Q&A: conferencing for sales demos?
Many thanks for the presentation. We are a training company that has online learning content and Training simulators. I wondered what experience you might have or wisdom on the use of webinar in this context (i.e. doing sales demos remotely).
Regards, Allen C.
Hi Allen, thanks for reaching out.
I have a lot of experience with sales demos since I’ve been in the biz for a long time.
Web conferencing is seriously awesome for live sales demos, both in broader communications (webinars) and smaller sessions (meetings).
The BIGGEST problem in each tends to be one of audience-centricity.
In the most frequent sales demo format, the smaller meeting with a prospect, the risk is always “what I want to say” versus “what problem does my prospect have that I can show them a solution for.” The worst offense (in my very humble opinion!) is the ‘corporate backgrounder’ slide.
My recommendation: use sharing to put up a working agenda (a Word doc works fine), and get clear with the client as the meeting gets started about what they’re trying to solve. I do understand that practically they may not always fully disclose and you’ll have to make assumptions, but when you’re live, you can zero in on their particular problem or use-case and show what you need to show – slide, live demo, website, back to a few slides, back to a live demo, etc.
In a webinar format, the most frequent problem I see is setting expectations correctly up front. The risk (in the marketing communications process) is to want to soften the message that it’s going to be a sales demo. This may increase attendance, but ultimately hurts your brand when it turns people off.
My recommendation: clearly communicate in the invitation process what folks will see (preferably still in a benefit-to-them voice), but also make sure you make the webinar very interactive. It’s a great opportunity to answer someone’s question or objection in the process of winning them to your point of view. I think sometimes folks fear a question coming in that they can’t answer or that paints them in a negative light (‘how do you compare to competitor X’), but since your audience is usually going to hear that stuff anyway, I prefer tackling it head on.