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Three Questions Product Demos Should Answer

Liam MahoneyMarch 31, 2021

If you work in technical sales or presales, chances are you’ve given your fair share of product demonstrations throughout your career. While every product demonstration has a different end goal, there are three simple questions that should be clearly addressed regardless of the intended outcome.

Why buy anything, why buy now, and why buy from you?

By answering these questions, you can maximize the effectiveness of your demos and close more deals.

1. Why Buy Anything?

In today’s day and age, a prospective customer isn’t purchasing technology for the sake of just purchasing technology. In his book Start with Why, Simon Sinek outlines the need to understand not only what a company does, but why they do it. While your product may be the most innovative in your respective field, that is never going to be the motivation behind a prospect purchasing software in the first place.

Customers are looking to overcome a challenge or achieve a goal, and they want your help in doing that. By answering why buy anything, you can position your software as the optimal solution to the challenge or goal that the organization is addressing in the first place. Maybe the company is leveraging in-house technology that they’ve outgrown, or maybe the company is looking to standardize their information technology systems across subsidiaries.

There is always a triggering event or set of circumstances, and a good product demonstration will always speak to this. Additionally, by answering this question you can mitigate the risk of a prospect doing nothing at all, which happens more than it should.

2. Why Buy Now?

The old saying, “time kills all deals” is a fact! Inaction is the leading blocker to deal closure. Similar to the situational triggers discussed above, oftentimes there are also time based triggers. Maybe your prospect is aiming to go public in the near future or looking to acquire a company that can’t be supported on their existing application infrastructure. Speaking to these time based triggers can help maintain momentum in a deal cycle, and sometimes even speed it up. Just like “Why Buy Anything”, creating a sense of time-bound urgency is something the sales team should always be ready for!

3. Why Buy From You?

This is the question that historically we’ve seen the majority of sales people spend their time focused on answering. While important, maintaining a culture of customer centricity is of equal importance. Customers want to know that not only do you genuinely care, but that you understand their business. Keeping this in mind, the “Why Buy from Us” question should be addressed in conjunction with the two questions previously outlined. There are a lot of different angles companies can take when addressing this question. Oftentimes it’s based on competitive advantages in terms of feature or functions available in your application, but not competitors. On the other hand, sometimes it can be a quicker implementation timeline or a lower price point. There is no right or wrong approach here, the appropriate approach is different in every scenario. Regardless, in any demonstration you should clearly communicate why you should be the one solving a prospect’s problems, not a competitor.

Wrapping-up

By making a habit of answering these three questions and subsequently addressing them in your product demonstrations, you will maximize a prospect’s chances of seeing the value you bring to their organization. Hopefully this piece offered a simple framework that can be leveraged when preparing for future product demonstrations.

Looking for more resources? You might be interested in the following article:

The New Sales Imperative

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