Learning Best Demo Practices with a SaaS Sales Demo Coach
Most salespeople and founders trying to learn and understand how to do sales demos and improve their sales conversations are going about it the wrong way. Here are some common gaps that account executives do during sales demos:
Shallow discovery - they spend little to no time digging into the prospect's pain point and process.
Feature dumping - they dump all they know about the features and functions of the software without tailoring it to the prospect's challenges (known from discovery).
Long monologues/no engagement - on top of feature dumping, they rarely ask prospects questions throughout the demo (i.e. continuous discovery) which causes the prospect not to engage as much during the call.
The problem with typical sales training that B2B SaaS companies invest in is that they're not specific to B2B SaaS. This means the sales manager or enablement team has to curate the information and make it specific to their use case. FDTC was built specifically for B2B SaaS companies which is why the training (such as FDTC University) and coaching (FDTC 90-day coaching program) for sales reps are effective.
Why Pre Demo Is More Important Than the Demo
The more you prepare and research the demo process, the more the likelihood of a positive outcome during the demo and after the sales call. This mantra goes for anything in life. Preparing and researching are not as glamorous and appealing, which makes most account executives always in a hurry to do the demo without going through pre-demo skills.
What Is a Pre Demo?
A pre-demo is basically the preparation and research account executives or sales reps undertake before a software demonstration is done. Properly preparing for a sales demo helps the sales rep understand more about their prospect, their business, and potentially their challenges.
Attorneys and real estate investors spend time doing research during their due diligence phase so that they can properly make their case/offer/negotiate.
With FDTC, you’re able to learn pre-demo skills that will help you to pinpoint what to prepare for before your demo.
Pre Demo Questions
FDTC has worked closely with various B2B SaaS companies and account executives, helping them attain proficient pre-demo expertise. We understand how coming up with pre-demo questions is a struggle for many companies. These companies struggle with the following:
Prospects have been through the sales cycle over and over; therefore, many times they are in a better place to know what to look for on the demo. These buyers are inquisitive and are interested to some extent, but that doesn’t mean they’re qualified.
Through sales coaching, you’ll understand how important context is, just like the answers you’ll get. The prospects should match your perfect client profile, case studies, and references, among other things.
Questions to Ask in SaaS Demos
FDTC sales training allows sales reps and sales managers to learn and understand what types of questions qualify in SaaS sales demos. Sales reps need to understand that the questions not only qualify prospects but also gain a better understanding of the prospect's situation (p.s. - there is a big difference between qualifying questions and discovery questions).
Typically, prospects will only schedule a discovery call if they have a problem they need to solve. If the sales rep were to listen and decipher the situation of prospects, they can easily move the prospect to the next stage of the sales process with the answers they give.
The answers the prospect gives should be saved in the CRM so that whoever is doing the demo, can reference them. One of the most important questions to ask on a discovery call and sales demo (since some B2B SaaS companies have AEs doing discovery on the demo call) is the "Why" question. "What is the reason you decided to jump on a call today?" This question starts the process of having the prospect talk about the challenges they're trying to solve (disclaimer: that question would be slightly different if the prospect came from an outbound email/cold call).
Another question that a sales rep should ask a prospect is, what are their expectations? In order to know the prospect's goals and what features to prioritize on the demo, a sales rep (SDR or AE) should be asking prospects about their goals and expectations with a new solution.
e.g. "If you were to go with a solution, whether it's ours or something else, what would success look like to you?"
SaaS Demo Script
We also see how sales reps are very hesitant in creating a SaaS demo script. A demo script is a run sheet of what to say and ask throughout the demo when showcasing certain features.
For example, when an account executive shows a feature that solves a specific problem that the prospect mentioned during discovery, how will they talk about it? What aspects of that feature will they cover? This is why having a demo script is crucial to the success of the demo and the deal. Did you know that sales reps that use a demo training program to learn how to make accurate SaaS demo scripts outperform in sales processes most times?
In our sales training, your sales team will learn about conversation prompts in a sales process. It’s basically guiding the conversations to lead to the outcome you desire that is advantageous to the buyer and you.
Moreover, recording and listening to the conversation of sales calls are equally or even more important than the demo script in a sales process. It’ll help you get the needed information for the demo without having to manually notate everything you here (P.S. Conversation intelligence solutions like Gong, Chorus, Avoma, and Refract record your sales demos and transcribe the conversation as well).
How Long Should a SaaS Sales Demo Be?
What differentiates a bad demo from a good one is its longevity, apart from other things. The duration of sales demos depends on the complexity of the product, industry, and buyer. We've found that for SMB and MM B2B SaaS companies, a 30-45 minute demo is the sweet spot. If you spend too much time on the demo, that can lead to prospect burnout. If you spend too little time on a demo, the prospect will feel rushed and not see enough value in the product to move forward with your company.
The rule of thumb with demos is that they should be succinct and tailored to the prospect. I.E. If the prospect has two main challenges and your product has a lot of features, prioritize the features that solve those two problems your prospect has. There’s the potential to lose people’s interest when you go for longer demos. Managing expectations is important before starting demos, meaning you’re able to tell clients beforehand what the process is expected of them, and what exactly will happen during the demos.
Typically, it should entail;
Agenda and objectives, possible outcomes; five minutes maximum
Talking about the business pain the sales teams identified during a pre-demo discovery call. It should take 5-10 minutes (again, sometimes a discovery happens on the demo and in that case, it could take 10-15 minutes to do discovery before actually starting the demo).
Short SaaS sales demo cross-referenced towards the company's pain. If you can show the prospect how you can solve their pain in only 10 minutes with your software, then that's how long the software demonstration should be.
Agreed steps: it should take between 5-10 minutes.
If you need more time than the ones mentioned above, you should either ask the prospect if they have more time to speak or schedule a follow up ensure the SaaS demo is exactly what they're looking for. Sales demo training will help you execute this properly.
Questions to Ask During SaaS Demos
Asking questions is the first step to getting intel and data about anything. Oftentimes, in a consultative sales process, sales teams can easily abuse its use. There are certain questions you should avoid asking during the SaaS sales demo; questions that seem closed, which force clients to say no to the process (disclaimer: unless the prospect's "yes" or "no" response is helpful in the sales and buying journey).
An example of a closed-ended question that shouldn't be overly asked during the sales demo is: "Do you have any questions?" It's alright to ask this question from time to time, but account executives abuse this question and it doesn't help with the sale. The reason this question should be avoided is that it fails to connect the company pain identified during the pre-demo discovery to the specific feature that it solves.
A better close-ended question to ask is:
"Does this solve your challenge of....[Insert prospect's challenge from discovery]?"
There’s no point in asking questions if you’re not ready to listen to the answers and incorporate the information into the sales process. Therefore, if you were to ask a question, let it be an open-ended question that customers can answer.
An example of an open-ended question would be:
"What area of your internal process do you feel this would help solve the most?"
The prospect cannot answer yes or no, they have to provide a thorough response.
Speaking to people and getting them to listen to what you’re saying is a skill. Going for sales training and sales call coaching to gain such skills is a step in the right direction as far as successful sales processes are concerned. The sales coaching program that FDTC provides will certainly make this possible.
Software Demo Guidelines
Having a demo guide is essentially important as you’ll be able to cross-check the list of things that should take place during the software demos. One can easily forget crucial points that can make a software demo a success. Create the things you need to drive home during the demo, and categorize them into these groups.
Pre demo; Look at things that will make you prepare and research for the software demo leaving no stone unturned.
Technical backups; make sure you have an extra computer for software backups and broadband for unexpected happenings. Ensure you’ve double-checked the software.
Demo; ensure you have a list of customer pains that the company needs to resolve during the software demonstration. Come up with questions relating to customer pains.
The best tip for great software demos is practice! There is no silver bullet when it comes to improving your sales demo skills, so practice every week via roleplaying mock demos, and coaching. You can enroll in a SaaS sales coaching program, like FDTC, that ensures you learn everything there is about creating a suitable software demo guide
Starting a Software Demo
Sales demos are your chance to stand out and tell customers what unique thing differentiates you from the rest of other service providers as well as show them how you can solve their problems (most important to the prospect).
It’s better to not talk about the slide or showcase the logos of your clients. Most software companies start their demos like this, which is actually a waste of time and resources in your sales.
The clients don’t want to hear about it. However, if a company feels that the information is too important to miss, it can do a short video demo about it and send it to prospects before the actual demo. Remember, people will only buy into what you're selling if they feel a company is coming from a genuine place. Therefore, the tone and body language should align with the information you're trying to outlay. Even if it’s a zoom or conference call, you must carefully choose the words you'll use and learn how to say them properly (i.e. practice tonality).
SaaS Sales Demo Videos
Most companies rely on labor, which is their biggest overhead. As labor has limitations, sales reps only work 40 hours a week. The company sales reps can’t go viral or scale as videos would. We can’t dispute the fact that sales reps will help customers buy into what the B2B SaaS company is selling, but it would be wrong not to acknowledge how important digital presence is important in this day and age in channeling more sales.
Videos are scalable; therefore, you must decide as a company whether you’ll want to record the demo session for the digital public to see. This step can be a marketing strategy; moreover, you can also decide to keep the video and outlay one on one basis during the demo process.
In addition to this, companies can find a middle ground on the matter by giving custom SaaS sales demos. The sales demo, in this case, must be generic to give that bespoke experience. Most firms have different organizational structures from the sales reps, managers, and products to the service.
Therefore, it’s imperative to A/B test the options you have until you find one that will constructively meet your needs in terms of making more sales. Using demo videos is particularly successful in situations where the product or service requires additional explanations.
Quality SaaS Demos Leads to Win Rates
Sales demonstrations can get a customer or investor interested in your product. It’s also a good way to convey customers’ pain concerning the product. Providing quality demos to prospects is done because:
It Stimulates Interest
Demos give visual support that enhances the sales presentation. Customers who are hands-on learners will find demos beneficial as they will have an opportunity to see the product in full action, especially if they can see how it will solve their challenges in the shortest period of time. They’ll quickly grasp the potential and value of a product.
It’s more appealing to prospects to have a product they can feel and see in action than just a mere sales pitch, it quickly drives in more sales (this is why relying on a sales deck to showcase value doesn't work).
Quality product demo redirects the focus to ownership to prospects. It has a way of instilling a sense of ownership in prospects. Prospects are in the front row seat imagining how the product can be part of their lives. Letting customers test out the product will give them this feeling of ownership. Prospects’ connection with this feeling of ownership is a persuasive technique that’ll help your company sell more products and generate more MRR (monthly recurring revenue) or ARR (annual recurring revenue).
The items used on a demo like the product, template, and brochure, among other things, act as proof that supports your sales pitch. Most prospects assume you’ll rave about all the good things about your product. They certainly have an inbuilt distrust for a salesperson. Therefore, showing what the product can do and allowing them to experience it results in more win rates in terms of sales.
Combating Product Concerns
Demos provide an opportunity for your business to address customer pain about the product. A prospect may come with a preconceived notion about your software product from the marketplace; it’s only right to address and debunk such claims to ensure the customer is at ease. These concerns are more like a cue to outlay more information about the software product.
Additionally, sales managers and reps should tailor the demo to befit the audience. Ensure the demo is in line with the target market and environment; whether it’s for investors or clients. The preparation will ensure successful win rates in terms of sales.
Why Go for SaaS Sales Coaching Program with FDTC
Salespeople should undergo continuous SaaS demo coaching since a lot of knowledge is lost without reinforcement. FDTC offers both the sales demo training as the foundation as well as a 90-day personalized coaching program to reinforce the training. Let’s take a look at why the SaaS industry should enroll in our demo program.
It will help your salespeople get continuous knowledge that’ll help develop skills that would foster meaningful buyer conversations that would drive sales. The reps can constantly make improvements to their performance. On top of that, it allows sales managers to change and make improvements on sales processes, training techniques, and highlighting areas of improvement for their teams.
Moreover, the FDTC training program influences results. Aberdeen research indicates SaaS companies with formal coaching skills attained from coaching experience have a higher win rate of 10% than companies that don’t. Companies that use the wrong approach will have negative results that reflect on their overall sales. SaaS sales demo coaching will embark on one-on-one training, role-play sessions, deal collaborations, plus critical feedback.
How to Get Started with the FDTC Sales Training Program
1:1 Sales Demo Coaching
The first option is enrolling your Account Executives (or you, if it's founder-led slaes) in a one-on-one sales demo coaching program (if you want to learn more, schedule a call with us over here). We’ll start discussing areas in your SaaS B2B business that need improvement and the purpose of your product demo. The good thing about our program is that it’s hands-on and on a personal level. We try to give each client our full attention by not training two or more companies at once.
Workshop for the Sales Team
Another option is that we can also set up a sales workshop with your sales team and sales leaders to focus on topics such as sales discovery, demos, tonality, and closing. It’s usually a step-by-step guide on how to create a quality product demo that will win sales. We don’t stop here; we oversee how the sales teams will internalize theory to practical.
Every sales process may have unique aspects that may cause your sales team to flex different muscles. Our training understands this and has ensured that we just don’t stick to one flavor. We provide a myriad of approaches that target different skills and levels of experience. A good example is the round-robin-style questions that we utilize during the workshop.
We'll be right there for ongoing accessibility when you need it by adding FDTC to your company's communication channel (such as Slack). We also provide additional sales tips that would put your business on a winning streak. If you’re thinking of improving your sales demo for your product, consider hiring a B2B SaaS sales coach to help you navigate through the process. The sales tips and skills the trainer will give you during training will ensure your business reflects a positive outcome in sales. If you're interested in learning more about SaaS sales demo coaching and training, schedule a call with the founder of FDTC, Mor Assouline, over here.