Postmortem of a Product Demo
Today I sat through a product demo. That’s nothing new for anyone in a startup, especially someone trying to develop the perfect sales stack.
As a sales person, I am always analyzing how others try to sell to me. I thought this demo would make for a good case study on what to do and what not to do with potential clients.
What the rep did well:
Found me through a really creative method
- I was talking in an open forum about a product I was looking at and he identified me there as a prospect. That’s a pretty unique way to find highly targeted leads, which I can appreciate as someone who tries to target high quality prospects.
Set the appointment well by showing I was looking at a competitor
- His initial email emphasized the similarity of his product to the one I was considering purchasing — great timing and relevance. I could not have been more interested in seeing a product demo.
Had great confidence in his product
- I knew that this guy thought his product was great. He wasn’t trying to slip one by me. (For why this matters, see my article on how to sell a losing product.)
What the rep could have improved on:
Started right in on the product demo — no questions about me, my company, or my process
- Other than the fact that I was looking at buying a similar product, he didn’t have any idea how his product would fit me and my company. He could have asked me anything — I was impressed with how he found me and wanted to know more. But as soon as the demo started, I mentally shut down.
Made inaccurate assumptions about my operations
- He mentioned that I would be working within my clients’ CRMs. I don’t do that. I have my own leads management platform throughInsideSales.com — but you don’t ask, you don’t find out.
Vaguely referenced multiple times features I wouldn’t get to access
- Apparently because I work with multiple clients I would have to pay more for certain product features. Whatever; I didn’t have a problem with that. But he must have mentioned this lack of access at least three times without ever saying what the features were I was missing out on. I finally called him out and got to see the features: turns out I don’t even need them. Crisis averted.
I’m certain that the product I reviewed is valuable. But buying a product that’s in its early stages (this one is) for a company in its early stages (mine is) means more partnership than purchase.
I’m not certain that I’ll buy. I’m not going to lose out on a good thing because of an imperfect sales presentation, but some aspects were so offputting that I really felt like a prospect. That’s not a comfortable place to be (which is a good reminder for me too).
What was the worst demo you’ve seen (or given)? The best? We’d love to hear your story and learn from your experience.
Originally published at www.linkedin.com.