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Software demonstration tips (presales)

By paul7410 ·
Good morning,

As a new demo jockey, I thought it would interesting to get others tips/viewpoints on what works and what doesn't work during software demos. I personally demo front to back office enterprise software (i.e. ERP, CRM, etc.)

Some things that I have learned:

1) Don't show up and throw up. Make sure you meet with everyone that you're going to demo with an understand the reasons he or she might want/need a new software package. This way you will be prepared to demo a certain aspect of the product when the question comes up.
2) Keep your hand off the mouse. If the mouse is moving around this can be confusing. Slowly and delibrately move the mouse to where you want to go.
3) Explain each new screen in detail (i.e. ground the prospect on the screen) before showing what this screen is used for. Remember they have never seen this screen before and may have never worked with software that displays its information like yours.
4) Don't try to show everything. The less you show the better. Just show what they need to see.
5) Webex's/online collaboration are great for add-on sales. However, for new prospects (and if the deal is large enough), nothing beats face to face communication. It's hard to build rapport over the phone.

That's what I've got to offer, but I would love any other suggestions that anyone might have. Anything from how to best prepare for a demo, what to do at the demo, what to do if you *#!@ up, etc.

Look forward to hearing the respones.

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That's a lot like interviewing for a job

by stress junkie In reply to Software demonstration ti ...

I don't know why nobody else has responded. My first guess is that there are few people at this site who think of themselves as sales people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether you are selling a product, outsourced service, or your skills for a direct employment position you are selling something to your potential customer. In this respect we all eventually have to make a sale in order to work.

In the area of interviews I like to think that I developed a good system. I've interviewed for many jobs as a contract employee. Now as a self employed service provider the job interview is now a sales meeting. Only the name is different. The objective is the same.

When I interview or meet for selling my services I do a lot of things just as you listed in your post. I try to listen to the potential customer. I want to find out what they think that they need. I want to find out what they have and what they are planning to do. Then I try to match their requirements with my skills. I go down the list of requirements that they have already stated and say "I can do this or that." "I've done this or that many times." "I specialise in that area." and so forth. I am also forthcoming about how I may not be able to fulfill one of their requirements. I find that if you are honest about your weak areas then they are more likely to believe you when you say that you are particularly good in another area.

In the end it boils down to listening to the customer and tell them how you can meet their needs.

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Stupid TR servers

by stress junkie In reply to Software demonstration ti ...

I ended up double posting because when I tried to post my comments the first time I got a timeout and a page saying "Page not found." from the stupid TR server. I pressed my browser's back button which brought me back to my post edit page. Then I pressed the "Submit" button again. This time I got the "Thank you for your post" page. When I returned to the discussion my post had been added twice.

The TR server appears to be under stress a lot more than usual in the last couple of weeks. Naturally I cannot diagnose the problem from where I am but I will say that THERE IS A PROBLEM!!!

I don't know if TR has weak hardware or a bad ISP or inadequate system administration talent or what. Many of the stupid node names, which I suspect are multi-homed on one machine, take a long time to respond while loading a page. Submitting posts takes longer each week from the time that you press the "Submit" button to the time that the server responds.

In the past I've made jokes about how TR should upgrade from its 300 baud accoustic coupled modem or upgrade its 80286 based server. These jokes implied performance problems. Apparently it is beyond the scope of TR to address these performance problems. These performance problems are really becoming irritating. I hope that someone at TR will diagnose and fix the problems that appear to be getting worse over time.

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good tips

by rajivghare10 In reply to Software demonstration ti ...

Dear Paul

I liked your tips on demos, I am also a software seller and share the same as you.

You tips are very good for a new person
who is giving a software demo.

Do you have any good web accounting software
I can sell it in india

thanks and regards


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My top ten demo tips

by youngmarkets In reply to Software demonstration ti ...

1. Ask your audience what they would like to see.
2. When the come back with a generic response, find out what problems they are currently experiencing.
3. Do not show them how your technology works, very few are interested in how it works!
4. KISSS ? Keep it simple, short and slow
5. Sit where people can see you, and where you can see them, don?t hide behind your equipment.
6. Show them solutions to their problems.
7. Grab their attention, do your best bit first.
8. Demonstrate the benefits, don't show them features.
9. Make the data topical and personal, i.e. use current dates, prospects names and addresses, product names etc.
10. Never demo anything you haven't tried in practice.
11. Ask them at the end, if the demo has helped them to see how your technology would have a positive impact on their business / life.

All the best Graham

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