you start late as a result of unavoidable circumstances, apologize and explain. In the event that you have to go over a few minutes, ask the prospective customer if they have the time. Their schedule is just as busy as yours, so keep that in mind.

End with a call-to-action

Make sure that you conclude with a call-to-action (CTA). The CTA could be asking for business, setting up a call, or scheduling a meeting with other decision-makers in the company. This will ensure that the conversation keeps going. It will also provide you with time to answer any questions or handle any concerns, therefore upping your chances of making the sale. Corevist, a leading supplier of SAP B2B ecommerce services, has a brief product demo that finishes with a CTA to set up a free trial.

After the demo

Keep potential customers engaged with content

Once the customer asks for a trial and either does not show up or says they are not ready to buy, continue to be a resource by offering them content to continuously inform them until the moment is right. Using your specified buyer personas, you can work with your marketing team to develop content that meets the needs of your ideal buyer. This content could be blogs, infographics, or how-to videos. You can then share this content on a regular basis to your potential customers via lead nurturing emails. This will help your leads inform themselves to enhance their trust in your brand name (idea management). This content will help them identify the issues they have and help them consider ways to solve them.

The bottom line

As essential as it is for you to offer a great demo, it will only work if your leads are moved by the presentation and what you have to offer, the content you give, and how well your conversation is aligned to their needs. Simply put, your tech sales process has to be customer-centered, where your purpose is not to sell another product or service but to help your leads meet their needs. This kind of sales process is called the Inbound Sales Methodology.

It can be tough to do all this alone. We at Responsify work with B2B tech sales and business development pros to offer strategy, support, and help in applying these tasks. We help marketing and salespeople bring in new site visitors, convert them to leads, and then satisfied clients.

We’ve helped many gifted salespeople integrate Inbound into their sales process and close more sales. Don’t hesitate to schedule your free strategy session to see how you can boost your sales, too!

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