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I Crushed the Demo and They’re Still Not Buying!

crushed the demo

You knocked it out of the park. Crushed the demo! Solved every problem, addressed every need, handled every question or objection. The audience loved your product and espoused the benefits of using it.

Then nothing happened.

We’ve all been there. What gives?

It’s usually one of three things:

  1. Your discovery process was too narrow.
  2. It’s a bottom-up initiative – no executive support.
  3. You did the demo too soon.

The Discovery Process is Too Narrow

Sometime the discovery process is too narrowly focused on qualifying the opportunity and/or understanding buyer problems to determine if the product is a good fit.

There’s another part of the discovery process that’s overlooked far too often. Understanding what the decision-makers and influencers “perceive” to be a good solution.

I remember a situation where several demos to the same organization (different audiences) were off the charts, only to find out there was a CEO initiative to resurrect a 3-year-old PowerPoint template and roll it out globally as the strategic account management platform. Painful!

Then there’s IT and the “not built here” syndrome. It’s always lurking. Smoke it out as early as possible in the sales process.

Perception is reality and it’s highly beneficial to uncover what buyers perceive to be their ideal solution…before the demo!

Bottom-Up Initiative

Once again, great demo, great fit, great enthusiasm but a dead end. Here’s the problem. When you’re depending on lower-level people to sell the value of your solutions up the influence ladder, the odds are not in your favor and you’re in for a long sales cycle with a lot of demos.

It gets back to uncovering a compelling reason to buy, but it has to be a compelling reason in the minds of the decision makers, not just the people in the trenches.

Doing the Demo Too Soon

Ready. Fire. Aim! If you have a REQUEST A DEMO button on your website and you don’t have a pre-recorded demo, you’re leaving yourself wide open to a lot of tire-kickers and dead-end demos.

When people sign up for a demo, their expectation is to see your product without any obligation to tell you anything. I’ve seen too many marketing and salespeople get excited because the “request a demo” activity is high without looking at its impact or lack thereof on the qualified pipeline.

Don’t get me wrong. You want to give your product maximum exposure to as many would-be buyers as possible. A good pre-recorded demo is far more beneficial and efficient. Those who are sincerely interested will engage and be far more willing to fork over information that helps you qualify the opportunity, the need and the product fit.

There are a lot of factors that go into a successful demo. One of the biggest factors is getting it in front of the right audience at the right time. Then when you crush it, you’ve truly created an urgency to buy.

And that’s the whole point of the demo, to create an urgency to buy!

If you want to sharpen your discovery and demo skills to create an urgency to buy, contact us about a Product Demo Skills Course and get personalized training for your products and your markets. When you leave the classroom, you’ll know what good looks like for you!

Click here if you want to experience the easiest way to learn product management, product marketing, pre-sales demos and customer success with our unique hands-on learning format. Be sure to check out our Product Management Framework that simplifies everything by making customer outcomes the starting point for building, marketing, selling and delivering strategic value.

by John Mansour on March 10, 2022.