The demise of the Franken-Demo


Author: Zack Cronin
Last updated: Published:

Winning demos tell a complete, clear, and concise story that is customized from end-to-end. Ditch the piecemeal assembly of random parts to tell a story that captivates buyers.

What is the Franken-demo?

Let’s face it… there is no such thing as the “perfect” demo. We’re kidding ourselves if we think we are even getting close.

From both the seller’s and buyer’s perspective, today’s sales demo experience is a practical Frankenstein’s Monster.

There are different parts that come from all over - slides, screenshots, and customer quotes. There are product tours, disjointed views, random names, fake customers, and imagined numbers.

Sellers grab a slide from one prior demo, a screenshot from another, and then log into a general demo instance that contains “aspirational” companies, made-up names, and metrics that don’t make any sense.

Sales reps stress over assembling this jumbled assortment of incongruous parts into an exciting, enticing, and most importantly, winning demo. They fret over the storyline, flow, functionality, and do their best to create some sort of environment in which buyers see themselves.

With buyers spending only 5% (and shrinking) of their time with sellers, reps only have a few crucial moments to make a deal.

No wonder demo anxiety is real.

From the buyer’s perspective, their attention swings from slides to a portal they don’t comprehend. They already have a limited understanding of how your product works, but it makes even less sense when they see charts, numbers, and names that they don’t connect with.

If they don’t get it, they’re not buying.

Put simply, your random assemblage of pieces isn’t winning you any deals. Frankenstein’s Demo Monster is DOA.

What the demo experience should be

A winning sales demo is a beautifully crafted story that shows your buyers exactly what your product will do for them. It is completely personalized with their names, logo, customers, and metrics that matter to them.

The only demo your prospects should be seeing is the one that they can fully immerse themselves in, the one that they can imagine themselves using every day, and the one they will become emotionally connected to.

This demo should present itself as a single, engaging, congruous, timeline. All the parts and pieces should gracefully come together to tell the story of what buyers want.

Moreso, the sellers should be able to deviate from the pre-planned path, to go where buyers need.

Often when there is an unexpected request or a surprise question, things fall apart. If a buyer asks something outside of the pre-structured plan, sales reps stumble, fumble, and fail to provide a worthwhile response in their demo. This may be because it’s not on their slides, they don’t have a screenshot of it, or their demo instance doesn’t have the relevant area properly prepared.

To have a great demo, sellers must “be like water,” as Bruce Lee said. They should be able to flow from value to value, weaving them all into the story. When something unexpected arises, sales reps should be able to easily adjust their arc to accommodate. They should have the flexibility within their demo to go into unplanned areas, or the knowledge to address surprise questions.

How to create the perfect demo

Demo experience platforms provide a tailored solution that enables sellers to personalize their demos at scale but to also tell engaging and cohesive stories within them.

A demo experience platform creates a replica of the UI of your product while leaving the entire backend behind. They are endlessly customizable and can be created in minutes.

Sales reps can then tailor every demo to tell the story that best suits each prospect. Then, since the actual UI is captured, the product can be explored in a nonlinear fashion. This means that the story is free to flow as it needs to, and a rep is never taken by surprise.

Since the environment is fully customized and completely tailored to the prospect, sellers can ditch the slides and get into the actual product demo sooner, enabling them to spend more time demonstrating value and better illustrating the story that they are telling. 

The result is a well-crafted story that wins.

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