Want a surefire way to improve the success of your demo? Flip it.
Conversation Intelligence Platform, Gong.IO recently analyzed 67,149 SAAS demos and found that demos that start with the end result are significantly more successful than demos that follow a linear path or a series of workflows before getting to that end result. This “Do the Last Thing First” concept flips the traditional demo on its head and is a core principle of the Great Demo! methodology.
Stop and consider what your customer really cares about at the start of a demo. Is it how your company got started? How many solutions you offer? How to log in and navigate a dashboard? Not likely. Most customers care about the end result they’re going to get by using your solution. Traditional demos typically don’t arrive at this end result until after 10, 30, maybe 50 minutes or more. According to new research, that’s entirely too late. By that time in the demo:
- Attention spans have plummeted
- Executives have left the room
- Everyone remaining is on information overload
- You have run out of time and must race through the most valuable part of your demo
How to Execute the Perfect Flip
Starting with the end result is a paradigm shift for the sales rep, solution consultant, or sales engineer who is used to clicking their way through a workflow or process to finally arrive at the end result. To make this transition smoother, follow these steps:
- Start with the End in Mind
Obviously you can’t start with the end result if you don’t know what that is. Discovery is a vital first step to uncover the ideal end result for your customer. During discovery ask questions around the following areas:
- Current state – How is your customer accomplishing a task or process now? What is the current outcome of that workflow?
- Future state – What does an ideal outcome look like for your customer? (If they don’t know, see next point.)
- Gaps – Where is the opportunity? Often times customers don’t know what outcomes are possible. Use your discovery process to test interest in other potential outcomes.
- Usage – How would the customer use this end result? The more you know about how and when it’s used, the more you can tailor it to their specific situation.
- Align the End Result to Your Audience
Make sure you know who will be in attendance at your demo 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 that gives him a quick snapshot of a situation.
- Cut to the Chase
When you arrive at the demo, do introductions and a quick review of your customer’s situation and then cut to the chase. In other words, present the end result first. Describe to your customer what he’s seeing by highlighting a few key details and the value, however be sure to keep it high level at this point.
- Confirm Accuracy
After you’ve presented the end result, make sure it is what your customer was looking for. But suppose it’s not. Are you dead in the water? Not at all. You simply need to find out where you got your wires crossed, so turn it into a discovery session. (Note: it is much better to find out that you are off track in the beginning of your demo than at the end when everyone is frustrated and feels that their time has been wasted!)
- Navigate to the End Result
If the customer likes the end result, he will likely have questions or want to see how you arrived at it. Seems simple enough, but this is often where demos get way off track. It’s tempting to start showing all the different options along the way. Suddenly, what would have taken 5 minutes has taken close to an hour. This is a clear case where less is definitely more. If there is greater interest or you have a highly technical audience you may want to do a deep dive later, however at this point in the demo you want to show your customer the simplest path to the end result.
If you’ve executed the perfect flip, you have arrived back at your starting point – the end result. You’ve addressed the most important issue for your customer right up front while attention is high, interest is piqued, and executives are still present.
67,000+ demos can’t be wrong. Flip your demo and start improving your close rate today!