To demo or not to demo?

Many software sales professionals rush to do a demo.  Such a strategy is fraught with risk.  Check out this post from Sam Reese (CEO, Miller Heiman) on the Miller Heiman blog which offers some great advice and perspecitve.   I enthusiastically support the comment to Sam’s post from Bob Hatcher (a former colleague of mine from Lotus) who points out:

One thing to keep probing for is what they want to see or learn from the demo. A key question to ask could be framed like this: “Our products solve a lot of problems for our customers, so I am sure to target this demo for you, what would you like to see that would convince you that our solution would have value for you and would help to solve your problems?

With this question, even if you don’t customize the product/demo itself, you can customize the presentation of the demo.

In scripting demos I always break them down into three components:

1) What you say
2) What you show
3) Why what you showed is important to the prospect.

You can’t get to number 3 if you don’t know the answer to the above question!

Dave Stein adds some insight to this important topic from the point of view of having a precise demonstration strategy in your sales process-particularly for technology companies.


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