6 Sales Tips to Kill your Next Web Demo

Sales, a profession once marked by door-to-door visits and taxing road trips has changed drastically in the last 20 years. Today, six-figure deals are being closed over emails and web demos. Today, you may close a deal with a customer on another continent after a 10-minute long-distance call. However, today, we are also seeing some of the laziest product pitches of all time. Salespeople feel like it’s easier to “wing it” with online prospects, prepare less and not show up with a solid web demo strategy. I believe the key to successful web demos is to approach them like it’s 1995, with all the advancements of 2015. Treat the customer as if they were right in front of you and then blow them away with your technology.

Please join me in the battle against “wing it” web demos. Here are 6 tips to help you crush your next web demo and close the deal.

#1 Ask Yourself, “Do I actually need to do a demo?”

Sometimes prospects are not sure what they are actually looking for. The prospect may click the “I want a demo” button on your website but may actually benefit more from a quick call. This is especially true of “as a service” companies. Look at an example like Lead Genius, who provides a service based on their product. Do you really need to see a demo? Not likely. We often jump to a demo out of habit, but it might not even be necessary.

#2 Learn About Your Prospect Before the Demo

If you have an SDR team that produces leads for you, make sure that the SDR keeps very detailed qualification notes. It is their role to identify what problem your customer is trying to solve. Why are they taking 30 – 60 minutes out of their day to watch your demo? If you can’t answer that question, do a call ahead of time.

You need to hone in on their pains and demonstrate how your product relieves those pains.

If you don’t have an SDR team or it’s an inbound lead from your website, consider not jumping right into the demo but rather setting up an initial 15-minute kick-off call. Use this time to determine their needs and pain points. For example, you may learn that your customer uses a competing product that does not provide data analytics. With that information, you now know you don’t need to spend 15 minutes showing the prospect how to add a new user. Instead, you can use that time to focus on your competitive advantage: data analytics.

#3 Set an Agenda and Let Everyone Know What it is

Two things are important here: A) You respect your customer’s time and B) You verbalize that you will respect their time by setting up an agenda and following it. Emphasis on the following it.

Setting an agenda does three things:

  1. Shows you are organized, prompt and respectful.
  2. Allows you to lead the call in the direction you need it to go. For example, “We will spend the last 5 minutes talking about next steps.”
  3. Ensures that you hit all of your important value propositions in the allotted time.

#4 If you Must use a Slide Deck, Make it Short

People who want to see a demo just want to see the demo. Don’t force them through the generic, 20-page slide deck that you give over and over. If your solution is technical in nature, it may be necessary to go through some intricate technical details, but make sure it adds value to the call.

Remember, you can always send the slide deck as an added resource after the call.

I suggest simply asking your customer at the beginning of the call, “I have a slide deck that provides some more information about our company and solution. Would you like me to go through it quickly before we start or just jump right into the demo?”

#5 Don’t Show Features, Tell Stories

Please do not spend your 30 minutes taking the prospect through every single boring feature of your product. Tell the story of your company and the value of your solution. Be sure to emphasize the points that you know edge out competitors, demonstrate value and maximize your service. Make sure to break down the demo into logical chunks (think chapters) based on your product’s workflows.

For example:

Feature-telling Storytelling
“This is the login button, first you’ll add your username and company ID, then click here. From this screen, you click the arrow in the top right which will open a new window where you can add a column…” “Today we are going to go through the typical workflow of how your sales rep would use our software (Chapter 1) and how you, the manager, can view their pipeline activities (Chapter 2).”

#6 ABC: Always Be Checking

I don’t believe in waiting until the end of the demo to answer any questions. Remember, this is not you giving a presentation, this is you having a conversation with your customer with your product as the backdrop. Always be “checking” with your audience to make sure that everything makes sense and to ask if they have any questions.

At the End of the Day…

If there is one thing to take away from this piece it is to always prepare for a web demo as if it were an in-person meeting. If you are thoughtful and approach your presentation with a solid goal, you will win more business. Tell your story. Leave your prospect thinking they would be crazy not to use your solution.

There you have it, this is how we use web demos to close deals at Ideal Candidate. What’s your company’s story? What strategies do you use to seal the deal?

Are you looking for a sales job? Sign up for Ideal Candidate and let the employers come to you. Find your match and make more money.

Shaun Ricci is the Co-founder and COO of Ideal. Shaun’s accomplishments include spots on the Profit Hot 50 and Deloitte Fast 50 Companies-to-Watch lists as well as the 2012 Ontario Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Shaun is also an active writer, documenting his ups and downs while building his startup sales team. You can read more of his work on ideal.com.

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