Software

13 Demoing Strategies That Make Tech Software Compelling

uncaptioned

Software is only useful if users understand how to utilize it effectively. For the tech professional, this means giving a solid demo of the software, its capabilities and its ease of use. The most significant problem with tech demos is that users are unique. It’s nearly impossible to cover all the potential issues or questions that a client’s workforce may have when demonstrating new software.

How does a tech professional efficiently get the message across to the audience? Thirteen members of Forbes Technology Council are here to help by offering the strategies that they use to engage users and garner feedback that allows them to focus their demos more effectively.

1. Do Your Homework

It’s all about knowing your audience and anticipating what they will want to know about your product. If I’m speaking to a CTO, for example, I’ll focus on a lot of the technical aspects of our product. If I’m speaking to a nontechnical CEO, I might focus more on big-picture benefits. Know who you’re talking to and adjust accordingly. – Dan DemersCinchy

2. Start With The ‘Why’

I find that the best strategy for getting people excited about a demo is to start with the “why.” You need to sell it to them by explaining upfront what value the product is going to deliver, why they should care and how it’s going to improve things for them personally. – Eugene KhazinPrime TSR

Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify?

3. Focus On Client Goals, Not The Product

We focus demos on our customers’ goals, including how they’re evaluated at their jobs and what will get them promoted. Talking about the metrics and use cases that matter to them has been much more effective than running through a feature-by-feature review of our product. It’s not important that they know every feature in our demo, but it is important that they know how they can achieve their goals. – Guy YalifIntellimize

4. Tailor The Demo To Your Audience

A strategy that has worked for me is to take time to get to know the audience background, needs and future challenges. Understand and listen. Adapt the demo in such a way that it is it easy for them to see the fit, value, potential and integration of previously requested features. Last but not least, personal excitement, responsiveness and meeting deadlines can tell more than the demo itself. – Daniela MoodyUrsa Space

5. Focus On Showing Ease Of Use

The “easy-as-a-pie” principle must be predominant any time one wishes to demo the software. Another important task that might not be as easy to fulfill as it seems is to make the demo go smoothly at any internet connection. My advice is to use overlaying text and pointers that visualize your demo. After all, the goal is to show the ease of use, not to impress everyone with the level of complexity. – Ivan GuzenkoSmartyAds Inc

6. Apply Real Use Cases

It’s vital to demo software in the context of the person’s industry or domain. For example, if you are demoing to a client in the financial sector, demonstrating the use cases in their unique role and industry is beneficial. Offering specific nuggets of information, direct competitor knowledge, case studies for that persona and genuine useful insights are most valuable. – Tom SalvatCONCURED

7. Focus More On Algorithms

Try to keep your whole team technologically educated. Have demos more often and talk more about the algorithms with clients. Show them how it could be done in different ways and explain why you chose that specific way, like fewer lines of code or less resource intensive. Emphasize how it’s going to make the users’ lives easier through faster responses, fewer clicks, intuitional navigation, etc. Make it interactive. – Vikram Joshipulsd

8. Show ‘A Day In The Life’

Instead of just talking about the benefits of your software and how your team members or clients can use it, show them “a day in the life.” What I mean by that is to show them exactly how to use the software in their day-to-day tasks. Actually seeing how the software can be used in relation to their own personal tasks will help people easily see how they can use it for themselves. – Thomas GriffinOptinMonster

9. Focus On Solving Clients’ Challenges

Remember that one of the reasons you have landed a demo is that your potential client has a challenge to solve. Instead of focusing on the features and functions of your product during the demo, focus on how your product can solve the client’s challenge. Do your homework before the demo and start off by showcasing how the product can solve certain business problems. Features and functions are secondary. – Komal Goyal6e Technologies

10. Appeal With Storytelling

Tell stories—it’s part of the human experience. People resonate with stories, not feature lists. They are the base component for communicating an idea in a virtual sense and testing whether others see themselves experiencing that same world or not. I have cancer and I relate that journey to all sorts of things in business. Your own stories can carry powerful analogies that others can relate to. – Brandon DewittMX

11. Focus On The Employee Experience

We need to move away from the notion of demoing software, and focus on how new solutions will improve the employee experience (EX). By mapping out the EX, understanding key moments of truth or blockers and showing how the solution address these issues is key. It needs to be put into the context of the overall EX or otherwise, you may make the EX worse, reducing engagement and productivity. – Nadir HirjiPwC

12. Make Trials Available

We make fully functional trials available for partners and prospective customers. It’s important to make this completely frictionless so prospects can engage with and get excited about the product’s benefits. We enable partners to engage their customers, deploying and managing trials completely independently throughout the life cycle. This delivers tremendous insights and rapidly builds pipelines. – Paul LipmanBullGuard

13. Use The FAB Approach

We use the tried-and-true FAB formula when structuring demos: 1. Feature: what is the feature? 2. Advantage: what does the feature do? 3. Benefit: what impact does the feature have on stakeholders? This approach challenges us to be specific, and proactively addresses an objection that doesn’t always get voiced like, “So what?” Everyone will remember with clarity the value the technology will bring. – Lawrence Whittle, Parsable

[“source=forbes”]