The role of a product demo in closing more sales

Ayaan Bhattacharjee

Content Writer

The role of a product demo in closing more sales

Table of Contents

A product demo significantly contributes to driving sales, an aspect this blog seeks to delve into. Unraveling the concept of a product demo, we aim to foster a deeper understanding of its function and consequence. In an era where 96% of B2B companies are moving towards video product demos, it’s clear – product showcasing is a game changer. 

As an influential sales tool, a product demo turns potential customers into definite ones by allowing them to experience the product firsthand. This blog focuses on various aspects of a product demo, such as its diverse forms, operation, and relevance in today’s sales environment. Let’s begin this informative journey.

What is a product demo?

A product demo is a powerful tool used by businesses to showcase how their product operates and the benefits it offers. Quite simply, it’s a demonstration of a product’s functionalities in a real or simulated environment to prospective users. The primary purpose of a product demo is to illuminate the product’s value proposition in a compelling, relatable way. It helps businesses to communicate complex ideas simply, allowing potential customers to visualize how the product can solve their real-world challenges.

Product demos come in various formats, each suited to different scenarios and purposes. Live interactive product demos, for instance, contain a human element, which is great for personalization. They are effective as they allow for instant feedback and inquiries, often making the product value more tangible and immediate to the potential client.

Software demonstration videos, on the other hand, are pre-recorded demonstrations of the product. These allow for mass reach and can be consumed at the viewer’s own pace at any given time. The videos can be comprehensive, detailing all the product’s intricacies or focusing on specific features. They can also be used in follow-ups to prospective customers, serving as a reminder of the product’s unique functionalities and benefits.

What is the difference between a product demo and a sales demo?

While the terms “product demo” and “sales demo” are often used interchangeably, they serve distinct purposes and cater to different audiences.

Product demo

A product demo can be viewed as an educational tool aimed at showing the functionality and benefits of a product. It typically features a product demo video or an interactive product demo focusing on emphasizing how the product works. Its principal goal is to familiarize the potential user with the product and convey its practical use and efficiency.

Sales demo

In contrast, a sales demo is a more strategic selling tool designed to convince a prospect of the value and relevance of a product or service in relation to their unique needs. This type of demo not only shows what the product does (like a software product demo), but it also specifically illustrates how the product can address the prospect’s business challenges and add value. Its primary goal is to facilitate a purchasing decision for the potential buyer.

In short, the preference for a software demonstration or sales demo depends on the scenario. For an audience at the early stages of the purchasing journey, who are merely exploring options and gaining initial product knowledge, a product demo might be more suitable. On the other hand, a sales demo would be more fitting for prospects who are closer to making a purchase decision. 

While delivering these demos in an online setting, interactive product demo software can be instrumental in both cases. This tool engages prospects effectively, thereby improving the overall demo experience.

Who delivers a product demo?

A product demo, essentially a representation of the product’s functionalities and benefits, can potentially be delivered by various individuals within an organization. This depends on the company’s size and structure. It could be a salesperson, a solutions consultant, a product manager, or even a subject matter expert.

Typically, a salesperson who is on the front line with clients might conduct a software demonstration, especially when it’s about driving sales. However, for more technical products, such as complex and interactive product demo software, specialized roles like solutions consultants or product managers might be better equipped to carry out demonstrations. This is because they can provide a deeper level of detail.

In some cases, subject matter experts are brought in to give software product demos. Their in-depth knowledge can provide prospective clients with more precise information about technical aspects, software integrations, or industry-specific use cases. Thus enhancing the persuasiveness of the software product demo.

When do you deliver a product demo?

But when to deliver a product demo within the buyer journey is key to its success. Ideally, a software product demo should happen once a prospective buyer has a basic understanding of the product and shows genuine interest. This falls into the ‘Consideration’ phase of the buyer’s journey, where they are evaluating potential solutions.

It’s crucial to build anticipation before the actual and interactive product demo. Even when the product is impressive, a badly timed demonstration can prove counterproductive. By teasing features, providing useful product demo videos, and setting expectations, a sense of anticipation can be built. Thus increasing the likelihood of a successful software demonstration.

How do you deliver a product demo?

The process of delivering a captivating and effective product demo goes beyond just illustrating the functionalities and features. It is successful when prospects are able to promptly realize the value proposition.

Step-by-step process of delivering an engaging demo

Understand your audience: Before you delve into a demo, find out who the audience is and what they hope to gain. Understanding their pains, needs, and goals will help tailor a more relevant and engaging presentation.

Plan your demo: After understanding your audience, it’s time to plan out your demo. Identify the product’s aspects that will address the specific needs of your audience the most. Start by giving a brief overview and then gradually go into the details.

Deliver with a storytelling approach: Weave a story around the software demonstration. Connect the product capabilities with real-life situations to make it relatable to the audience rather than just rattling off feature lists.

Show, don’t just tell: Using tools like interactive product demo software can make your demo experience more interactive and engaging. With such tools, you can demonstrate how to use the product in a hands-on manner.

Invite participation: Encourage the audience to ask questions or give feedback. This approach makes an interactive product demo and can help uncover any uncertainties or misconceptions.

Creating a software product demo

Creating a software demonstration demands the same base structure of understanding, planning, delivering, and interaction. However, given the technical nature, the emphasis should be on making it easy to comprehend.

Start with an overview of the software, gradually moving on to its most significant features and functionality. Explain how the software can solve the pain points of your audience and illustrate them with practical examples or case scenarios.

Using an interactive product demo allows you to present the software’s operation in a real-life setting, which will help users understand better. Also, consider using captions, annotations, or voice-overs to further describe complicated procedures.

The importance of a product demo in the B2B SaaS sales process

The B2B SaaS sales process typically consists of stages such as prospecting, discovery & qualification, product demonstrations, negotiations, and closing. Product demos are a crucial aspect of this process, as they help prospects visualize the solution in action. Thus bridging the gap between theoretical understanding and practical application.

How can product demos build trust and showcase value?

Product demos are a critical touchpoint in conveying the unique selling proposition, building trust, and showcasing value. They help prospects understand the product, deepen their knowledge, and envision how it can solve their problems. By addressing concerns and specific needs, a software demonstration can instill confidence in the product. Thus significantly increasing the likelihood of purchase. Also, introduction to different SaaS sales models, including self-service SaaS, transactional SaaS, and enterprise SaaS is pivotal. 

Self-service SaaS

This sales model caters to customers who prefer minimal interaction with the sales team, choosing to make purchase decisions independently. Companies employing this model must provide a comprehensive yet understandably elegant product demo to convey value quickly.

Transactional SaaS

In this sales model, customers usually have a general understanding of the product and require minimal intervention from the sales team. Demos for transactional SaaS focus primarily on showcasing relevant features and benefits that specifically relate to customer requirements.

Enterprise SaaS

Enterprise-scale solutions typically involve longer sales cycles, more substantial investments, and extensive consultations. Enterprise demos must exhibit a deep understanding of prospects’ unique business processes, tailoring the demonstration to the specific pain points and challenges faced by the customers.

Matching your demo style to your sales model

Selecting the right demo style based on your sales model is crucial to maximize its effectiveness. For self-service SaaS, focus on creating concise, comprehensible, and visually appealing demos that convey value without overwhelming users. Transactional SaaS demos should emphasize relevant features, benefits, and potential ROI calculations. Enterprise SaaS demos can be more extensive, requiring deeper customization to address the prospect’s specific needs holistically.

How do product demos improve close rates?

Product demos are a critical factor in driving successful sales outcomes. They serve as the practical embodiment of your solution, directly influencing close rates. Here’s a closer look at how software demonstrations elevate conversion.

Analysis of the direct impact of product demos on close rates.

Software demonstrations have a profound impact on close rates because they form a solid bridge between prospects’ understanding of the product and witnessing its actual capabilities. 

At High Peak Software, this has been a repeatedly proven factor in enhancing our close rates. An effective demonstration brings the product to life, helping clients visualize how the software can solve their unique problems. Getting a firsthand experience inspires confidence, and countless times, it has acted as a turning point from a prospect to a customer.

Key metrics to monitor success and areas of improvement.

Several key metrics are helpful in monitoring the success and areas of improvement: the total number of demos given, the conversion rate of demos to sales, customer feedback, and time to close post-demo. Regular evaluation of these metrics helps us refine our demonstrations and improve close rates consistently. When we spot a feature that consistently resonates with clients during the demo, we highlight it even more in future presentations.

Mastering the product demo

Mastering the art of delivering compelling product demos is key to engaging prospects effectively. Here are some essentials to guide your journey toward crafting an enthralling product demonstration.

Essential tips and strategies for conducting successful product demos.

Successful product development and demonstrations are a cornerstone of High Peak Software’s strategy. We focus on knowing our audience well and customizing the demonstration according to their unique product marketing needs. High Peak’s team are firm believers in showing, not merely telling – where we let our software’s high-end functionality do the talking. 

We surprise and delight our prospects by solving their problems with our software right in the demo. Furthermore, our competent team makes the demos interactive, inviting questions and feedback and engaging the audience.

Case studies/examples of best practice product demos

Examples of the best practices in our demos emerged when working with B2B and B2C companies. Our product development team spent time understanding their workflow pain points and then tailored a demo to highlight how our software could easily integrate with their existing systems and streamline their processes. 

We even simulated their specific retail scenarios and demonstrated how the use of our software could significantly save time and costs. This personalized and solutions-focused demo convinced them to close the deal with us and renew our partnership for more years.

Final thoughts

In a nutshell, a product demo is an indispensable asset in the sales journey, particularly in the software industry. These demonstrations provide a tangible, visual, and experience-driven exploration of your product, demonstrating its value proposition beyond theoretical knowledge. As seen with High Peak Software, skillfully crafted and engaging demos can significantly boost close rates and drive business growth.

Stay on the cutting edge, always learning and honing your product and sales demonstration to transform prospects into customers. For industry-leading software development and captivating product demos, book a call with High Peak Software — your ideal partner in achieving superior client engagement and success. 

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