5 Tips to Making a Great Software Demo

I just got off a webinar, where a mobile software platform was being demo’d to me.

I have seen – and done – a gazillion software demonstrations. And, like everyone else, I’ve learned – the hard way – many lessons about what works, and what doesn’t.

Here are 5 tips to help you give me an outstanding and engaging software demo:

  1. Dazzle me right away. A new piece of software is potentially intimidating. So show me, in the first minute, how your solution solves one very real and pressing issue elegantly. Wow me.
  2. Ask me what relevant challenges I’m facing. It might not be at all what you were thinking, and what your standard demo sequence addresses.
  3. Get right to the WIIFM. Software vendors are usually too quick to jump into the “how” – and that’s confusing for someone looking it at for the first time. Talk to me about the “why.” Make me want to know more.
  4. Sketch out a verbal outline of where we’re going in our time together. Tell me we’re going to look at this, then this, then this. Because the platform is unfamiliar to me, I need a roadmap.
  5. Be sensitive to what I am really grooving on. I may be 95% interested in user experience, with zero desire to dig into analytics – or, vice-versa. Take temperature checks to see where my interest level is high.

The worst demo is when the salesperson has a fixed sequence of “tell-me” information dump, which usually ends up getting too deep into the technical weeds (note: HUGE danger if you put programmer-types in front of customers). I don’t want to know that you can move pixels around in infinite configurations on multiple templates in Editor mode, and then proceed to fall asleep watching you do just that.

Focus your demo on solving my problem, not strutting your stuff.


Those are my 5 quick tips. What about you – what are the best and worst practices you’ve experienced?


Also on the blog: How to Waste Thousands of Marketing Dollars with One Simple Trick

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