9 Tips To Give A Great Product Demo
Ever wondered how to do a demo presentation that wows everyone - your customers, your manager, and yeah, even the CEO? Preparation is your friend, but we've dug into that in another article. Today, we've listed these nine handy tips for rocking product demos. Get these down, and you'll not only show off your product in style but also click with your audience, steering your business toward more awesome engagements.
This article was updated on the 25th of October, 2023.
- What Is a Product Demo?
- How to Give a Demo Presentation?
- How Long Should a Product Demo Be?
- 1. Treat Your Demo as a Conversation
- 2. Present the Agenda
- 3. Read Your Audience
- 4. Run a Discovery Session
- 5. Focus On Significant Features Only
- 6. Deal With Bugs
- 7. Mind the Time
- 8. End a Product Demo Properly
- 9. Sales Call Monitoring and Sales Call Tracking
What Is a Product Demo?
A product demo (short for product demonstration) is a way companies show how their product or service works to potential customers. It's about showing how the product can fix a problem or make things better for the user.
Usually done by salespeople or product managers, product demonstrations can be live events, pre-recorded demo videos, or interactive presentations. A good demo is made to fit the audience's needs and is engaging, helping customers see how they'd benefit from the product. This helps in educating the customers and can also help in making sales.
Success in these demos often boils down to good planning and a personalized approach. This article assumes you've already done your prep work — researched, planned, and now you're ready to hit the play button on that video call.
If you're unsure about any prep steps or how to handle sales calls, check out our guide on how to prepare for a winning demo call.
How to Give a Demo Presentation?
In delivering an effective demo, knowing your audience is key. Tailor your presentation to address their specific needs, highlighting how your product solves their challenges rather than just listing features. Keep it engaging by encouraging questions and providing clear, relatable examples.
Post-demo, a clear call to action helps guide what steps the audience should take next, making it easy for them to move forward with your product. Keep refining your approach based on feedback to continuously improve your demo presentations.
How Long Should a Product Demo Be?
There’s no fixed, recommended, or data-backed time for a demo. However, 15-20 minutes seems like a reasonable length. Although product demonstration should not only be about your product’s features or complicated technical issues, you will undoubtedly mention them.
All this means that your potential customer, in a short period, will have to focus on specific information and not get bored. Talking for too long and presenting too many things at once will surely bore your prospect.
Moreover, remember that this kind of sales call is not a tutorial during which you explain all the options your product provides. So, keep it short, interesting, and value-focused.
Now, let's discuss nine actionable tips on how to give a good demo presentation.
1. Treat Your Demo as a Conversation
A product demo, like any other conversation, should start with formal greetings and common courtesies. Avoid “attacking” your demo attendee and rushing to the first point from your to-say list. If you want a successful call, ask them how they are doing. Or mention that thing you discovered about them or their company during your research (the latest project, launch of a new feature, some personal achievement).
Keep building rapport. You are closer to winning this deal, but don’t be too quick to jump into details. Treat the prospect like a human being, and make them feel comfortable and relaxed during sales calls.
2. Present the Agenda
After the smooth start mentioned above, get to the next step. Include an agenda slide in your presentation. Tell your prospect how long the demo will last (and stick to that!), what topics you will cover, and how that relates to the pain points of their company.
Stick to a clear beginning, middle, and ending
While presenting your agenda, be clear about each part — what will happen at the beginning, when you will get to the details, and how the end will look. Inform your prospect that there will be time to ask questions (but they are also welcome to ask them during the presentation) and repeat a chosen part of the demo if needed.
Don’t forget to ask your prospect for permission to record sales calls. And one more critical thing — at the very beginning, get an agreement to discuss the next steps at the end of your conversation. Just say that your main aim is to reach a point at which your interlocutor is able to make a decision — to plan the next step or to resign and leave in peace.
3. Read Your Audience
After a few minutes of your demo, you can more or less get your prospect’s way of communicating. We have written about mirroring in our blog post about 9 mistakes you don’t know your sales reps make inside sales calls.
To make sure you conduct a successful sales call, make similar gestures, pay attention to their facial expressions, and look them “in the eye” even via your camera. What’s also really important is to speak their language. Use similar words and phrases. If you notice your prospect is laid back and does not create a distance, be more direct, make a joke, and do not seem too serious.
4. Run a Discovery Session
Even after in-depth research, there will still be some question marks. This is the time to turn these question marks into sentences full of unique data.
Tell your prospect that you want to fully understand their needs. Ask the potential buyer to identify their biggest challenges in the long term and existing pain points that influence their everyday work.
What worries them as a leader/team member? What slows their people down? Do they have any thoughts and expectations regarding your offer? What are their requirements? Who will use the solution? Do you need to learn more about running a discovery session?
5. Focus On Significant Features Only
After a short, successful discovery session and a quick intro focused on the bigger picture, get straight to the reason for all this. We’ve covered this topic in our other article about product demos and demo calls, but we need to stress it once again.
If you want to give a great demonstration every time, you have to talk about and focus on the value that a discussed part of your product brings! This conversation is not about general features or the visual aspects of your new dashboard. It's about how your product can help the customer. Or actually how your customer can benefit from the product. Remember, be customer-centric!
Relate to the prospect’s role
While presenting different features, always remember to put them in the context of how specific departments at your prospect’s company would use them and benefit from them.
If you have an opportunity to talk to the head of sales, show them how their reps could improve their work by implementing your product. You can mention the benefits for other departments, but only if you have enough time. Don't tell them a success story of that client who bought your solution, and their financial department miraculously started to be more efficient.
Give reliable examples
A great demonstration of a product always relates to potential problems in the prospect’s organization. Never present options that are irrelevant to your potential client. To show how your solution can solve identified problems, and back your statements with examples.
But we mean real-life examples presented by using real-life data, not some abstract numbers your prospect cannot relate to. You should definitely avoid saying things like: “Imagine your team needs this and that…”. It's not about imagination. Your role is to make this demo as realistic as possible.
6. Deal With Bugs
While presenting how your product works, you are not error-proof. Bugs can occur during online product demos and video calls. So, in case of an unexpected problem or system failure, do not lose your cool.
Never try to ignore an error message or unexpected pop-up during a product demo because it'll cause a loss of trust. If something like that occurs, say that you are sorry, but do not elaborate or try to explain yourself by saying something like: “Oh, it has never happened before.”
Just go on with the conversation and try to figure out the best solution. Maybe you should bring up the topic of your customer support team and show your prospect how they work? Or use the knowledge base to look for a possible cause of the problem?
7. Mind the Time
How do you improve sales calls? Always stick to the time you mentioned in the agenda, and avoid extending the conversation at any cost. The plan or a list of steps you prepare before your product demo is not only aimed to help you with structuring the call but also to make it easier for you to control the time.
You have to know how long each part takes and check every 2-3 minutes if you are not running over time. When you notice one part took you more time than planned, try to shorten the following steps a bit.
8. End a Product Demo Properly
Summarize the demo
Recap the main points, emphasize what topics were discussed during your demo, which of them was the most important, and what actions are required on your prospect’s end to turn the outcome of the demo into success.
If there were any questions that you were not able to ask, bring them up, and promise you will get back with an answer as soon as possible. And, of course, do as you say. No broken promises.
Establish the next step
After summarizing the product demo call, talk about the next steps. What should your prospect expect? Are they a decision maker, or do you have to talk to someone else? If they are a “gatekeeper,” are they convinced, and would they arrange a call with their superior? Remember about adding a good old call to action and secure the next contact.
A great demonstration call will bring you closer to the final transaction, but especially in the case of big deals, it will be just one part of your journey. So, make sure you know the next step.
9. Sales Call Monitoring and Sales Call Tracking
How do you improve sales calls if you don’t measure the whole process of product presentations, don’t track sales calls, and don’t evaluate the work of your salespeople?
If you don't monitor and track sales calls, your sales department won't drive results in the long run. You need to analyze each and every conversation using sales call monitoring and then assess the overall performance of a single sales rep, each team, and then the whole department.
How to track sales calls?
Sales call tracking and sales call monitoring allow managers of sales departments to discreetly listen in on conversations between their agents and their customers or prospects. Sales call tracking systems usually offer real-time dashboards to view the list of active conversations taking place.
Sales call monitoring helps you evaluate both your agents and their communication strategies and improve all aspects of your sales department operations. Sales reps who conduct all sales calls should also use a sales call log after each product demo.
Continuous monitoring and improvement of your team’s calls will directly help you boost the efficiency and performance of all sales activities and will positively influence your company’s bottom line.
A well-implemented sales call tracking and sales call monitoring software improves agent productivity. It enables you to manage, train, and support your agents to be more productive, efficient and contribute more to your business.
Hopefully, now you know how to give a good product demo. A demo call that will move you closer to a closed deal is always about value. Your job is to prove to your prospect how your product will make their work easier, more efficient, etc.
Remember these tips that always work:
- Start with the right questions.
- Adjust to your audience’s way of communicating.
- Talk about essential features.
- Follow your plan (but be flexible).
- Set a clear next step.
Treat every demo call individually, and if something new comes up during the conversation, react. Do not be this sales zombie who sticks to a certain plan no matter what. And, of course, relax! You cannot let the stress take over because you will start to make mistakes.
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