I am often surprised at how many participants in Great Demo! Workshops have never been a customer – or have never seen another vendor’s demos. This lack of experience – and perspective – makes it hard for these participants to understand what a “Bad” demo looks like (and hence, what “Good” or “Great” might look like). For these “newbies”, I have a strong recommendation: go out and BE a customer. For the seasoned veterans, see my “Additional Note” below…
Here’s the assignment:
Find a software package you are earnestly interested in and become a prospect for that vendor. Experience, first-hand, what if feels like to be a lead. You’ll likely get a call in response to signing-up for information or a demo; you’ll likely see a “standard” demo. Make notes on how the vendor treats you, how you feel about the experience along the way, what kinds of questions they ask before talking about their product or plunging into a demo. Make notes about the demo itself: what did you like; what did you find boring or pointless? How interactive was it vs. a firehose delivery? How much of the demo were capabilities you were interested in seeing?
If you choose to buy the product, great! Continue to note the post-purchase experience, as well. Installation, implementation, initial use, help as needed… Did they reach out to you later on to “upsell”? Was this a “Land and Expand” experience?
If you don’t purchase the product, no worries – you are under no obligation! However, continue to note how the vendor continues to pursue you and your reactions.
Overall, this experience is critical to gaining a sufficient understanding of how YOU want to be treated as a prospect and customer. Use this when reflecting on your own sales processes and demos…!
[Additional Note: This is a great idea even if you have had previous experience on the customer side of the table. It helps to stay current on how vendors are operating today…!]
[Additional Additional Note: This is a great idea for on-boarding new presales (and sales) hires)]