4 Ways to Maximise your Software Demos


The most common pitfalls in demoing software to customers are obvious, but people just can’t help themselves. The fundamental issues reside in whether it is a demonstration, a training session or selling the concept. Ask yourself the question -  who are you doing the demo for - you or the customer? Are you impressed by your own product or are you impressing the customer?

It’s not a training session

Software demonstration are an important and integral part of the sales process. This is the only way we can get the customer to ‘touch & feel’  and experience the product. There is a fine line whether your demo is a demonstration or a training session.  You can train the customer once they have bought it!  Sales people are often so excited by the product and all its amazing features that they want to show it all off.  They believe the more they show, the more the customer will love it. The problem here is that it could be a lot more than the customer wants, needs or is even interested in. Research has shown that this will lead to one of 2 types of objection - either Price - “its a lot more than we need” or Value objection - “yes, i see why some people would want that but not really what we need” . These objections are both created by the sales person - by over sharing and over selling! 

The simple rule of thumb is - if the customer hasn’t expressed a need for that feature during the exploring stage, then don’t show the feature!


Tailor to the customers personality style

Whether it’s before or during the demo, it is critical that you understand your customers personality and style, and how to adapt the demo to it. Depending on their personality type and who they are, they need you to demonstrate to their preferred style whether it’s showing, telling or physically experiencing the software. Your demonstration has to be focused on how it plays to their needs. For example, in Salecology we explore types such as Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic.

  • Visuals need to see it - this is definitely the show and tell - but keep it graphic and bright.
  • Auditories need it to sound good - how you say it and what you say will be massively important.
  • Kinaesthetic's need to touch and feel the product - give them control of the mouse  - you navigate, let them drive.

Keep in mind the old saying “telling is not selling”.


Positive / affirming language (both verbal and body)

Everything about your connection with the customer is about energy. They way you interact whether its with words, body language or with your presence has a powerful impact on the buying decision. If you are not connecting to both your customers rational and emotional brain at a conscious and unconscious level, the deal is likely to go to your competitor or get stuck.

Work to meet and reiterate every expressed need that the customer has given to you affirming why you are showing them that particular feature of the product.

This works on the phone, as well as in person. In Salecology we utilise techniques to affirm things in the customers mind, what has been offered and why. Link these three things together:

‘You said you wanted to…’ - (insert customers need) because (insert reason here)

This is how you do that using our software’ - (demonstrate the features using customers  preference of processing information)

Can you see why this feature helps you?’ - (gain buy-in)

By going them through one by one, you are getting the customer to agree that your product meets their needs. This last statement, combined with a nodding gesture of the head (on the phone or not) will get the customer to confirm it is just what they are looking for.


Close the sale not the trial

We often find sales people get to the end of a software demos and rather than ask for the order instead offer a trial. This is disappointedly offered to the customer without them even asking for it!  The end of demo should be primarily focusing on closing the sale rather than offering any other options. The main aim of any demo has to be closing the deal! During your discussions you can ‘trial close’ the deal to test that you can close the actual deal with the customer.


The 4 ways to maximise your software demos by:

    • Demonstrating only of the features that the customer has expressed a need for.
    • Tailoring your demo to who your customer is and their preferred style of processing and understanding information
    • Match your style to the customers and function physically, mentally and linguistically at the level that they are comfortable.
    • Stop offering trials if you customer does not request one.

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