To make software demos a success, you need to captivate and even entertain people. By applying these 5 tips, your demo will not become a lengthy and boring story, but an interesting session that will pleasantly surprise the audience.
1. Show the highlights
What is the purpose of a software demo? To provide a decent IMPRESSION of the possibilities of the software. An impression, so not all functionalities! It is about the highlights, the most important parts, the main processes. However, many software demos are about details. Every field and every piece of functionality is shown and discussed. Either to showcase the knowledge or because questions are asked about it. But these details are not going to convince your customer or prospect in a demo. Show the most important features that will contribute most to the goals of the company.
2. Make sure it is recognizable and relevant
In a demo database you use fictitious data of, for example, customers, suppliers and parts. Yet it makes a world of difference which data you use. Immerse yourself in the business activities of the customer and use examples that are realistic, recognizable and relevant to the public. A glance at the website is often enough to understand which data is best to use in the demo. Make sure you also apply the right colors, logos and images. It shows that you know who you're dealing with and makes it more understandable and fun for the audience.
3. Put a good storyline together
When you cover various topics in your demo, you are inclined to handle these separately, one by one. However, it becomes much more fascinating when a storyline is used in the demo. Your audience understands better what you are showing - especially when you briefly explain the storyline at the start of the demo - and will remember it better. In addition, everyone will see that the specific topic of his/her interest is related to the work of colleagues in other departments. This awareness is very important during a software implementation.
4. Focus on the process outcomes and benefits
In a software demo you open screens, click buttons and fill in fields. But that is not what provides value to the recipient. It is about the outcomes of the processes that you demonstrate, and the benefits of the method shown. If you have created a quote, show the end result. If you have shown the purchasing process, explain why you suggest that work method. If you show a reporting & BI solution, explain the benefits. Ultimately, the (potential) customer wants to know how your software provides more efficiency, cost savings or time savings.
5. Be positive, enthusiastic and energetic
As a (presales) consultant you get to see the application every day and you have probably given similar demos many times before. Giving demos has become routine. But that should not be visible to others! All the experience you have built up is a big plus, but you need to approach the demo with full focus and with great enthusiasm. Keep in mind that what is common practice for you, is completely new to the audience. And your message will be received much better when you deliver it in a positive and energetic way. It also increases the chance of interaction with your audience.
Software demos will never be a party, but you can certainly bring a smile to people’s faces. And of course, increase your chance of a successful project.
Philip van Kemenade is marketing manager at Dysel and is in contact with software end users every day.