How long before you get to the “big reveal” in a customer demo? 10 minutes…20 minutes…an hour?
Turns out, that’s too late!
If you’re not starting with the end result in those critical first few minutes of your demo, it may be costing you the deal. In other words, you need to Flip your Demo!
In fact, in Gong.io’s recent analysis of 67,000+ SAAS demos, they found that “Following a linear path or going through a series of workflows before getting to the end result is an unsuccessful approach.”
Why the traditional linear demo is ineffective:
Think about how traditional demos typically start. The salesperson walks through a few PowerPoint slides that talk about his company, their customers, the problems they solve and the solutions they provide. Then there is an agenda outlining what will be demonstrated. And finally, the salesperson gets to the demo, logs on and proceeds to click his way through a work flow or process until finally arriving at that end result the customer is hoping to see. This whole process can take anywhere from 10 -30 minutes to an hour or more. So what’s the problem? By this time in the demo:
- Attention spans are significantly lower
- Executives have often left the room
- Remaining customers are on information overload
- You run out of time and have to race through your strongest selling point
How to Flip your Demo
What’s the answer? Flip your demo. You see, Gong found that demos that are conducted in an upside down pyramid manner are more successful. In other words, instead of starting at the bottom of the pyramid like most demos — making your way through the workflow or process, finally arriving at your destination after 10-60 minutes or more — you literally need to flip that pyramid upside down, and start by showing the customer the end result first. This idea of “Doing the Last Thing First” is one of the core concepts in our Great Demo! workshops.
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 your skills need to be sharper than ever in today’s competitive market. In doing discovery, one of your goals is to identify what that end result looks like for your customer. That means you need certain pieces of information, including:
- Current state – i.e., how is your customer currently accomplishing this task or process, and what is the outcome? Maybe it’s an excel spreadsheet, a report, or a dashboard.
- Future state – What does an ideal outcome look like for them?
- Gaps and opportunities. Customers often sell themselves short because they don’t know what is possible. Discovery is an ideal time to test and plant the seed of what they could expect as an outcome.
- How the end result will be used. This will factor in greatly into how you show the end result. Are they using to make decisions or communicate to others? Will it be used in the field on mobile devices or as a printed report? Replicating how your customer will use it will help your customer envision themselves using it.
- Who will be in the demo? Always know who is in your audience 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.
Starting with the end result is a highly effective technique for winning over today’s busy customers, but it’s just the beginning of a successful demo strategy…