6 ways to improve demo stories


Author: Margot Howard
Last updated: Published:

Want to improve your demo stories to drive more revenue and accelerate deals? Nick Capozzi, our head of storytelling, joined SalesHacker to share some tips for weaving better stories into your demos.

Joining him during the webinar were Will Aitken of Vidyard and Chris White of TechSalesAdvisors, who joined Nick for part of the tour. Read on to learn how to tell better demo stories based on insights from top sales leaders as shared by Nick, Will, and Chris during this recent event.

1. Be sincerely curious

Discovery makes storytelling better. It enables sellers to tell a relevant story to each prospect. It’s important to be curious for effective discovery. That’s because prospects typically distrust sellers and are often reluctant to speak freely at first. So, you need to show the customer that you are sincerely interested in understanding whether your solution aligns with the priorities and objectives they are trying to achieve.

The only way to accomplish this, according to Chris White, is to put your agenda second and make them the priority. Once the potential customer sees that you are sincerely interested in them, they will start to relax and share valuable insights about their needs, priorities, and objectives. And you’ll be able to determine if yours is a valid solution to their problems.

2. Become an expert in your space

In addition to being sincerely curious, another way to build trust with prospects is by being an expert. Start by studying the people that you’re selling to and understand the problems you solve. As Chris suggested, “Fall not in love with the product, fall in love with the problem.”

So, educate yourself on the space that you’re selling into and position yourself as an expert. This is important because buyers are smarter today than they’ve ever been before. Showing up as educated, informed experts with compelling questions when meeting with prospects builds credibility in the eyes of potential customers. That’s because prospects form a perception of you based on the quality of the questions you’re asking.

If you are asking insightful, meaningful, engaging questions, it shows that you’ve done your homework while demonstrating a solid understanding of the space. This makes buyers feel like you’re somebody worth talking to and not someone only focused on trying to sell them something.

3. Make it all about them

Don’t show every customer the same exact thing. Armed with key insights about the prospect uncovered during discovery, you’re able to tailor the storyline during their demo accordingly. The best demo experience is all about your customer. The only thing that’s different in each demo IS the customer. So, make it all about them.

Remember, your prospects don’t want to have you just throw product in their face. In fact, people are far less interested in the product or the tool than what it can do for them and how they can use it to help them achieve what they are trying to accomplish. As Nick summed up this idea, “Make your prospect the hero of the story!”

4. Multi-thread successfully

The buying committee has grown to an average size of 10 people, so you may be demoing to as many as 10 people at a time. They all have different roles in their organization and different challenges to solve, so your product affects each individual differently.

To successfully address these various requirements during one demo, you’ve got to do your homework. Will shared his favorite way to uncover what each person cares about in advance of a large group demo. He suggests calling each stakeholder and saying something like, “I’ve been chatting with your CFO, but I know you are in marketing. These are the challenges that they’ve outlined for me. How does this affect you?” Getting them to tell you, makes each person feel heard. And it enables you to address those issues and show how your solution solves their challenges during the demo.

5. Get comfortable

Are you new to sales, someone who hasn’t done a lot of demos, or simply interested in improving your demo presentation skills? Nick and Will shared ways to become more comfortable so your demos would be more effective.

Will suggests practicing your demo alone or with your teammates until it becomes automatic like muscle memory. The goal is enabling yourself to focus on your attendees instead of what you are doing during demos.

You don’t want to be thinking about every point and click throughout the demo. It’s better to be focused on what attendees are doing, what their body language is, how they’re reacting, and whether they want to ask a question, so you can respond accordingly. You’ll pick up valuable insights and provide a more engaging demo experience.

Nick suggested recording yourself and review the recordings. Although this may feel uncomfortable at first, you’ll move past that after the first few times and be able to self-coach yourself with these recordings. When self-coaching:

  • Listen to what you are saying and how you are saying it
  • Identify your crutch words or filler words, such as um, uh, kind of, or like, so you can eliminate them
  • Listen to your pace and tempo to ensure you aren’t going too fast or slow

Plus, Nick suggests using natural light when presenting on a video call and standing up, possibly with a sit to stand desk, to help boost energy and engagement during your demos.

6. Do “discovery in disguise”

Many reps are reluctant to do a demo for a prospect before gathering any discovery information. But that is a big mistake according to Chris, especially if your company has a link or button on its website inviting prospects to schedule a demo. So, how should reps handle this situation and advance through the selling process at the same time?

Chris suggests never giving a “generic demo.” Instead, he recommends calling this sort of demo an “introductory demo,” one that gives the prospect a taste of your product without showing everything.

The purpose of the introductory demo isn’t to convince the potential customer of anything or sell them on anything. It’s to get them to talk about things like:

  • What they are striving to achieve
  • What options they are considering
  • How your product potentially aligns with their goals or problems

He calls this process “discovery in disguise” because you are doing discovery while introducing your solution to the prospect instead of forcing them to respond before sharing a glimpse of your product.

Implement these ways to improve your demo stories to accelerate deals and boost revenue. Then, take it up another notch by leveraging Demostack to effortlessly customize your demos to make your demo stories even more relevant.

Book a demo now to find out how.

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