“You can bring a B2B lead to a demo, but you can’t make them buy.” Or so the expression should go.

Even reaching the demo stage can be a cause for celebration. You’ve nurtured this lead, step by step, through the funnel. Now that they’ve crossed the threshold to sales-readiness, you reached out to offer them a one-on-one demo walkthrough of your product. They responded right away, and the demo is booked. Yes!

But your work has only just begun.

A successful sales demo is a relevant sales demo

The days of the generic, one-size-fits-all sales demo are long gone. Nowadays you need to make sure to get personal.

Most of the evaluation work is already history, don’t forget. If it’s demo time, then your lead has passed the point of verifying your clout in the industry, researching your customer reviews, and checking out your success ratings. You’ve succeeded in convincing them that you have an effective, successful product. Now you need to take it one step further and use your demo to show how your product serves them.

Using one fixed script for all your sales demos is a recipe for failure. Sales representatives need to deliver personalized demos that are focused on each potential customer. You can still show them around the various key modules of your product, but you need to do it in a way that is relevant to your customer’s needs.

A time to ask, and a time to tell

During sales discovery calls, one of the best ways to move a lead further down the funnel is to ask plenty of open-ended questions, and to listen carefully to the answers. It helps build a relationship with the buyer and allows you to tailor your sales presentation to match their needs.

But when it comes to running a demo with a c-level executive, asking questions is a big no-no. The time for questions is before your demo. C-level executives expect you to be fully informed about their pain points and current solutions. They want you to arrive armed with deep knowledge about their business, and to use your demo to show them how they can solve their challenges.

They don’t want to spend their sales meeting telling you about their needs. They want you to present a personalized, relevant sales demo that shows exactly how your product meets their needs and adds extra value.

That’s why you have to do your homework in advance.

How to do your research for an effective sales demo

Here is a three-step guide to help you do your homework efficiently, so that you can prepare an effective, personalized sales demo.

1. Investigate your lead

Before you can go any further, you need to learn everything you possibly can about your lead. That includes their professional life, such as their role in the company and their individual responsibilities, and their personal connection with the project too. Try to determine what role your contact plays in key buying decisions, which is especially important in the age of “buyer committees.”

2. Organize your information

Every piece of data can be valuable when it comes to personalizing your sales demo. For example, knowing that your contact manages a team of five people will make a difference to the use cases you emphasize in your demo. Knowledge is power – but only if you can access it when you need it. Use your CRM to record, augment, organize, and mine your data for relevant insights into the target company and its decision makers. Ideally by now, you’ll know a good amount about:

  • Their strategic objectives and KPIs
  • Their biggest pain points
  • What solution they are using at the moment
  • What other products they are using that would operate alongside your product
  • Which of your competitors they’re also evaluating
  • How they heard about your product and what made them interested to learn more
  • How and where they signed up to your information (use your website analytics to find out how they arrived at your site, and to track their path through your site)

3. Explore your lead’s path to your product

If you haven’t already covered this, it’s good to find out what brought your lead to your product. You should be able to use your analytics to see what search query brought them to your site, for example, and then follow the path they took through the site. Checking the web pages your lead visited and uncovering their search queries gives you added insights into their primary pain points, most pressing goals for your product, and what they are hoping to achieve with your solution.

How to prepare a personalized sales demo

One of the best tools for creating a personalized demo is a powerful webinar platform. This allows you to create a virtual environment that shows exactly how the sales prospect would use your product.

Use your research to prepare a custom demo that is as real as possible, so that the prospect can literally picture themselves deriving significant value from your product. You’ll also gain key points for trust, as you’ll effectively demonstrate that you have your prospective customer’s best interests in mind, as opposed to just closing and moving on.

Incorporate engaging storytelling into your sales demo, using relevant use cases. Retelling ways that your product brought value to a similar organization, and to an individual in a similar role, helps your prospect to fully appreciate the benefits of your product. Screen-sharing technology enables you to share your view, so that you can walk your lead through the process of onboarding and using the product. You can even use a virtual whiteboard as part of your presentation to illustrate comparative ROI with calculations that you walk through together.

But make sure not to overdo it. If you load your sales demo with too many examples and features, you’ll risk overwhelming your prospect and could lose the sale. Stick to only those features that will be the most useful for the company.

An effective sales demo requires a firm foundation

An effective sales demo can only be based on directed research into the assets, needs, and pain points of your sales prospect. When you do your homework, you’ll be able to present a personalized, relevant sales demo that is fully targeted towards your lead.

There’s no shortcut to an effective sales demo – just old-fashioned hard work.