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Flip Your Sales Demo Upside-Down
Blog / Sales Management / Mar 21, 2018 / Posted by Julie Hansen / 5143

Flip Your Sales Demo Upside-Down


Does your demo start with any (or all) of the following?

  • PowerPoint slides talking about your company, your customers, the problems you solve or the solutions you provide
  • An agenda outlining what you’re going to demonstrate
  • Logging into the software
  • Clicking through a workflow or process

Warning: Your Sales Demo is Upside Down and it’s costing you sales!

A recent analysis of 67,000+ SAAS demos done by Gong.IO found that demos that “Do the Last Thing First” are significantly more successful. (Doing the last thing first is a key concept first introduced by Peter Cohan, founder of the Great Demo! methodology.) Further, Gong.IO stated that “Following a linear path or going through a series of workflows before getting to the end result is an unsuccessful approach.”

And if you think about it, that makes sense. After all, what does your customer really care about initially? How your company got started? How many solutions you offer? How to log in and navigate a dashboard? Not likely. Most customers care about the end result. What they’re going to get out of it. Yet traditional demos typically don’t arrive at this end result until after 10, 30, 50 minutes or more. Turns out, that’s way too late. By that time in the demo:

  • Attention spans are significantly lower
  • Executives have often left the room
  • Remaining customers are on information overload
  • You may run out of time and have to race through your strongest selling point

How to Flip your Sales Demo

What’s the answer? Flip your sales demo. In other words, instead of starting with a bunch of slides then clicking your way through the workflow or process like a traditional demo, flip your demo upside down and show your customer the end result first. If they like it and are interested, then you can dig in and show them how you got that result. If they don’t? No problem. It’s back to discovery. Besides, wouldn’t you rather know if you’re off track right away – as opposed to an hour into a demo for something the customer isn’t interested in?

Start with the End in Mind

You can’t start with the end result if you don’t know what that end result is. Discovery is absolutely critical for a successful demo and for understanding what the ideal end result is for your customer. In order to find that out, you’ll need to ask questions around the following areas:

  • Current state – How is your customer currently accomplishing this task or process? What is the current outcome of that workflow? Perhaps it’s an Excel spreadsheet, a report, or a dashboard.
  • Future state – What does an ideal outcome look like for them? (If they don’t know, see next point.)
  • Gaps – Sometimes customers don’t know what other types of outcomes are possible. Discovery is a great time to test out and plant seeds for other potential outcomes.
  • Usage. How will the end result be used? Are they using it to make decisions or communicate to others? Will it be used in the field on mobile devices or as a printed report? Reproducing the end result in the same format your customer will be using it in will help make the solution more real for them.
  • Audience – Make sure you know who will be in attendance and align your end result with their interests and needs. While IT might want to see a detailed report of the workflow, the CFO is likely going to want to see something more high-level to give him a quick understanding of the situation. Determine how you will address both situations (hint: “C” titles take precedence!)

Don’t let an upside down sales demo cost you a sale. Flip your demo by starting with the end result and start winning more deals today!

Pipeliner CRM empowers precision sales demos. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.

About Author

Julie Hansen helps salespeople craft and deliver presentations and demonstrations that engage and persuade today’s busy decision-makers. Julie is the author of Sales Presentations for Dummies and ACT Like a Sales Pro! and founder of Performance Sales and Training, offering sales presentation workshops.

Author's Publications on Amazon

Act Like a Sales Pro was a finalist for TOP SALES AND MARKETING BOOK OF 2011 and featured on the cover of Ken Blanchard's Sales and Service Excellence Magazine and Julie Hansen's articles have appeared across the globe.Acting is the ultimate form of persuasion. Now…
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Are your sales presentations stuck in the 20th century? Sales Presentations For Dummies rises to the challenge of guiding you through the process of engaging and persuading busy buyers in a world that's constantly bombarding them with sales pitches. Motivating today's buyers to pull the…
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