What is the ROI of a well-executed demo?

Answer: Progressing the sales process forward with your prospective customer. 

Both new and existing ISVs know the importance of impressing prospects with demos of their solution, but most ISVs struggle optimizing their demo and demo environments for consistency and scale. Not knowing how to invest your time upfront causes Sales Engineers (SEs) an inordinate amount of time creating, configuring, and tweaking demo environments instead of focusing on the demo meeting with an end-customer. 

In this blog post, we’re covering the fundamentals of a well-structured Salesforce demo, how to avoid demo traps, and to inform ISVs there are better ways to optimize your demo environments for speed and scale.

Demo Fundamentals

There are 2 key outcomes your demo story should strive to achieve in selling within the Salesforce ecosystem: 

  • Customer success your target buyer will receive by buying your solution.

  • Platform success Salesforce will receive because of your solution. 

Don’t Fall in Love With Your Features

Our number one recommendation for effective demos is don’t fall in love with the features and functions of your solution. We and Salesforce AE’s and SE’s often see ISV partners speak at length about their application’s features and capabilities, and they fail to show the outcomes your solution produces for a business buyer. 

It’s easy to fall into that trap, and you need to avoid it. Why do so many ISVs make this mistake? Easy, they spend a ton of time building features and functions for end-users, and they forget to focus on the end-buyer of their solution with the budget to pay for it. 

The buyer wants to see your application produce a Report, Dashboard, or Outcome that they can use to justify the investment in your application. They expect your solution to be feature-rich for users — what they want to see are the results those users produce for the business. If you haven’t invested the time or money into building out great Reports and Dashboards for your demo, pivot now. 

Focusing on the end-buyer yields positive results with your alignment with Salesforce as well. Leading with features and functions is a fast track to engagement failure. They do not care about how cool your features are, and they most certainly won’t remember any of them 3 minutes after your meeting with them. 

Here’s what they do remember and want to hear, use cases with outcomes of how your solution helps a Salesforce customer meet or exceed a business objective. Showcase that and they will remember and respond in kind with ideas to help you.

Simplicity is Key

Buyers like simplicity, not complexity. Start your storytelling by describing the key personas you designed the solution for and the problems those personas are currently trying to solve. Then show the Report or Dashboard that shows those same personas how the data from your solution gives them the confidence to solve their problem. Only then you can show a few features and functions the users will have to use to produce the results that go into the Report and Dashboard. 

This sequence works at scale because it is a simple and straightforward approach of People => Problem => Solution => Outcome.

If your demo story isn’t following that flow, you probably have over complicated it. Another leading indicator is how long does your demo take? Does each of your SE’s take a similar amount of time? Or is one demo 15 minutes while another is 45 minutes? SEs who need 3x the amount of time for a demo are probably doing too much of a deep dive into the app’s features and functions. That’s important for training, not for selling. 

Time is Never on Your Side

Any sales professional can relate to the challenge presented by juggling the never-ending backlog of customer conversations, follow-ups, and demos. Demoing requires tight alignment between product teams, sales teams, and executives to ensure each message hits customer’s needs. 

We hear from both new and existing ISVs setting up demo environments in a timely manner, as well as configuring and testing each environment requires multiple people with a variety of technical skill levels. Bringing these teams together and the technical config prep times adds unneeded pressure and causes a delay for your sales team and SE team prep for the sales meeting. 

CodeScience Demo Org Optimization

Having built 10% of the AppExchange, we’ve had the chance to see the common frustrations ISVs encounter with their demo environments. Replicating a demo environment can take an SE 20+ minutes only to have to spend an hour or two to prep it and configure it for a meeting. 

We see this as a repeated problem across ISVs. If your team is struggling with how to do this, call us, we are here to help you. 

In the coming weeks, we’re announcing the next webinar in our Acting Like a Top 25 ISV series where we’ll go even deeper into how to optimize your demo experience and give the audience a chance to ask questions specific to their own demo strategy and techniques and discuss ways to improve their demo experience for their employees and end customers.

If you’d like to be notified when registration is available, register here

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