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How to Prevent Your Next SaaS Demo Going Silent

By Ray Makela

On this Q&A episode: "What's the best way to follow-up with a demo? Even though my demos go really well, the prospect seems to go silent after we meet".  

If you can't see the video thumbnail below, click here to watch the video.

*** Enhanced Video Script ***

We've all been in that situation. We've felt that pain .We gave a great demo, felt like the customer was engaged, and then we're not able to get them back on the line.

So, the question I'd ask back is, what did we expect to happen as a result of that demo? In other words, what specific action were we expecting the customer to take?

They agree to follow up, but we can't get them back on the line, or they agree to do something, but we didn't get a solid commitment. Our objective should be to be very clear up front – we should tell the prospect what we expect to happen coming out of this demo.

Ask for something in return

You're making a commitment of your time and effort to show them the product. So you ought to ask your prospects for something in return. It might sound like this: "My plan for this demo is to recap your priorities and show you how the platform can address your needs. I'll answer any questions you might have and," this is the important part, "if we're successful at the end of the meeting, we'll set up a follow-on with you and any other decision makers to review our pricing and our implementation. How does this agenda sound to you? Does this make sense?"

It's important to get their commitment to this process and have this shared understanding of what's going to happen. Don't leave this up to chance. Also make sure you leave time at the end of the demo to get that next step, even if you have to cut out a few features or cut that demo a little short. So, propose a time, and if you don’t get a response, I like to say, "How about if we follow-up same time next week? I'll send you a placeholder request, let me know if that works. And who else should we invite?"

You should at least you have a placeholder for that follow-on meeting, as opposed to trying to chase them down and find out that they've gone silent.

Follow-up email template

Then, I recommend you have a template or format that you use after each demo to recap your conversation. That message should go out as soon after your call as possible. Or at least by the end of the day. Put time on your calendar to recap all the meetings that you've had and provide a clear follow-up.

Recap their priorities

Here's a sample script: "Thanks for your time today. I enjoyed learning more about your priorities and showing you a bit about your solution." Then recap their priorities: "You agree that your most important requirements were “x” and “y,” and you also shared that ____ was very important to you." Remind them that what they said was important.

Then, talk a bit about the demo: "You seemed especially interested in ____ feature or ____ capability, and we discussed how that could help with your situation. You also confirmed that the platform met your needs and you even offered that you thought it was better than several other solutions you reviewed." Capture that conversation and remind them about how excited they were to see your product.

Follow up questions

Then, make sure you cover any open questions, or issues, or concerns they have. "You've mentioned you weren't clear about ______ or you didn't understand how _____ would work in your organization." So, follow up. Answer that question. Provide a link to resources or let them know that you're going to get back to them after you're able to find out the information they need.

Next Steps

Finally, the most important item is to recap the next steps that you agreed to. "So, we agreed to meet next week at 11 a.m. Before that meeting, you said you'd share your impressions of the demo with your team, clarify your budget, and come back with any additional questions." So there's a commitment between the two of you of what's going to happen and how you're moving forward.

It's okay if this email is longer than your previous communications. This email is a high-value follow-up. You should expect that it's going to get forwarded within the organization. The person's boss may even read it. Also for many people, it may be the first time they're seeing information about your company, so make sure it stands on its own.

In summary, get that commitment up front from them of what's going to happen if the demo's successful. Then follow that up with a clear email recapping the conversation and the outcomes that you agreed to. You'll be in a much better position to get that next meeting and keep that opportunity moving forward.

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About Ray Makela

Ray Makela
Ray Makela is CEO and Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group (SRG). He oversees all client engagements as well as serves as a senior facilitator on sales management, coaching, negotiation and sales training workshops. Ray has over 20 years of management, consulting, and sales experience and writes frequently on best practices for coaching and developing sales teams.

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