When you see a bad demo, you notice it right away. When you see a good demo, however, you probably walk away thinking about the product, not the demo. But it can be hard to put a finger on what separates the good from the bad. Here are three all-too-common practices that leave your potential customers bored, confused and frustrated.

1. Lack of Personalisation

According to McKinsey, 70% of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they’re being understood. So why are you still giving your prospects the same pitch and the same demo? It starts well before the demo with effective discovery. Can you uncover your prospects' pain points? Can you identity the link between these pain points and the business value they represent? And what does solving these pains mean for your champion? With this information in hand, you're in a much better place to customize your pitch and demo to things the prospect cares about.

2. Teaching

Sales Engineers are often good at explaining things, which results in the second common pitfall: teaching. This trap is easy to fall into when you start walking a prospect though step-by-step instructions in too much detail, and not enough of the value behind what you are showing. If you catch yourself narrating every mouse click or going field-by-field through a menu, there's a good chance you are teaching, not demoing. How to break this habit? Ask yourself (silently, of course) "So what?". Everything you show in a demo should have a business impact.

3. Overselling

The job of a software demo is to show that a solution can solve the business needs of the prospect, not to convince them this is the best software product in existence. If you show a bunch of features that your prospect doesn't need, regardless of how impressive they are, your prospect will start seeing dollar signs and feel that the platform is probably too expensive, complex or sophisticated for them. Sometimes, they will start asking for discounts before they've even seen a price, stating something like "we don't need all that functionality". Keep it simple.

Software demos are a powerful selling tools, but make sure to keep them personalised and to the point, and don't get carried away.

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