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Doing the Right Demo on the First Call

When you’re the one watching a demo, what are you looking to see on your first call with a potential vendor? 

I was curious, so I did a quick Linkedin poll recently to see what other people thought (full results here for the curious). 

And guess what? The least-selected response was a full product demo. 

This might seem kind of counter-intuitive at first, especially with the rise of product-led growth over the last few years. Isn’t one of the major ways that buying B2B products changed because buyers want to get right to the product without going through the sales-led process beginning with a pure discovery call? 

But it’s not so black and white. In fact, 17% of respondents said they don’t want a demo at all, so the discovery call isn’t completely dead. 

It’s just that buyers don’t really want you to launch right into a pre-written script that goes through each button on your product as you click them and tell the prospect what each button does. 

And that makes sense – while prospects definitely want to see at least a little of your product early on, they don’t need a deep dive into the features just yet. That’s not what the first call is for. 

Instead, the majority of poll respondents said they want a mix of educational content and demo on that first call. They want to see a bit of what your product does, absolutely. And they also want to know why your product is something they need, something that will improve how they work, something that brings a lot of value and not just a lot of features they need to learn. 

B2B buying processes can take a long time, so offering a taste of the problems your product solves while also letting prospects peek at how exactly the product does that, is a smart move. 

And the second-most common response was a demo customized just for your prospect – no small feat especially in a team with only a handful of sales engineers. (Reprise can help make this a whole lot easier, however!). 

But the key to both of these top options is considering what your prospect needs at this stage, and how your call can give them enough information to decide if they want to move forward while not overwhelming them with too many features and details they don’t need just yet. 

Which kind of first call do you prefer? 

Photo by Good Faces on Unsplash