Closing Time

5 Sales Demo Tips: Using Discovery Details to Personalize Your Demo

It’s easy for salespeople to get into a rut and deliver the same sales demo every time.

Today’s buyers won’t have it… if they wanted a generic view of your product, they’d watch an on-demand demo recording at their leisure.

The most successful sellers will use the details from the discovery call (pain points, needs, and goals) to personalize the demo experience – making the most of the prospect’s time, keeping them fully engaged throughout the call, and increasing their chances of closing the deal

Tune into this episode of Closing Time and level up your next demo call with Kim’s five sales demo tips – don’t just hit play, honor the buyer’s journey, dig into the discovery list, structure with care, and skip features that don’t resonate.

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Key Moments:
Tip 1: Don't just hit play on a live demo

It’s common to see sales reps disregard the information they’ve gathered during a discovery call and present the same generic demo to every potential client. To avoid this pitfall, sales reps should take the time to personalize their demos based on the information gathered during the discovery call (such as the customer’s pain points, current state, needs, and goals). By doing so, they can showcase how their product or service can specifically solve the client’s problems and meet their unique needs. This personalization not only increases the chances of making a sale, but also makes the demo more engaging and interactive, and shows the client that the sales rep listened during the discovery call.

Tip 2: Honoring the Buyer's journey

When potential clients sign up for a live demo, it’s assumed that they’re further along in their buyer journey and have already done some research on the product or service being presented. In fact, research shows that B2B buyers are 57%-70% through buying research before contacting sales.

While recorded demos have their place, they cannot replace the value of a personalized demo that caters to the individual client. By taking the time to connect the dots and show the client how the product or service can specifically solve their problems, sales reps can build trust and establish a relationship. This trust can lead to not only a sale but also potential referrals and future business.

Tip 3: Digging into the discovery list

Before the demo, you should clearly understand the buyer’s needs, goals, and pain points through the discovery process. Kim suggests having a slide at the beginning of the demo that recaps what was learned during the discovery phase. Don’t just ask if anything was missed on the list; go through each point individually and ensure everything is clear and agreed upon.

Additionally, when multiple people are on the call, this is an opportunity to get everyone on the same page and ensure that all needs are addressed. More than likely, someone on the demo call was not present during the discovery. This is an excellent opportunity to address that person’s concerns, which may differ from your champion’s. By reviewing the discovery list thoroughly, sales reps can build trust with buyers, demonstrate that they understand their needs, and ultimately increase their chances of closing the sale.

Tip 4: Structuring the demo

When it comes to prioritizing and structuring a sales demo presentation, you need to focus solely on the customer. While it’s tempting to go from top to bottom of your script, it’s not always the best approach. Instead, focus on the pain points addressed during the discovery. Be okay with going out of order if it makes sense for the flow of the demo.

During the demo, constantly refer back to what the customer said about their biggest frustration and focus on how your product can solve that specific issue. For example, “You mentioned that your team struggles with visualizing sales team data in real-time; this is how Insightly CRM can solve for that with our intuitive dashboards and reporting functionality.” Avoid going through a training-like presentation and, instead, adapt the demo to the customer’s needs.

Tip 5: Skip features that don't resonate

One of the biggest mistakes sales reps make during demos: spending too much time on features that may not resonate with your prospect. Showing off cool features that may not solve their specific problem can lead to a lack of interest and a potential loss of sale. Ensure that the features you’re highlighting will address your prospects’ challenges.

If there are features you’re unsure about, it’s best to skip them or ask questions to dig deeper to see how they might be relevant. Kim’s rule of thumb: “If you don’t know how it applies to them specifically, you can’t show it.”

Another issue sales reps may face is balancing showing the breadth and depth of the company’s offerings while focusing on the specific solution the prospect is interested in. The key is to have a great discovery call to identify other potential pain points they may have and to ensure you don’t miss the opportunity to show how your solution can address these problems. For example, if an Insightly sales rep didn’t identify the need for a marketing automation platform during the discovery call, they can mention Insightly Marketing in the sales demo, but they should not demo it. You don’t want to lose your prospect by overselling multiple products that may not be their immediate need or concern.


Is your team doing the same demo over and over again? Let’s get them out of that demo rut, in this episode of Closing Time. Thanks for tuning in to Closing Time the show for Go to Market Leaders. I’m Dave Osborne,. Chief Sales Officer at Insightly and I’m joined today by Kim Cram, a sales consultant and coach. Welcome to the show, Kim. It’s great to be here, Dave. Now, Kim, I heard you say the phrase don’t just hit the play button on a live demo. And that resonated with me as a sales leader. So interested to learn a little bit more about when and where you see that happening and what that means to you. Yeah, I see it all the time. Whether it’s the own reps or it is one of those that you’re actually receiving the demo, is probably one of the most frustrating things because you do this great discovery call. You learn so much information about them, which you should be, and then all of a sudden it’s demo time and it’s like, it doesn’t matter who it is, it’s going to be the exact same demo. They’re going to go through the things in the exact order. They’re going to disregard anything that they just learned about them, and they’re just going to when I say press play, because it doesn’t matter who they’re talking about, it’s going to be exactly the same. And it’s pretty frustrating,. I think, on all parties because it’s not really catered to them. Right. I mean, a rogue demo obviously won’t resonate with just everybody. I mean, it’s in like many SaaS businesses, right? I know a lot of people a lot of organizations will have recorded demos on the website, Right? Insightly included. So folks are actually signing up for a live demo with our team. We assume that means they’re further along in their buyer journey, in their sales cycle, and we need to meet them there. Yeah. A recorded demo, there’s a perfect place for it. Like you talk about on the website, let someone be able to get a feel for what’s going on. On the flip side, this is your chance to be able to now cater to the specific person that’s in front of you, because if not. I mean, if you just are going to push the play, you’re going to have the recording of it. You’re going to miss the opportunity of, hey, this is what they’re dealing with and connecting those dots, because you’d think that, you know, someone sees something in the demo and they’re like,. Oh yeah, that’s going to solve this. You’d hope that that’s the case, but it’s not always the case. So I want to be as a sales rep,. I want to be able to cater it and say, Hey, you know how you talked about this, this is how we’re going to fix it. And they can be like, okay, and their with you versus it just being again, it’s leaving it up to them because if not, why don’t you just have some order takers? Because that’s all you’re going to be doing anyway versus, hey, I’m in sales, I’m going to connect this for you. I’m going to help you see the vision and how we’re going to fix this for you. Right.. So that actually begs the question. I mean, it obviously depends on the segment, on the complexity of your sale. So I’d love to understand how discovery plays into this or how you see Discovery playing in to this. Right. So more often than not, you’re doing discovery before the demo, right? And you probably want to recap what you learned prior to showing them the demonstration to make sure that it’s resonating, right? So is that I love to kind of hear how you think about that or how you coach individuals to do that. Absolutely. So, I mean, in the discovery, you have your list of things that you need to understand, not necessarily like a a list of, you know, checkboxes that you’re just trying to learn, but you’re trying to understand them, where they are and how they think in all of these different areas. Now it’s time for the demo and usually like you said, it is happening before and maybe there’s a couple of days, maybe there’s a week that passes by before, you know, between those. So one of the things I like to do is always have like my first slide is a list of, you know, here’s the things that I heard, here’s the things that you’re dealing with and here’s the things that you’re trying to fix and go through those each individually. Now, I always cringe if I’m like with a sales rep and they just say, hey, anything on this list? And they just like kind of point to it like anything or are we good, like,. Oh yeah, we’re good. And they move on. It’s a missed opportunity because instead of doing that, I want to go through each individual point. You talked about that this is what you’re dealing with. This is one of the things that’s frustrating you the most because it’s having this impact and go through each of those and just make sure, like, is there anything else I missed? Anything else you’d like to add to this so we can get on the same page quickly because again, there’s been a gap between Discovery and demo. The other thing that I’ve seen a lot is it’s usually there’s like more people that come on to this call. Maybe. I’ll do a one on one with the discovery. Now I’ve got two or three people that are on there. This is also my way. So hey, these are the things that we covered. Is there anything else on this list that you would like to add or that’s not important to you? Like, how would you look through these? So it’s again, a way to not just for the person I did the discovery with, but also with all those other people that maybe added to. And now they have a chance to be able to say, Oh, well, this isn’t that’s not really important to me. I’m this person. I’m like, okay, well, what things would you add? So it helps us to be able to get on the same page before I go into demo mode. Right? Makes perfect sense. So I guess when you think about it, it’s twofold, right? So number one, validating that I heard you that I heard you loud and clear during that initial discovery phase and validating that this is the right stuff that is going to resonate with you. And then part two is in I mean, we’re seeing this more now than ever where the complexity of a sales cycle with the number of decision makers that are going to be involved continue to grow throughout the process. And so if you have new additional folks joining the demo, getting them up to speed as soon as possible, and then also adding new things to the list of requirements that may not have been there before. Absolutely. Yep, you nailed it. So when you go through this process and we validate where we’re at, right? And we understand, what are the requirements, what are the things that are most important. How do you go about prioritizing that demo, the consequent demo, right? Like, are we going from the top priority requirements to the bottom? Is it end to end? Curious to see how you set up that agenda and execute? Yeah, it kind of depends. I mean, I don’t necessarily just say, Hey, I’m going to go to the very top first and start to engage there. I don’t necessarily also want to just leave it to the end. It just kind of depends on what is the best flow for it. But I do want to make sure that I’m focusing in on those. But I will say that as you go through that demo, you’re constantly referring back to, Hey, you know how you talked about this was your biggest frustration. We’re going to focus in on this and let’s talk about how we’ve been able to solve this for others that have that same frustration and go through it. And like Hey, can you see how that’s going to help you? And be able to engage with them on the specific thing that they talked about, not just all right, here’s how this works. And you’re almost like doing a training.. You’re like telling them and then you do this and then you do this and you do this. And like any questions?. No, like cut that out. Have it focused in on who they are and what those pain points are and then focusing in like, all right, let’s talk about how we’re going to solve that specific thing. And here it is. So it’s a combination of, you know, making sure that you touch all those pain points. But what also is a good flow, because some things are going to build up and you like tell them the thing they wanted most, but they don’t really understand it. If they don’t, you don’t start at a different place. So it’s kind of figuring out what’s the best flow with what’s most important. Right. Makes sense. And obviously having the discipline to not spend time on features that may not resonate. Right. I think one one of the callouts that I’ve noticed when you have maybe a junior rep or someone who’s not as experienced is if the person you’re demoing to, you’re showing the features that you like the most. But maybe aren’t resonating the most, and then the person says, Hey Dave, that’s really cool. But you know, that to me was always the kiss of death when they’re like,. That’s a really cool feature. But cool isn’t necessarily what’s going to cause them to buy, right? Yeah. Yep, that’s neat. That’s cool. Like cool never is the thing that they’re going to buy. They’re never going to spend money. That’s not what you want to hear. No. I mean, if they have endless amounts of cash maybe and they’re just like,. Oh, that was so cool. I’m going to buy this because I like Johnny. And he showed me cool things, but it doesn’t solve anything. One of my rules of thumb is, if you don’t know how it applies to them specifically, you can’t show it. Now, there’s going to be things that you didn’t discover in the discovery call and you get to this and all of a sudden you’re like, It is your favorite part and it is something that resonates with a lot. But I don’t know how it applies, so I’m going to do a deeper dive. Hey, we didn’t talk about this before. How are you guys dealing with this problem or is this something that you guys are frustrated with? If the answer is yes, I may dig a little bit deeper with it and say, tell me a little bit more about that. You know, why is that such a problem for you? Just so I can be able to get some context and then I’m going to go into exactly what you just talked about. That’s how we solve this, and then I’ll go through it. Now, if the answer is no,. I may not just skip it, you know, just say, okay, never mind and move on. I may still give you a little teaser to say, Hey, this isn’t something that applies to you in this moment. So I’m not going to spend a ton of time, but just know that if this is a problem for you in the future, you know, here’s some things that we can do and then move on from it. Because the other thing with it is, there may be someone who’s not on that call that it is actually something that’s applicable. So I do want to maybe touch on it, but I don’t want to elaborate. The last thing I want is to like, alienate them. Seriously, this doesn’t apply. Like you are just trying to shove this down my throat. No, I want this to be something that’s relevant. Again, I’m focusing in on them and what matters to them. That’s what my demo is. This isn’t about me. It’s about them.. So make it about them. 100%. I found that, another trap, Well, a potential trap that people can fall in is if your company sells a platform or sells multiple products. Right? There’s a give and take right where you want to You want to make sure they understand the breadth and depth of your offering. But maybe this particular meeting is about a very specific solution that you’re selling. So kind of how do you think about that balance between making sure that this customer is aware of, you know, the holistic nature of what we provide versus focusing in and honing in on, you know, you personally, you’re here to evaluate this particular solution and diving deep into that. Yeah, it is one of those things, and I will say that it is typically the biggest issue is if you haven’t done a really great discovery call because you don’t know, you know, you have this, these whole things you, you hear on the discovery call, the one thing that they say, oh, this is something I’m really frustrated and you like kind of go down that rabbit hole and you only know that one thing and you’ve missed the opportunity of, hey, what are the other things? Because as you know, people are more likely to buy if you’re solving more than just one, if you have two, three, four things, not only will you be able to sell, but you also know you have the stickiness of like, Hey, they’re solving all these things for me. But the demo is not necessarily the place to discover that, that should be the discovery. And so it’s also being able to say, okay, if I haven’t, it’s using that kind of piece of like, Hey, there’s some additional things that we do, but I have no idea if this applies. So you’re doing like a discovery slash demo as you go to make sure. And again, you’re like learning with them and teaching them, you know, here’s how this applies. So it is like a hard balance. But I will say it’s usually the discovery call has been lacking. If you’re like, I want to show them all these other things that we do and I have no idea or it doesn’t apply. And if it doesn’t apply, they may not be the right fit. If you can do all these other things and it doesn’t apply to them, they may be just the wrong group altogether for you. And it’s it’s hard to say that from sales because you want to sell everyone that you possibly can. But you’re trying to find those that you can actually solve the most problems for, not just, you know, get them to sign and and pay some money. Absolutely. So many things point back to that discovery. Right. Well,. Kim, thanks so much for the insights. Hopefully everyone listening got a few good takeaways. Thanks for joining us, Kim.. Thanks for having me. Thanks, everyone, for joining us on this episode of Closing Time, the show for Go to Market. Leaders. We’ll see you next time on Closing Time.

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