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Running a Sales Demo: Tips & Best Practices

Mar 16, 2023
Running a Sales Demo: Tips & Best Practices

A sales demo is a presentation of your product or service to a current or potential customer. As a rule, it includes a demonstration of the main functions and features. The main purpose of the demo is to make a deal.

The demo is central to any sales process because it’s a unique opportunity to demonstrate the value of your product to a potential customer. Poorly conducted demo calls significantly reduce the percentage of closing deals. 

In fact, a demo is often the difference between closing a deal and losing a potential client. A great demo allows them to understand how your solution really solves their pain points so they can become more successful in their work.

So, why else is a demo such an important element in the sales process? 

The Value of a Sales Demo

Sales demos are important pieces of content because they allow companies to validate the quality of their products to potential customers and pique their interest. Let's look at each benefit in more detail:

Product quality assurance

You can say that your product performs specific functions or that your software solves important problems. But until your potential customers see how it works with their own eyes, they are likely to be a little skeptical. We've all made purchases that didn't live up to our expectations and can therefore be wary of new products.

Sales demos provide an opportunity to prove to potential customers that your claims about your company's offer are actually true.

Generating interest

A well-organized sales demo will also allow you to spark interest in the prospects for the product or service you are selling. When a potential client sees that the product you offer can solve their problems, they will most likely want to learn more.

You can then use the interest you generate to increase sales, and that's the whole point of doing a sales demo.

Sales Demo Best Practices

A sales demo will allow you to show potential customers what your company's solution is capable of, as well as to interest them in using such tools for themselves. Here’s how to do it well.

1. Choose the right software

Showcasing your products online will allow you to show your company's offerings to just about anyone. Digital demonstrations can be recorded and made into product videos for later use.

There are many technical tools that a sales specialist can use for sales demos, although not all of them will work for a given product. For example, there are programs that will allow you to share your screen. Screen sharing is an absolute must if you're selling software. How else can your potential customer see what your application is capable of? Or, you may want to showcase your products to multiple potential customers at the same time. In such situations, you need to use a live broadcast.

Not every potential customer who attends your product demo will make a purchase. But this does not necessarily mean that they are not interested in the products you sell. Perhaps they just need more time to make a decision. Use follow-up emails.

2. Prepare your presentation

Once you choose the right software, you can start preparing your presentation. This is the key point: You don't want to let the sales demo go by itself and hope for success. If you take this approach, post-demonstration sales won't shine.

It’s better to spend this time researching your potential customers. What industry do they work in? Are they decision-makers? Do you know how you can find out what problems they face on a daily basis?

Once you understand your potential customers and their unique challenges and goals, you can create a personalized product showcase designed exclusively for them. Personalization is very important for presentations that drive sales. You can also create a program for the event and practice giving your presentation beforehand.

Finally, having an event agenda helps demo participants feel more comfortable as they know what to expect from your presentation and how much time to allocate. And if you practice ahead of time, you'll be sure to communicate clearly and accurately to your audience.

3. Emphasize benefits, not features

One of the biggest mistakes people make during sales demos is prioritizing features over benefits. The truth is that no one cares how your product or software works. What matters is whether it can help your customers solve their problems.

In other words, your potential customers are interested in the benefits that your company offers, not the list of features in your products. When you emphasize benefits over features, you can create an accurate and unique value proposition for your products or services.

By emphasizing the benefits, you link the features of your products to a specific context and make them meaningful to potential buyers. This will allow you to increase your sales. Just make sure the benefits you highlight are tailored to the needs of the potential customer you're showing your products to.

4. Save time for questions

The best sales demos are geared toward potential customers. That's why it's important to include a Q&A session with every webinar or demo. This way, your audience will have time to ask questions and clear up anything that may be preventing them from making a purchase.

Q&A time is so valuable that many top-notch speakers actually start their sales demos with it. They may ask questions such as:

  • What are your goals around using our product?
  • What problems do you think our product will help you solve?
  • How do you decide which products to invest in?

When you have the answers to these (and other similar) questions, you can really personalize the sales demo for each member.

5. End with a call to action

The final piece in the puzzle for effective sales demos is a call to action. This is the part of the presentation where you invite viewers to buy the product or service you've been talking about for the last hour.

No matter what software you use, you need to find a convenient way for your potential customers to take action. The key word here is "convenient." If the buying process is cumbersome or incomprehensible, you won't get many sales.

One way to make your call to action enticing is to extend a limited-time offer for attendees. For example, a 20% discount on purchases made within the next 60 minutes could lead potential shoppers to buy now instead of later. It may also work well to offer an upgrade that promises potential buyers an improved software package for less money.

Other Tips for Sales Demos

Communicate with the client as equals

At the stage of identifying needs and weaknesses, there is a temptation to "press" the deal and find a sore spot. Be careful with this approach. By putting the person in an uncomfortable position, you’re likely to make them want to get rid of the offer as soon as possible rather than accept it. Do not use the client's weaknesses for your own purposes. Instead, show the person that you’re looking for the best solution to their problem together.

Don’t try to sell at any price

Many people are biased against sales already; don't confirm the stereotypes. If you understand that the product will not meet the customer's expectations or there are other risks, discuss them together. If you share honestly, the person will trust you and come back, or tell their friends about your excellent service.

Don't be afraid to say no if in doubt

Does it seem like you are talking to the customer in different languages? Discuss the key points in the contract if you have reached an agreement and do not allow manipulation. Sometimes this happens unintentionally; for example, the client does not understand the specifics of the product or tries to limit the development team in the options for solving the problem. Look out for your customer but keep the focus on the company's values and processes.

Prepare in advance

To learn more about the prospect, read about their company, values, pain points, and achievements when preparing for the meeting. This way, you will immerse yourself in the context and you will get the most out of the negotiations. Plus, after studying the company and the market itself, you will be able to propose solutions and answer questions more confidently.

Immerse yourself in the processes

Understand how business models and processes work. How are marketing, sales, development, and management related? Learn the specifics of other teams' work, at least at a basic level, in order to understand your contribution to the success of the project and to communicate more effectively with the team.


Mastering a sales demo is not an easy task. A successful demo is about more than explaining the value proposition, showcasing how it works, and positioning your product against the competition. Salespeople need to adapt to the needs of potential customers and show how their product helps potential customers solve their pain points.

And above all, remember that it’s an opportunity for potential customers to get to know you and evaluate how reliable your product is in terms of delivering value.

The purpose of a sales demo is not to showcase your product. People don't buy features; they buy solutions, trust, and relationships.

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