• Matt Wolach

The 7 Most Common Product Demo Mistakes...That Have Nothing to Do with the Demo Itself

Sometimes B2B SaaS founders, leaders, and salespeople miss out on the basics of giving a great demo

Being focused on the demo itself, it can be easy to miss all of the other things around the demo that can make or break the deal. Here are 7 common non-demo demo mistakes to avoid.


1. Not building rapport at the beginning.


Many prospects are nervous and leery of demos - they don't know what to expect and they're on heightened alert knowing that a salesperson is about to try and sell them - their guard is up.

So don't just jump right into the demo at the beginning. Warm them up a bit with some small talk. It helps if you've done your research and looked up the prospect to understand more about them and their company prior to the demo. Doing so will make them feel more comfortable which can only help your cause.

2. Rushing to the demo without doing discovery.


Many SaaS founders who didn't come from the sales world, don't understand the importance of the discovery process (sometimes called 'needs analysis'). Nobody walks into the doctor's office to have the doctor immediately go to work on them. Likewise, don't just run into your pitch without learning about the prospect and their needs first.

If you have a solution, you need to first find if the prospect has pain so you know if they are fit in the first place.

3. Not tailoring the demo to the discovery.

Ok I get it, you've build this amazing solution and you're so excited to show people what it can do. You even spent time rehearsing your product demo over and over to make sure it came off just right. Well done!

Only not so much.

The demo shouldn't be the exact same thing every time. It's vitally important to use the discovery you just did an apply it to the demo. If you can take the pain you've uncovered and show-- no focus, on the solution your product has for that pain - you'll have the prospect eating out of your hands in no time.

4. Not tailoring the demo to the role of the prospect.

Not only should you tailor the demo to the discovery, but you should also tailor the pitch based on who you are talking to and what their role is in the organization (dang! All that practice on the demo script down the drain!).

The CEO you are talking to should get a different pitch than the line level person who will be doing a lot of data entry in your system. They will us your product differently and will want different things.

5. Not teaching the prospect about the industry or a trend.

One of the best ways to win a prospect is to develop trust. And one of the best ways to develop trust is to demonstrate that you know what your talking about in their business - not just yours.

So you should have a quick (4-6 slides at most) slide deck at the beginning of the presentation in order to set the stage. Make sure they understand something that is happening or a shift that has taken place in their industry that they need to adjust for (and it just so happens your product helps them adapt to that shift).

6. Not guiding the next steps after the call.

This is your sales process, not theirs. Don't let the prospect decide what should happen next (they don't know and they're just winging it). Even worse, don't just end casually and say, "I hope you liked it, bye!"

You need to guide the prospect down the path you want them to take. Assume the sale and go over next steps, whatever closes them or moves them closer to close.

7. Not following up after the demo.

Did you know that there are studies that show that around 40-65% of sales reps never follow up after a call? You just spent an hour with this person and if you don't follow up afterwards, they'll either forget about you, or your competitor will follow up and earn their trust.

And don't just follow up once. Studies show that 80% of sales require at least 5 follow ups. So don't give up and keep on grinding!

How many of these mistakes have you been guilty of?

If you have seen too many of these happen at your company, and if you're ready to take your sales to the next level, contact us and we can discuss how to make your sales take off.

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