Learning
What is a sales demo?
Hilary BirdDirector of Social and Field Marketing at Consensus
22 March 2016

I’m writing this article thanks to one of the discoveries that we’ve made at CONSENSUS when trying to describe our product to people: not everyone knows what a sales demo is.

When I Google the phrase, “what is a sales demo”, zero results come up to answer that specific question. There are numerous hits with titles like, 5 Tips for a Great Sales Demo or How to Deliver the Perfect Sales Demo, which are very useful, but they aren’t defining what type of sales demo they’re referring to. You might think it’s pretty self explanatory, but answering the five W’s (who, what, when, where, why) are different depending on the situation. To clear things up, we’ve briefed out what a sales demo is and what type is appropriate for what situation.

WHO?

Who refers to who your audience is. Sales demos for B2C (business to customer) and B2B (business to business) companies can be very different. Sales demos for B2B companies are typically longer, might require multiple demos, and are seen by a whole buying panel. B2C sales demos are usually shorter because they are selling less complex products directly to a single consumer. For example, a salesperson showing people how to use a vacuum at a department store is a type of B2C sales demo.

WHAT?

What refers to what your product or service is. Is it a software package or a new type of backpack? Again, the purpose of the sales demo is to make a sale, so highlighting all of the wow factors of your product is necessary to do right at the beginning of the demo. Figuring out what features are relevant to a specific audience before giving them the demo will help frame your product in the best light possible for them.

WHEN?

A sales demo is the process of demonstrating a product or service to a prospective client. The reason it’s called a sales demo is because its purpose is to create a sale. It can get mixed up with a product demo, which refers to a demo that is for already-existing clients. While a product demo can refer to a demo either before or after a sale has been made, a sales demo is specifically happening before the sale has been made.

“It can get mixed up with a product demo, which refers to a demo that is for already-existing clients”

WHERE?

 In-store, online meeting, in-person, phone call, automated demo video – these are all different types of locations (or styles) to give a sales demo. Figuring out which best suits your product or company is up to you. In-person or in-store demos are a great choice for B2C companies because people can physically touch and test out your product. Automated demo videos or online meetings are often used for B2B sales demos because it might require multiple people to be in the meeting, and aligning schedules to meet in person is time consuming.

WHY?

Why are you giving a sales demo? To close more sales! Knowing your prospects’ unique pain points and needs are critical to know before going into a sales demo. As sales thought leader Jim Keenan writes, “There is no room for “if” in your demos. There is no excuse to show a feature that isn’t germane to the specific business and highly targeted to the operational or executional needs of the buyer.” Keep this in mind as you design your next sales demo.

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