How to Deliver SaaS Demos that Close Deals

How to Deliver SaaS Demos that Close Deals

There is a strong correlation between the effectiveness of a product demo and the probability of winning a deal. Why? Most product and service categories are crowded causing buyers to become overwhelmed with possibilities or to suffer from decision fatigue. Buyers want vendors to understand their unique business problem and help them solve it. They also want vendors to educate and teach them about new and better ways to do things – i.e., challenge the status quo. Either way, a highly contextualized and customized demo is necessary.

There are two common mistakes that salespeople make when giving a product demo to a buyer. The first is jumping into the demo without understanding the buyer’s unique business problem and how to solve it. The second is understanding the buyer’s unique business problem and how to solve it, but  jumping into a generic, vanilla demo. Both scenarios leave the buyer feeling annoyed, disinterested and lacking a desire to move forward. So, what is the key to providing an effective product demo?

Salespeople must understand the buyer’s unique business problem. Once the business problem is understood, the salesperson must understand the capabilities needed to solve it. Salespeople must then provide a contextualized and customized narrative on how the solution can solve the business problem. They must create a vision of a solution by demonstrating the capabilities needed in priority order. They must never show features and functions that are not related to solving the buyer’s business problem. For sales managers, helpful coaching questions include:


  • Was the unique business problem determined? Is the unique business problem understood in the context of the buyer’s typical use case?
  • Was the unique business problem quantified in terms of hours, money, share, etc.? How much pain is the buyer in? Is it enough to change (no pain, no change)?
  • If the buyer does not change, what is the business impact? For example, lost money, time, etc.? Or, if the buyer does change, what is the business impact? For example, more money, share, etc.?
  • What capabilities are needed to solve the buyer’s unique business problem? What is the priority of each capability, as ranked by the buyer?
  • Did the salesperson summarize their diagnosis/findings and ask the buyer to confirm them? Did the salesperson adjust or change their findings based on the buyer’s confirmation?


  • Did the salesperson map the capabilities needed to solve the unique business problem to the capabilities of the solution in priority order, as ranked by the buyer?
  • Did the salesperson incorporate proof points to the buyer as to how the solution has helped companies or people (titles) in similar geographies/industries address or solve similar business problems?
  • Did the salesperson effectively communicate the solution’s value proposition? Did the salesperson effectively address objections and answer questions from the buyer with confidence and authority?
  • Did the salesperson summarize the demo and ask the buyer to confirm if the solution addresses the unique business problem? Did the salesperson address areas/answer questions where the buyer expressed doubt?
  • Did the salesperson determine how the buyer evaluates solutions (how decisions are made and who needs to be involved)? Did the salesperson create an evaluation plan with the buyer with milestones and timelines?

Demos are not product showcases or spectator events. They are opportunities to demonstrate how the salesperson’s solution can help solve the buyer’s unique business problem; i.e., increase revenue, decrease costs or create impact. Effective demos insert the salesperson’s solution into the buyer’s process, workflow, etc. Salespeople must ensure that every feature or function demonstrated is directly linked to solving the buyer’s unique business problem. If they are not, the probability of winning the deal goes down. Do not give “bumper to bumper” demos. Show what sells.

All contents copyright © 2016, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.


One Response to How to Deliver SaaS Demos that Close Deals

  1. Erin MacCabe says:

    Very helpful tips indeed! Based on the growing numbers of SaaS providers, these tips can up one’s game!


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