In a software demo, you try to find out how the product and the partner can contribute to your personal ambitions and the goals of your organization. If you simply sit back and listen, you will not get maximum value out of the demo. These are 5 tips to better understand software demos and to help you in your software selection process.
1. Be prepared
Of course, you expect the software vendor to be well-prepared for the demo. But the audience should prepare for the demo as well! Make sure you have some knowledge about the software vendor, the product, the technology, the processes, the key features, references and so on. It will help you better understand what you are looking at during the demo and better understand the pros and cons of the product you are evaluating.
2. Be focused
You need to be concentrated during a software demo. Don’t be distracted by your phone, incoming emails or whatever is on your mind. Carefully follow each step in the process demonstrated by the software partner, imagine how it would function in your job or your organization, make notes and ask relevant and critical questions.
3. Be open
You want the software vendor to demonstrate all key features of the software and explain how it provides value to your organization. In other words, you want the software partner to be open. But to find out if the software is a match, you need to be open too. Tell about your personal frustrations, the pains you experience now and the goals you want to realize with the new software. This will make the software demo more personal, more relevant and more to the point.
"Tell about your personal frustrations, the pains you experience now and the goals you want to realize with the new software."
4. Be energetic
Are you attending a demo because you HAVE to or because you WANT to? Hopefully because you see it as an opportunity to improve. Make sure you enter software demos with positive energy. Its ok to tell about your frustrations, but even better to discover the potential of the software. How will it help to improve your business or make your job easier? If you are energetic you stimulate new ideas, interaction and positive thinking.
5. Be honest
Don’t like the demo? Say so. Not interested in one of the topics? Say so. Why would you waste your valuable time on something that is not going to help you? During and after the demo, it is very important to share your thoughts and express your feelings. If you want to know more about a specific topic, the demo consultant can tell you more about it and go into more detail. Being honest and transparent is the best way to start a potential partnership.
Ashley Harris is support consultant at Dysel and an expert in how business software helps equipment dealerships to become more successful.