The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 3 years ago

Brian Burns on 5 Things That Make a Demo Great


Demos play a critical role in every sales process. Oftentimes, just being prepared to give a demo isn’t enough. Sales professionals need to be mindful of other factors besides knowing their products to have their demo be a success.

Brian Burns, host of The Brutal Truth About Sales & Selling, sat down with Chad Sanderson, Managing Partner, Value Prime Solutions, to discuss five things that make a demo great.

You're listening to the BTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast dedicated help an executives traintheir sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're lookingfor techniques and strategies were tools and resources. You've come to theright place. Let's accelerate your growth in three two one: welcomeeveryone to the B to b revenue executive experience. I'm your hostChad Sanderson today we're going to be talking about demos and Brian Burns,and I are going to break down the five things that make a great demo so helpsales. People hopefully understand when they should be using demos what ittakes to make them successful and when not to rely on them too much temos, tergreat tools in the sales process. If used effectively, if prepared forproperly, if they are executed flawlessly, they can do a great deal todrive a sales deal forward. However, the vast majority of sales repts todayhave a tendency to think that a demo is more significant in the sales processthan perhaps it actually is. So what Bridan and I wanted to do- was spendsome time talking about our experience with demos talking about what makesthem work, why you should use them when you should use them and some things toavoid. So without further ado, let's jump right into the conversation withBrian Burns. It's time to talk about Demos. I meandemos are a critical part of every sales process and I'm sure you satthrough a handful of them. Your career, more than my fish air- and I bet you'veseen some good ones and quite a few bad ones. Let's, let's contrast that, maybeyou know like what's your number one thing for making a demo great, you knowit's interesting, so you always got to be prepared. First off and this yougotto be prepared for it to go poorly right. Every demo always has the chanceof going sideways because it's technology, so one of the things tomake sure it's that I've seen people do to make sure it's great is yeah. You'vegot your demo down. You know what features you want to highlight thatwill solve their business problems. That'll go back to making sure they'readressing their business objectives. You've got all that down you'vepracticed, it you've done the run through, but you're prepared in casethe tech doesn't work and you're not sitting there wasting somebody's timefumbling to try and figure out how to show them, something that just you know,crap the bed so that preparation part of it for me and that ability tounderstand you know either eventuality and be prepared for it. That to me, iswhere I've seen most. You know: Sales, Repsan, ags or demo, people reallyshine. Yeah, I mean I don't know if you've ever been the guy giving thedemo, but you know that's kind of how I got my start in the career. I was akind of the engineer that they pulled out of the cubicle to Oto. Give thepresentation in the Damo and ask to you know: Cut Your Pony Tail. Will you AIT's amazing, though? Right? That'sthat's an awesome way to get started because, because you know you knowgoing into it, the technology can be a little bit skittish I mean especiallytoday when things have to be connected, we're not connected they've got to workin both modes. You never know what kind of presentation device you're going tobe on inside of a customer setting. Some of them are, you know, had thelatest and greatest nice flat screens with the hdan, my plug in nd and you're,ready to rock and roll others. You know you're still looking for a DVIconnector to a projector that probably hasn't been dusted in ten years right.So all of that has to be taken into account because if you get to a pointwhere you have people in a room that need to know that this product isreally what they're looking for, you need to make it shine in in order to dothat, you got to be prepared for any eventuality yeah, and there was a lotof research done on like the best times to do this, and you know I don't knowwhat your p experience has been, but I've never done one on Monday or Fridayand I try and do it like Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at either ten inthe morning, whatever local time. That... for them, not me or two in theafternoon. Oh, what's the thought process byind that I had. I hadn'theard that research. What where's that was that tell me more about that. I'msurious now yeah, I'm going did blog post about it, because what they haveand there's is mostly remote stuff raining that you know where you go through zoom orsome kind of screen sharing APP Yep. They recorded analyze it and then mapit in sales force or whatever crm to what deals closhe and how long theytake to close. So they can correlate the effectiveness Ond, the correlationof different things. That happened during the call- and you know, certainly for me, youknow anything before ten people are rambling and rushing around withintheir office trying to get right o they got to get coffee toast their BAGEL.You know catch up on the game or you know the the TV last night, especiallylike Monday morning. Forget it. You know everyone's got meetings, they'retalking about Curbyr, enthusiasm, it's like this. The focus is not on work andand that ten of am meeting is always a good twenty to fifty percent betterthan the twopm meeting. You know two pm you got to let people get back afterlunch, you know catch up on their stuff, get reacquainted with their jobs, andthen you can. You can get down and do some work. But after like three, you know andcertainly nothing near for a lot of people like. Oh we'll get you right atthe end of the day and it's like no yeah peopleare burnt and were Gino Gog, kids soccer game or something to go toand, and you know and Fridays forget aboutit- and you know you know what Chattin about travel and one of my rules wasnever travel on Monday or Friday, because it's like amateur hour Friday, you got, you know the grandmasgoing to see the grandkids and the security lines are always low. Peoplelike Woa. We have to get Xrayn all thes stuff that they gev no idea. They gottheir coffee and one hand and their phone ind the other and you're like Oh andand Mondays. You know forget aboutit, because everybody's you know think that they're trying to get theconsultants are all trying to get on location. You know first thing in the morningsthat they had some kind of weekend. Oh Yeah, I love when I've been unfortunate enough to have to do something with a clientwhere I can't get out on a Friday night and traveling Saturday morning fromsome place. That's like a totally different world. Isn't it it? Oh Wait:I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE IN TSA preo. I don't have to take my shoes up. Well,no, my shoes might set it off now. I want to talk to the TSAAG and I'msitting there going okay, deep breas e bress like this is this should beseamless people like the signs read the signs observation yeah travel. I couldgo on. Obviously after this week I could go on with forever that thatdatathough, that came from Gong, you said: Go Yeah Gon, Dot, Iyello thoseguys put out some amazing Dato the tools awesome as hell. I've hadconversations with their CGEO before, but the data they put out the blog, thecontent, absolutely amazing. I love that yeahand it kind of inspired this episode, because you know I don't talk enoughabout demos and it's Tamols or something you have to talk withinteractively with someone else. You know because I've been throughhim somany times that you know. I think the number one thing for me is to findsomething to engage them with. You know what is the thing that they that'sgoing to change their life? You know, if you think of like a test drive,there's some one thing about a car that everybody wants, O might be, might bethe seat, it might be the power, it might be, the look it might be. Youknow teatops or Sunroof or convertible. I don't know, what's it for you, I meanit Wel. I think that I think you're on a something right there right. You haveto be able to inndemo remember, first and foremost, that that people makeemotional buying decisions right, and..., if it can tap into it, like ifyou're going to show me file open file, close file, save or Hig, I'm stop juststop, because I don't give. I don't care, so you have to have done yourhomework and have to have talked to an understand your audience first andforemost, and if you can show at Demo in a way that that brings to likt howit's going to help them, how it's going to provide them value solve a businessproblem, generate Roi for them and you can start to show it in a way anddeliver it in a passionate way. None of this monotone hey do this. Like the N,no they've got to be an event. You almost want the Demoto be an event, soyou can tap into those emotions because they're not going to buy it justbecause it has this long list of features they're going to buy itbecause you help them connect to it yeah and it's something that you reallycan't delegate because a lot of times I've worked at companies where theperson given the demo was in what they called a pool like you know, and- and you may have only worked with thisperson like one time before, and they don't really report to you and and and you don't have enough timebefore, beside always try and sit down with them, have a cup of coffee and say:Okay, here's how I like to roll with the Demo and they go non O. No, I gotmy way of doing it. I go understand, but you know, let me explain whatthey're looking for what they care about and I go. Let's have a signal.Okay, when I start talking, you stop Topi Oawhen. The customer startstalking. We both stop talking, okay, Ilove it and, and he got offendedand he went and talked to his manager. His manager agreed with me. He Goes:That's brilliant yeah, let's not make it complex right, yeah there to listento the customers, so stop D, and it's always I mean there's two ways to lookat it right. Depending on how complex the product of the solution is, there's some where I've been able to dothe demos, but I've also sold things like W. Back in the day we sold mathlibraries for three dgometric modeling engines. We didn't even have a Ux, itwas all code and Algorithms, and I lau I'm the last dude that needed to bedoing the demo. But if you have somebody, you know that a that thatproduct expert that can really roll through it, you have to dry run it. Youhave to go through it and practice it. You have to know the signs, the Ques,those are the most simple cues. I've heard. Usually it's like you know. Ialways got probably two creatives like all right. If I tap my pen twice justshut up because it's time to let the customer talk right, but if you don'tpractice it and go through it, especially if there's two peopleinvolved, you run the risk of coming off flat and then, if it's a productthat you're trying to tell them is simple and easy to use that you know.One of the things I like say is: Look I'm a I'm a sales guy, and even I cando this right. That's so there's a credibility portion if the product issomething that you are comfortable enough with as well. Either way youstill got to make sure that t. You know you come up flawless, passionate andget out of the fact that you've, probably given this demo a hundredtimes- and you don't want to get into that monotone if you can do that andstay passionate about it. Those are the ones that I've seen go, go the bestyeah yeah I mean I recently posted a video clip from madmen where thatthey're pitching a CODAC aboth. I remember: Do you yeah it because it wasso convincing because you know they the customer was telling them. I know thisis hard, it's just a wheel and for the audience it's the Caroel, where you putin those little slats, Fli ads yeah yeah, and maybeyour parents had them. I I certainly remembered them and the slide woulddrop in in front of the light and would project the image on to a screen andthat's how people had like home, not movies, but you know pictures andpeople after a vacation. We get the pictures back and have the friends overand show it and don draper who was pitching. The idea explained that youknow what was...

...what was the emotion bu like a Caracelyeah like a child child and the timelessness and the wonder, time,travel and nostalgia, and it was like and all of a sudden it was his life. Itwas him with his kids and he went back to when his wife was pregnant. He wentback to his wedding day back to when he met her and one of the people whoworked for him started crying and had to leave the rood right. I have neverdone a demo that, where I've inspired somebody so much that they've actuallycried. That would be great, but I mean that's Atirevrie given one, but I've cried after I've cried after I'vedone my fishair cring after for sure, that's it, and I remember probably themost dramatic product I sold was you know we had this magical capabilitycalled incremental compulation, where we could basically cut the time it tookto build a program from hours to seconds and the first time you showedsomebody to it. They go wait a minute. You didn't do anything. I go. No, it'sdone. I let me show you all, run it. Okay,now we'll change at you do what variable do you want me to put in I'llput in the setting? And that way you know I did it, and people would be likeawe, struck right and all of a sudden you they now saw that they could taketheir workday and cut it into like one, eighth or one ten and an met. Then theysaid well. Jesus now we can have vacations and go home on weekends, canactually use all that vacation time, IA, yeah and all of a sudden they were ableto articulate that to their manager. So the I mean t with every product. Thereis some magic thing and I think people get too lost trying to train thecustomer during the demo as like a training class. Here's how you use itwell and that's a really good point right. The demos not meant to train himon the product. It is meant to connect to them right to inspire them,especially if you're talking to I mean I don't know about you for me, a lot ofthe demos we did were never with the ultimate buyer. They might be there forlike two seconds and go oh you're going to do a demalright. I have other thingsto do so, so what what we always try to do was you know that person that you'redeviling that person that now has the technical validation or whateverthey're being called whatever the role is in the buying process, always wantedthem to walk out of there with some type of personal connection to it,because then their passion came through when they were talking to the buyer ortheir boss or whatever, and that's it. What you want to do istry and elicit from their questions how well they're getting it. You know,because typically there's somebody in that demo that has that problem thatyou solve and you've got ta connect with them and when they come back toyou and go well wait a miute. Let me see how that works again and doesn'tconnect up with this and doesn't do that then you've got you've, got theMojo right. You know, and you know I think the best test drive I've ever bkbeen on. When I was. I bought the Z, I'm sure the listeners Ise sick ofhearing about this car, but of course I bought it in July. You knowwheth the streets were nice and dry and wasn't a you know, rain or snow oranything, because it was horrendous within either rain or snow. The testdrive the guy took it out, he's agood. Let me drive atot I'll, take you backintoto, some back roads into Virginia and these windy little roads that werebarely. You know wide enough for two cars and he skated this car, and thislong and I di was just like mesmerize as the passenger and then and he pulledit over goes okay, you're turned and then of course I went like one tenthThof, speedy Hedid, but the feeling, because het goes, you see how thatfeels. It's like okay, instead of breaking in that curve, accelerate intoit, and then he took the t, tea top the roof off and put it in the trunk, and-and it goes what kind of music do Youl like he put on the music and all of asudden, the connection that transfer of ownership took place yep without adoubt. I had and it's funny because I had so when Comwhen Camero just redidthe body styles. What was that four?...

Five six years ago, I got one of thenew cameros and same situation. It was total. It was a total emotional bye. Iknew what I was doing. I walked into the dealorship because, because my wifeat the times, jeep needed service, so I was going down to pick her up orsomething I walked in, and they had this orange Kamero SS eight cylinder inthere that they had put a ennessee conversion kid on six hundred andseventy five horse power, and I was like I would like to take this for atest drive. You know they had to open up the big doors and get it out of theshow and we're out the and it took all of I don't know two seconds once I satin the car for Metogo Yeah, I'm taking this home now much like you, it wassummer you want to talk about not that thing. If it missed it, if it dude, itcould not go outside. It was all muscle, no brains, but it was that emotionalconnection right, and it was him being able to tell me about the Hennessyconversion kit and connecting it to the things that I cared about. That madethat such a powerful experience that happens and be to be all the time. Thatis really what we're after that's it, and if you can figure out that onething out and demonstrate it to the client and have them get it and don'tworry about the rest, because doing two dammos is not a bad thing as a goodthing doing. The customized demo is a good thing, not a bad thing, because Ithink too many reps and where most deals get stock. Is You have that greatDammo and it goes a little bit longer, which is one of the things Gong noticeis the best Damos went a little bit longer, but the problem, then, is yourun out of time and you don't get that critical next step scheduled and all ofa sudden momentum is lost right right when, in the episode, just out ofcuriosity when in the sales process, because I just was actually discussingthis with a client earlier this week when in the sales process, do yourecommend people start to look at doing the demos? Are there certain things youwant to see or recommend that people look for or have from the client beforethey're willing to invest the time in resources T at Doidemo? Well, I thinktoday people are trying to rush it. I think people are assuming just becausethey will take a meet TAT. They want to see it down, yeah and you know, and unless you're the enduser of the product you're the direct user, the way you're the demo makesperfect sense to you, then it might make sense, and but Ithink you know the today, because the person who's given the demo isn'tgetting the meeting. It's usually somebody else kind of gets the meetingand then Yeu kind of gin of Redo the discovery a little bit right. I think Iyou first need to you know reestate rapport kind of do T. where are you inthis? Is it a priority? How do you do it today? How would you like to do it?You know: What's the outcome you like to achieve and then, if you can keepthe Damo as a conversational piece and I've got this one guy, that's in our industry. He'sgot this product and every time I talk to him, he opens up a window and startsgiving me a demo. Now now I've used his product for three years now, and youknow I literally have inspired most of the product direction for them, because I'm a super user of it and Ilove the product and he all insists on giving the demo instead of talking tome, and it is just such a turnoff G and I'm like buddy. I know that the demo isworth. Let's talk about e. These things are important and then he'll say oh awell. You can do that now. I go. No, you can't be goes. Let me show you andI go. No, that's not what I'm talking about stay away from the products. TayLerten e yeah, let's, let's talk like human beings and I think too many rapsuse it as a crutch, like they use, slides as a crutch, and if you can'thave that that solid interactive conversation about the industry, theproblems that people face, the...

...customers roll in the company for agood half hour, you're, not qualified, yet you just gotto get build up that knowledge base and because those are the things that arereally great sales. People are good at the Damo, was kind of a Rooki tool.It's kind of a crotch for a lot of people, there's nothing wrong with it.It's great reason to get together. You know it's kind of like hey, let's meetfor cocktails Rightt, it's not the beer, you can have a beer anywhere right. Youwant to get together to talk and reconnect yeah without without that understanding.Without that context, t at the sales person doesn't bring that context to ityou're right they have a tendency to use it as a crutch. I remember thefirst time I had a new AE that was going to go with me to do it demo andwe had dry rund it and dry runed draroni, but our practice was only. Ithink we think we got it done in twenty five. Twenty seven minutes every timeon average right, but the meeting was for sixty minutes and as we're drivingup to the customer side. He goes so I have a question for you. I was like allright sure shoot he's like what are we going to talk about for the other?Thirty minutes, I'm like what he's like, I don't know we're only doing a demofor twenty seven minutes he's like. Even if I go along, it's thirty five Si.What are we going to do? The other twenty five I'm like? Are you? Are youbeing serious right now? We have a whole list of things we wantto talk about, and actually we want to talk first, then, do a little demo andtalk at the end and it all of a sudden. You just saw the blood drain from hisface like well. Wait a met! U Mea we're not going to have the demo to rely onlike I'm not going to have! Oh Hey! Let me show you this cool thing about theproduct. No, it's not about that! It's about them! What they need, what theythink is valuable and how we connect that yeah and that's it, and I think,if you can really like start by showing how other people do it like somebody,they may know or respect or understand, or even compete against, and it's likeokay here today you have three disparred systems: okay, you'd like tohave them all work together. So today, what do you do? You have to manuallycobble them together? What if you could do this? This is how you know IBM doesit. This is how Oracle does at this and all of a sudden, Zal, Microsoft, Os hat.This is what it was like before. This is how we transitioned them. This wasthe outcome that they got and you build that into a story and how it affectsthem. It's great and you raised the real good point onthe timing, because, typically, even if they have extra time, the room thatyou're in typically expires rate on the top of the hour, you get the PEEC inoutside, knocking and all of a sudden. Not only do you have to leave, you haveto pack up and leave, and you still you haven't closed the meeting for a nextstep, which is the most valuable action it in that can come out of this,because if you don't have it, I wrote about this in my book because I hadthis vp come with me and we be out in the parking lot. He was a fantasticrockstar presenter, but he always went long and he was like the Steve Jobs ofthe company and then we wuld be, like literally being kicked out of thebuilding they're trying to go to lunch. You know we've a gone over by a half anhour and they're all like ah Thi's fantastic. Let's talk soon, yeah sendme proposal and he's in the in the parking lat tell me how great it wentbut yeah but yeah. We don't have a next step. He Goes Wo, send a proposal andI'm like to who abo for what there's so much more we need right islike the next hook. It's like! Oh you having that first grat date, it's likeall of a sudden. You think you have a relationship and it's like you know, maybe you do. Maybe you don't, and it'slike that's I that part and people just assume because it went so good and I'veseen very few. You K, Ow Demmos, probably like ten percent, go bad, butyou know eighty percent typically go.

You know bb plus right, but not thateighty percent don't close right, but probably twenty percent of thoseclothes. Why? Because somebody doesn't know what to do next. Well E, no one TA,tat, Yeah and you see the reps get so excited. I watched. I have watchedsales raps they'll do their practice, they'll do their prep and they get inthere and they start to see the reaction from the customer movie. Theylean forward, maybe they're some asking some questions, maybe they're, startingto talk a little bit faster, they're, giving you those cues that they'reengaged and they're starting to get excited and then the rap bleeds off ofthat and gets excited and forgets that what you have to do at the end is getthat next step, so they walk out and they go. That was great, and then youwait about three and a half minutes and it Ganes on Hem crap. I don't have anext step right, yeah that was awesome. It might have been an aplus performance,but from a sales standpoint you maybe are a a solid sea. If you don't have anext step and that's what the goal is right, it's a lot of reps will get sofocused on that demoin that one step they lose that strategic view of theaccount in the sales process, and I understand why I mean I it's awesome.When you have a customer sitting across table and they're excited and they'retalking to you and there think of all the things we can do it you want to.You know it's natural to get caught up in that it takes a pro to actuallyremember. You need to control that thruottll their emotions and make sureyou're ensuring that you have that next stepward time to get it yeah ecause oneof oneofcustomers, are one of the jobs I had was a companycalled chainlink technology and they call it the chain link offact, and itwas kind of ironic that you would think of is a chain link where the demosalways go great, but nobody ever buys the product. I O that's a sales process, mistakeyeah and the guy who ran sales used to sell. You know, alarms door, a door andin that case they either bought or they don't buy period ht. You know it's a alot like when you're on that lot. You either buy that Camaro or that Z or youdon't you know, and that that next step and you can't ask them what they wantto do- nat you can, but they don't know right because they'll say Oh, send me aproposal but you're, not the person who signs the proposal. So, what's thepoint in sending you a proposal, you take me to meet the person who cansign for the proposal or let's get the full sale complete it, not just thetechnical, because this is really the technical sale. You know you love theCamaro, but let's say you were sixteen. You can't afford the Camaro. You knowyou're loaded, so you can afford it yeah. It was an impulse by for sure andyou're. Right, though I mean it is a component of a much larger process andthat technical sale yea. I work with a lot of sales reps where, where they'reextremely technical, they want to talk about the tech, they love the tech andthey get gout about the tech and then, when you have to explain to them thatokay, well, the person that is ultimately going to sign the contract,no offense probably doesn't care, they probably don't care about. The featureset. What they care about is the person that they trust telling them. Yes, thisproduct will do it and that's where we're at when we're doing the demo somaking sure you're constantly. Keeping that in mind becomes a a critical stepyeah, because when you do the on site, you all that the pattern was alwaysconsistent. The manager would come in in the last five minutes and he wouldheaor she would look at the people who are the smartest and see how they werereacting to it and they need to get the nod, the smile, the thumbs up or theywould get the h Ahlet's keep looking. Let's keep looking and plus you knowmuch like an madmen that the people your competitors coming in in two hoursright. You know exactly they're right behind you, the right, Bindou, Hey,cool jab, there's been a lot of fun anything else about the demo before wedrop. Oh, no, I'm good man. This has been great. Thank you all right, Ladiesand gentlemen, that does it for this episode of the BTB Revenue ExecutiveExperience, hope you enjoyed Brian Burns, and I going back and forth aboutdemos. What makes him effective, what...

...not to do hopefully found some value inthis. I've really enjoyed my time and an he episodes we're doing with BrianBurns. It's great to talk to another professional and and provide you guys,insights and hopefully, a little bit of humor along the way want to. Thank youall for listening, and if, if you could do me a favor and go to itunes drop usa review, that would be great. We really look at those to see what kindsof content you're interested in as well as please do not hesitate to show thisout with friends, coworkers family. Anyone, you think, will get some valueout of it again. Thanks for listening and until next time we have value.Prime Solutions Wish you all nothing, but the greatest success you've been listening to the btobrevenue executive experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you somuch for listening until next time.

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