A sales demo environment is the space in which your sales demonstration occurs. Not only does it include the demo instance of your product, but what you present it through, and the features and functionality shown within the demo.
Think of your sales demo environment as not only the movie set, but the lighting, sound, cameras, props, and actors within it. As soon as one of those goes wrong, the illusion is ruined. To properly showcase your product, you have to get every part of the demo environment right.
What is a sales demo environment?
Your sales demo environment is the environment in which you immerse your prospects when you provide demos.
The crucial thing to know with a sales demo environment is that any sales organization that gives demos of their product has one, whether it is intentionally thought of or not.
When it comes to your demo environment, it’s important to consider the fact that it goes beyond your product. It is the data, charts, graphs, and features shown within your demo, as well as the tools that you use to present it.
It is the demo instance or demo experience platform itself, or even the conferencing tools you use, the slides you show, and who attends. Any one of these factors can result in a broken demo environment.
The goal is to create the most realistic use case for your product as possible. You should not only show your prospects what it looks like in a real-life environment but what it looks like in their world.
Think of a movie that brings you somewhere else. The set, lighting, sound, camerawork, and editing all transport you to a different place or time. Yet, if you were to take the same actors and same lines to a stage set for a middle-school play, you wouldn’t be nearly as convinced.
In the sales world, this means your demo environment must have realistic names, logos, and data. No more “Elon Musk,” or “Acme Co.” The difference between a highly personalized and realistic environment and one filled with fake, outdated data is astounding.
Imagine for a moment you are Truman Burbank in the Turman Show. Everything about the environment he is in convinces him that it is real until the facade fails.
Why is a demo environment important?
Imagine the last time you received a demo that had a poor video connection, maybe the screen froze, the sound went out, or perhaps the speaker had a lot of background noise. Even though the demo itself may have been fine, the other factors created a less than ideal demo environment that may have given you second thoughts.
That’s why so important that sales organizations are aware of their entire demo environment and the experiences that they provide to their customers.
By ensuring that not only are you providing quality experiences, but also using quality tools, and delivering value, you stand to exponentially increase your sales effectiveness.
How to create the perfect sales demo environment
Set the stage
As previously mentioned, your sales demo environment goes beyond the actual production of the demo. Revenue organizations should go to great lengths to ensure that their reps can deliver quality demos, have strong internet connections, clean desktops, and good cameras/microphones.
Also, ensure the right people are on the call, from both sides, whether it be a sales engineer, account executive, the engineering team, or decision-maker
Use the right tools
Ensure your sellers have everything they need to succeed. A demo platform, conversation analysis tool, and the right content can go a long way to upleveling any software demo.
Personalization is key
If you haven’t realized by now, personalization is King in sales. It’s probably most true during the demo. Sellers should understand exactly what problems their buyers are looking to solve, what their ideal outcomes are, their pain points, their uses, and their needs.
Further, the demo instance itself should be personalized with names, logos, customers, and data that are all relevant to the prospect. Ensure that figures fit the company size so as to not come off as a solution meant for a company too large or too small.
Tell a story
The simple problem to solution format doesn’t connect anymore, especially in the highly competitive marketplace present in nearly every industry. Humans connect with stories. We share them, remember them, and derive understanding from them.
Therefore, your demo experience should be a story. Highlight the flow of information, provide real-world examples, and share real successes. Of course, always relate the stories back to your buyers and show your product solves their problems.
Make it interactive
No one wants to just sit and listen to you talk. Your demo should be as interactive as possible. Show your product in real-time, not on videos or slides. Ask questions and be engaging. If you can, let your prospects interact with your product and take it for a test drive.