As the saying goes: "seeing is believing". Therefore, a software demo is critical step in the B2B customer decision journey when evaluating and purchasing a software solution. As an example, have you ever visited a software expo or trade show? Then you may have experienced multiple vendors trying to attract you to their company's booth. As soon as you stand in front of their display screen, a software rep immediately starts to maneuver across the screen, showing feature after feature of their great product. Too often, they forget to first ask about the purpose of your visit, your needs or challenges with current solutions and how you envision an ideal software solution would look like for your organization. If any of these scenarios sound familiar - either as a software vendor sharing a demo with a potential client or as a participant viewing a walk-through of a vendor's software solution - then I invite you to read further!
I have attended a lot of software demos over the years as Solution Manager at HP and Xerox. Many of them were great, but some of the demos followed a common script: a team usually consisting of an account manager and a technical specialist (e.g. pre-sales consultant) hosts the online meeting. The account manager is responsible for relationship - building; the technical specialist demos the software and answers technical questions. The account manager starts the interaction with an introduction of the company, sharing some facts such as number of employees, their office locations and a “who’s who” list of the software company’s partners. During the demo's "storyline", the technical specialist follows a fairly generic demo script and displays a dizzying array of killer features. At the end of the demo, you may feel rather confused - and perhaps a bit bored? Have you ever thought after a demo “This is a waste of my time?”. This can often be a showstopper in developing a relationship with that software vendor.