9 Product Demo Best Practices To Boost Your Sales

Industry Trends | 13 min read |
Image of a sales representative and a customer

The famous quote, “Seeing is believing,” stands true in the sales industry. Customers will not buy a product if they cannot understand its functions. For instance, most people will not buy a smartphone without knowing the specifications of its processor, memory, camera, etc. To motivate a customer, it is crucial to make them feel attracted to the product. As well as it is important to assure them that the product will match their expectations.

Many businesses use product demos for their sales campaign, but only a few use them successfully. A product demonstration isn’t just reading the features of a certain product off a piece of paper or a slideshow. It is important to craft a demo in such a way that it educates and engages the customer. Sales reps should maximise this opportunity to connect with their customers and build trust.

If you’re worried about preparing and presenting a product demo, look no further. This guide will go over the best practices for product demos and explain how it helps boost sales.

9 Best Practices for Product Demos

A product demonstration happens near the ‘consideration’ stage in the buyer's journey. Here, the customer is aware of their problem or need. At the consideration stage, the consumer compares brands that can solve their problems or meet their needs. These needs can also be materialistic, so impressing the customer is crucial. Failing to do so can lead to losing potential customers. To avoid that, businesses can leverage the following proven practices to improve their demo and keep the customer engaged.

1. Understand the Difference Between a Product Demo and a Sales Demo

Sales demos and product demos go hand in hand, and the term often is used interchangeably. However, the two have subtle differences, and it’s important to understand them. A product demo helps marketers showcase their products' functions and features. Here, the new capabilities or the appearance of the product are presented. It helps potential customers to get an idea about how the product works. Customers get to try using the product or get an in-depth understanding of what the product consists of.

For instance, if a company sells a new line of shoes, they can directly showcase them to the customers. Now, before purchasing a shoe, a customer would like to try it on. This will help them understand how the product feels and looks on them. In another case of heavy factory machinery, marketers can use a 3D model to showcase its functionality in a simulated environment.

On the other hand, a sales demo is merely the next step of a product demo. Here, sales representatives explain how a product can meet customers’ needs. For B2B customers, the demo is crafted to explain how the product will solve their organisational problems. Whereas for B2C customers, it will showcase how the product will meet their needs.

Going back to our examples, a shoe company’s sales rep will explain how the shoe's features can cater to the customers’ needs. For example, a jogger may get motivated by the softness of the sole. On the other hand, a mountain climber will look for the shoe’s grip and durability. In the machinery case, the sales rep can explain how a piece of machinery can help the organisation to increase its productivity and profits.

2. Learn Everything About the Product and the Target Audience

Heading for a product demo without knowing everything about the product is a recipe for disaster. Knowing the ins and outs of your product will help you emphasize its key points, making it stand out from the competition. Moreover, it will also help you get a clearer picture of the customer’s wants and needs.

Identifying the customer’s needs and pain points is one of the most important marketing tasks. It can be the difference between closing or losing a sale. One of the best ways to learn about your customer’s pain points is to talk to them.

You can conduct a discovery call if it’s a B2B client. In a discovery call, you talk to a potential client interested in your product. In this call, you can ask them well-structured questions to identify the buyer’s pain points, goals, and motivations. However, make sure that the call is conversational. Be an active listener, and make sure you record their responses. Also, make an effort to learn about your client’s customers. This will help you address how your product will help their clients to solve their problems.

Similarly, there are many ways to learn about the target audience in a B2C case. You can interview your pre-existing customers to learn how they use your product. This can give you new insights into the unintended use of your product. For example, text messages were initially invented to help network operators send important service-related information to their subscribers. Over time, people started using text messages to exchange personal messages. Today, texting-based apps generate millions of dollars in revenue. Similarly, you can use other methods, like survey forms, questionnaires, etc., to gather information about your target market.

3. Define Clear Objectives

Once you are clear about both the product and the target audience, you can define clear objectives for the demo. Setting clear goals will help you clearly communicate with the potential customer. Several problems can arise if the customer is not on the same page as you. It can lead to a lack of engagement, leading to boredom. Customers may miss learning about the product’s highlights if they are bored.

Apart from boredom, a demo without clear objectives can lead to frustration. Everyone is busy, and no one likes their time wasted.  Make sure you set an agenda and share it with the customer beforehand. By doing so, they will know what to expect in the demo.

4. Practice and Rehearse

Being confident during a product demo is as important as knowing everything about the product and the target audience. Confidence helps you build credibility. In order to be confident through the demo, it is important to have a script ready. However, make sure you don’t stick to the script word-to-word during the demo. This script will help you remember all the vital points that you should present in a demo. You can create a list or bullet points to ensure you don’t forget any key features.

Several things like stuttering, mumbling, or rushing through the demo will put you in a bad spot. It will make you come across as unreliable. So, it’s good practice to rehearse the demo with a colleague beforehand. You can also record yourself and check whether you are presenting the demo correctly. This will help you to identify any areas of improvement.

5. Craft a Personalised Demo

As famed marketer Seth Godin stated, “Don’t find customers for your products; find products for your customers.” Many sales representatives make the mistake of fixating on the features of their products. Your products may have hundreds of useful features, but not all of them might be useful to a customer. Similarly, different clients will use your product in different ways. So, make sure you focus on how your product can meet their needs.

Trying to explain each and every feature of your product within the allotted time can lead to information overload. Customers will miss out or get very little information about the features they need. Understand that your potential customer must be heading or have already seen your competitors' product demos. If your product demo only talks about features, the customer may not be able to differentiate one product from another.

To make sure your product stands out from the competition, you can craft a demo that tells your customers’ story. Give them a context of how your product fits in their organisation or life. Crafting a demo using the hero’s journey format will help you keep the customer engaged. For instance, the customer is the hero, and his needs and desires are the obstacles. Show them a vision of where your product helped them to fulfill their desires. You can motivate them to buy your product by painting such a picture.

6. Make the Product Demo Engaging

According to research, the average human attention span decreased by nearly 25% between 2000 and 2015. If you lose your customers’ attention during the demo, they will most likely forget it over a period. To avoid such situations, grabbing their attention right at the start is crucial.

One of the best ways to grab your customers’ attention is to present them with a question. Asking the right questions can help provoke a feeling of wonder. For example, you can ask questions like:

  • What if you could double your production without needing more time?
  • What if you could achieve your business goals within half the expected time?
  • What if you could shoot professional videos with your smartphone camera?

Questions like these make the customer imagine such situations. It hooks them and leads them to believe that you are there to present them with the answer.

7. Select the Right Medium

Visuals like charts, graphs, infographics, and videos are useful for creating engaging and educational product demos. According to research, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

Using the right medium is crucial to make your product demo engaging. To do so, it is important to research what customers want. For instance, research shows that 60% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product after trying it out in 3D or augmented reality (AR).

Today, several companies like Exhibit360 help sales representatives create 3D interactive demos. For heavy factory machinery, it becomes difficult to showcase its efficiency in different settings. In such cases, you can create a simulated factory that allows your clients to learn how the product works in that setting. Moreover, the customers can interact with the models to run them according to their needs. People concerned with the maintenance of such machinery can get an exploded view of the model to learn about its parts and functioning.

Similarly, in a B2C case, companies can use 3D models to present their products' accurate look and feel. Moreover, they can also help customers modify the products with the help of product configurators. For instance, Ikea allows its customers to use a kitchen planner. Here, the customer gets multiple options to modify certain kitchen parts.

Selecting the right medium helps to increase customer engagement with the demo. This helps customers get the opportunity to use and modify a product before purchasing it.

8. Address Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A product demo does not end as soon as you explain your product’s functions, features, and benefits. It’s important to leave time for Q&A at the end of the demo. The customers may have questions about how the product will help them meet their needs. Similarly, they may also have general questions such as materials used in the product, its durability, etc. As a sales representative, it’s up to you to answer such questions.

Before the actual demonstration, you can present the demo to your company’s sales team. Since they will have experience with product demos, they will provide you with helpful insights. You can use these insights to compile a list of common questions. Then, you can take time to find clear and concise answers to the questions.

9. Follow-up With the Customer Post Demo

Simply presenting a great product demo is not enough to close a client. Remember, a customer may go through multiple demos before finalising their purchase. So make sure you talk about the next steps, like deciding on the next meeting. Make sure you’re not pestering the customer, but try to include a strong call-to-action at the end of the demo.

Experienced marketers make sure that they follow up with the customers post-demo. According to research, sales reps who follow up within a day of their initial outreach receive about a 25% reply rate on average. Besides increasing your chances of closing a deal, following up with a customer allows you to collect feedback. Feedback is a great way to identify and improve your demo's weaknesses. Following up with the customer can also help marketers to build strong relationships. By providing value in a follow-up message, marketers can get new leads.

Why Follow Product Demo Best Practices?

Following the best product demo practices play a vital role in increasing sales in the following ways:

1. Showcases Product’s Utility

Product demo helps an organisation to efficiently showcase its product’s workings, features, and usability. It allows the sales reps to target their customer’s pain points. If a demo successfully matches the product's functions with the client's needs and desires, it is more likely to close the deal.

2. Helps Brand Image

Engaging product demos helps an organisation showcase its expertise. It helps to build confidence and credibility in the organisation. If a product demo is successful, it can help your brand image through word-of-mouth appraisal.

3. Sets You Apart From the Competitors

An effective product demo showcases the uniqueness of your product. Providing an interactive experience allows organisations to build trust among their audience. It creates a lasting impression so the customers will remember the product after the demo.

To Summarise

Product demos are powerful tools in marketing to close deals and boost sales. They provide the ability to showcase how a product works, its features, and its capabilities. However, following best practices for product demo is important to avoid losing a lead. Many product demos end up becoming all about features. This makes the demos dull.

On the other hand, well-researched product demos help a sales representative to appear credible and trustworthy. Personalised demos have the ability to keep a customer engaged. And finally, a strong call to action and follow-up messages motivate the customer to buy the product. Organizations that make the best use of these practices stand out from the crowd and increase their sales.

If you’re a business that is looking to leverage the power of 3D product demos, then Exhibit 360 is the place for you. We offer customisable 3D product demos that allow users to interact with the realistic 3D model of products and understand their functions. Contact us to know more!

FAQs

How do you demo a product effectively?

To do a demo effectively, ensure you know all about the product and your target audience. Then, create an engaging and personalised demo that leaves a long-lasting impression on the customer.

What are the rules of a demo?

Some unspoken rules about product demos are having clear objectives and not wasting the client’s time. To do so, it’s important to practice, rehearse, and test the demo beforehand.

What are the key elements of the demo?

An effective demo should be clear, concise, and engaging. It should be motivating and include a strong call to action.

How long should a product demo take?

On average, a product demo should take 20-30 minutes. However, it also depends on the product and customer engagement.

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