How to Execute the Perfect Online Sales Demo

Online Sales Demo

Online sales demos are a popular use case for screen sharing soft­ware: Pros­pects are inte­rested in buying a new product/service and want to learn ever­y­thing they can. The sales rep wants to answer all of the prospect’s ques­tions and clearly demons­trate the product’s bene­fits – and all this without being in the same room toge­ther. Online sales demos work wonders for both pros­pect and sales rep.

But the sales rep has to nail that first impres­sion to ensure they have any chance of closing the deal. Sales reps can do so by incor­po­ra­ting the follo­wing four topics into how they plan and manage their online sales demos.


Execu­ting the perfect online sales demo starts well before the demo itself. Step one is to qualify your pros­pect as a buyer, and not just a window shopper.

  1. Is the pros­pect a decision maker?
    Not all pros­pects are decision makers in their company. They might just be testing the waters but not permitted to spend company money on your product.
  2. Time­frame for purchase?
    Before your demo, check when they are looking to purchase. If you demo too far in advance, you run the risk of your pros­pect forget­ting your product bene­fits by the time they are ready to make a purchase.
  3. Does your product fit most of your prospect’s needs?
    A skilled sales person would like to believe they can always sell ice to an Eskimo. But in reality, if your product doesn’t match your prospect’s needs, you’re going to have some trouble convin­cing them other­wise and time could be wasted.


Of course you should be prepared prior to any sales pitch. But with an online demo there are a few points, specific to online demos, to remember:

  1. Prepare some point form notes of what you will show
    This refers to a short list of your product features which match your prospect’s needs and which you must not forget to demo. As an avid fan of your product, you no doubt have many of your own favo­rite features. But you won’t have time for all these and they won’t neces­s­a­rily impress your pros­pect. Focus on the features that match their needs and which they will place value on.
  2. Rese­arch your pros­pect
    Have you ever attended a sales call as the pros­pect and the sales rep has no idea about you or your company? It’s frus­t­ra­ting and you get a poor impres­sion of customer service from that company. Don’t make that mistake.
    It will pay off greatly to know just some basic details: company name, size, industry, target market, etc. Based on the info you gather, you can try to think of how your pros­pect could use your product so you can custo­mize your demo accordingly.
  3. Send the pros­pect a calendar invi­ta­tion
    Don’t assume that the pros­pect will save the day/time of the demo. Sending them a calendar invite allows them to save it with one click so they don’t forget. Other­wise it may slip their mind and then when you call them you could catch them off guard leading to either them post­po­ning the demo or you having to rush through the demo content because the pros­pect is busy.
    You could also send them a quick reminder email one day before the demo. This also gives you a chance to ask any last minute ques­tions about their needs which will better help your preparations.
  4. Clean up
    The pros­pect isn’t going to see the state of your office or desk but they will see almost ever­y­thing on your computer desktop. Clean up the shortcut icons on your desktop, set your IM status to “busy”, and log out of anything that might buzz or pop up on your screen during the demo.
    You can find a few more points on how to “Clean Up Your Desktop” in this white paper on Online Meeting Best Prac­tices.


Now it’s time for the sales demo. There is only one main point I want to address here, but it’s a big one and has a few sub-points to go with it:

  1. Engage the pros­pect
    In other words, don’t just go through a script. Tailor your demo to their needs. If you’ve covered your bases from the Qualify and Prepare topics above, then you’re already halfway there. Now it’s just a matter of follo­wing through on your previous work (e.g. rese­ar­ching the pros­pect and crea­ting your notes list) and being mindful of the follo­wing points during your demo:
  • Talk to them: Ask if they have questions/feedback throug­hout the demo.
  • Make it personal: Address them by name. Sounds like a minor detail but it’s so important. It will make the demo more personal and ensure they’re paying atten­tion. To go a bit further, if it’s a group demo, try writing down all the names of the parti­ci­pants and reco­gni­zing them by voice during the demo.
  • Focus on the important features: I might be repea­ting myself here  but in case you over­looked this point above, only demo the most rele­vant product features and bene­fits for your prospect’s needs.
  • Keep it short and simple: It might sound impos­sible to demo your product in just 10–15 minutes, but chances are you will answer all your prospect’s primary ques­tions in that time. You don’t want to over­whelm them with more info than is neces­sary. On top of that you should allow for a 5 min Q&A at the end where they can ask any addi­tional ques­tions – this leads on from point 1 under “Prepare” above.


The demo is over. Your work is done. Now just wait for the pros­pect to send in a product order form… No, not quite. There are still a few things for you to do to make sure you have deli­vered the best expe­ri­ence to the prospect.

  1. Send a thank you email
    After the demo, drop them a short email to thank them for their time / inte­rest, and send them any required infor­ma­tion which was brought up during the demo e.g. pricing, features, contact info, etc.
  2. Follow-up call/email
    Set yourself a reminder for a few days follo­wing the demo to call the pros­pect. It’s more than likely that a pros­pect will have ques­tions after a demo which they didn’t think to ask during the call. This is a good oppor­tu­nity to give them a chance to ask those ques­tions. If a call is out of the ques­tion because the pros­pect is diffi­cult to reach on the phone, send them a follow-up email to touch base.
  3. Are they the decision maker?
    I touched upon this earlier. At times it is hard to estab­lish this prior to the demo. But hopefully you can deter­mine this during the demo. Then during the follow up stage make sure you’re in contact with the decision maker and not just the “infor­ma­tion gatherer”. For example you could still be in direct contact with the infor­ma­tion gatherer and at the same time CC the decision maker.

Curr­ently the world of sales is buzzing with new appli­ca­tions and tech­no­logy to faci­li­tate the sales process. For those looking to reach more pros­pects in less time and increase produc­ti­vity, add online meeting soft­ware to your arsenal of sales tools.

Discus­sion: Do you use screen sharing soft­ware to take your sales demos online? How have you and your pros­pects found the expe­ri­ence? Do you have any best prac­tices or tips to share for others?

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