How to win more deals with demo data


Author: Barry Mueller
Last updated: Published:
Win more deals with demo data

Demo data is crucial to measuring the true impact of a demo.

How do you know if your demos are hitting the mark? Are they effectively communicating the value of your products? Are they influencing decision-making within client organizations? These are important questions, and the answers lie in the data you collect and analyze.

Well, we asked Kerry Sokalsky, President & Founder at Presales Mastery to sit down with Gilad Avidan, CPO at Demostack, and Amin Ibrahim, Sr Director of Presales, Strategy, and Training at Hootsuite to dive deep into how to leverage demo data to win more deals. They talked about using data to shine a light on every corner of your demo performance so you can fine-tune your presentations and strategize like a boss.

And in this article, we’ll give you all the key insights from that conversation.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Defining demo data and data-driven demos

First, they talked about exactly what demo data is.

Demo data, Gilad explains, is all the information you collect when showing a product in a demo, including what happens before, during, and after the demo. It includes details like which product features you talk about and what the audience is interested in.

In his own words, you’re “taking it to a place where you're making decisions based on data and less based on hunches.”

You can use data-driven demos to improve your win rate. For instance, if you change a part of your demo, you can use data to see if this leads to more interest or sales. This approach takes the guesswork out of demos, so you know how to allocate your resources effectively.

In other words, data-driven demos are a smarter way to showcase your product. They help you understand customer preferences and turn demos into an effective tool for increasing sales.

Challenges in collecting demo data

In traditional sales, reps are pretty good at tracking the start and end of the process. They know how many people are watching the demos and if they end up making sales. But what's happening during the demos, the part where you convince people to buy, is often unclear. Getting good information about this part is tough.

One big challenge is figuring out how well sales engineers (SEs) are doing. Very few SEs have sales goals tied to their pay, which makes it hard to see how effective they are just by looking at sales numbers.

Many use tools like Gong to analyze sales calls using AI. These solutions are great for understanding what's being said, but they don't capture everything, explains Amin, like what's being shown in the demos. We don't have clear info on how much time SEs spend on different parts of the product or the order they show things in.

And, while Gong’s keyword searches can be useful for certain things, adds Gilad, it doesn’t do a great job of assessing for context. So queries often bring up irrelevant results.

Alternatively, continues Gilad, you can turn to the product team. Many product teams use Amplitude or Mixpanel, which aren't made for tracking demos though. They can't tell the difference between a real demo and a practice session, or who's watching the demo and if they're likely to buy.

Sometimes teams try to mix data from various sources, like demo tools, CRM systems, and call analytics, to get a full picture. But it’s easy to miss out on what the customers think – like what they liked or didn't like about the demo.

The goal with demo data is to make this part of the sales process clearer. You want to know not only what you’re showing, but how people are reacting to it and if it's helping make sales. After all, getting this data right could light up your whole sales process from beginning to end.

The power of data in allocating resources

You can also leverage demo data to show the true value of what presales teams do. With solid demo data, you can prove your worth, not just within the team but to the entire organization and beyond.

Imagine this scenario, says Amin: someone suggests adding more tasks to your team's plate or questions the need for certain roles. With the right data, you have a strong, clear response. You can show the impact of your team's work, backed up by real numbers and results. This isn't about just asking for more resources or defending your current setup; it's about making sure everyone understands the value you bring.

Having a voice in company planning isn't always easy, especially in presales. People might not always see the full picture of what you do and why it's important. That's where demo data becomes your best ally. It helps you communicate your needs and contributions more effectively. We're not just saying you add value – you’re proving it.

In times when budgets are tight and every role must be justified, having demo data to back up your needs is crucial. It helps you answer tough questions about why you need the resources you have. And remember, it’s not just for those who get what presales is all about; it's also for those who might not yet see the full picture. The more you can educate them with demo data, the stronger your position becomes.

Using demo data to steer the product roadmap

In the sales process, reps often ask customers open-ended questions like, "What part of the demo caught your attention?" or "What feature are you most excited about?" These questions are great for getting general insights, but there's a challenge: the answers aren't usually stored or organized in one place. They tend to just stay in the minds of salespeople, explains Amin.

By centralizing the feedback from your demos and combining it with advanced analytics, suggests Kerry, you can gain deeper insights into customer preferences and behaviors. This approach not only makes your demos more effective but also helps you make better strategic decisions about the product itself.

This demo data lets you quickly inform your product marketing and development teams about customer reactions. You can tell them, "Hey, customers are really engaging with these new features," or "We're not seeing much interest in these areas." This information is invaluable for making informed decisions on which features give the company an edge over the competition.

Delving into individual performances with analytics in demos

When dealing with large data volumes, you might miss out on important details. For instance, if a handful of your team members are achieving great results by showcasing a feature in a certain way, but the majority aren’t, you might overlook an effective strategy if you only look at the aggregate data. It’s essential to dive into these granular details to understand what's working and what isn't.

Imagine this, says Gilad: you might notice one SE consistently closes more deals. By analyzing their demo approach, you find they spend more time on analytics, reports, and integrations compared to others. This observation prompts important questions: should their strategy be adopted by the entire SE team? These insights are invaluable, especially when you consider the volume of demos you’re conducting – say, 50 reps each doing 20 demos a month. That's a thousand demos to learn from every 30 days!

That's why a key focus in our analytics strategy is to zoom in on individual performances during live demos. We're developing ways to analyze how different reps, or SEs, handle different parts of a product demo. This involves breaking down each demo by feature and studying how much time each SE spends on each feature across all their calls.

For example, think about what happens when we let a customer try out a product in a test environment, like a sandbox, says Kerry. We can track everything they do in a Slack channel. This gives us real-time insights into how they're using the product. Are they getting into it and trying lots of features, or even inviting their teammates to check it out? This kind of hands-on use is a really good sign they like it. It can tell us more about whether they might buy the product than just what we talk about in sales calls.

Implementing learnings from demo data

So how can teams leverage the insights they get from demo data?

For Gilad, it’s about making sure to streamline your demos. It's not about everyone following a rigid script, but rather having a consistent approach to showcasing your product's features. Think of it as having a guide or a playbook, where each feature is presented in a certain way. This doesn't mean there's no room for personalization; it's more about ensuring that all demos cover the key elements effectively and uniformly.

This consistency means that when it's time to make changes, it’s easier and more efficient. Everyone is on the same page, making it simpler to implement new strategies or updates across the board and measure how well they’re working. That’s how you can ultimately come full circle: collect data, make insights, implement changes, and evaluate results.

For Amin, it’s all about visibility:

“​​The big thing I would say is to try to find ways to clear up that muddy middle...We know exactly what's closing, so we know what's coming out the other end. What can we do to clear up that muddy middle and give us more insight there?"

With that level of visibility, you ultimately have far more control over your sales process.

Key points: The power of demo data

In closing, using demo data in sales is a game-changer. Kerry Sokalsky, Gilad Avidan, and Amin Ibrahim have shown us that sales demos are more than just showing off a product. They're about using data to make smart moves. By looking closely at what happens in a demo, teams can see what clicks with customers and tweak their approach to match.

This smarter way of doing demos not only makes the sales process better but also proves the value of presales teams. As we move forward, it's clear that the key to winning in sales is using demo data to make presentations that truly connect with customers, leading to more deals and a stronger position in the market.

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