HomeNewsThe Cure for Demo Anxiety

The Cure for Demo Anxiety

Implement solutions for both your people and your technology

Demo anxiety is real, and it’s not good. If you worked in a customer-facing role that gives any type of demo, technical or otherwise, you’ve probably experienced it.

This anxiety is a worry for everyone, from the individuals giving the demos, to their managers, to ancillary team members who have worked hard to get them to this point. Demo anxiety comes in many forms, and as more and more pressure is placed on pre-sales and sales professionals to win deals, it has become more and more apparent that it needs to be fixed. It goes beyond the seller though, as unruly sales tech stacks and even the product itself can cause demo anxiety.

To truly solve for demo anxiety, teams must implement solutions for both their people and technology.

What is demo anxiety and where does it come from? Demo anxiety is the pressure that business development reps, sales engineers, and/or account executives feel when providing a demo to a potential buyer. They fear unknown problems they may face, questions they cannot answer, important details they may miss, or other factors that could cause them to lose the deal.

A number of variables contribute to demo anxiety, but they can be split into two distinct groups:

  • Anxieties created by the individual
  • Anxieties created by the product itself

Pressures to Perform

When it comes to anxieties, in many ways, there is feeling the pressure to perform. As a sales professional, it is up to you to win the deal and the entire company watches. Therefore, the fear of failure is common.

Nearly every sales organization also has some sort of script, which when not properly memorized, adds additional stress to sellers. If you don’t feel confident in your knowledge of your product, your customers, and your value, you likely feel stressed about the questions you will get and your ability to answer them.

Fortunately, the stressors created by sellers are easily solved. It is the anxieties caused by the product that are far more difficult.

Within the demo instance, there is plenty that can go wrong. At any point in time, the product can go down, generate an error or not function as intended. Information may be missing or changed, settings may be incorrect, or performance can be inconsistent.

These uncontrollable circumstances are a nightmare come true for sales engineers or account executives and will almost certainly lead to a lost deal if not handled properly.

So, how do you solve demo anxiety? Solutions for both sources of demo anxiety exist.

Preparation Is Key

First, sellers can ease the majority of their fears with preparation. Although it will take time, knowledge is a great source of confidence.

As a sales professional, not only understanding your product’s value but also why your customers need it will grant you the ability to answer nearly any question on the spot.

Take the time to prepare before each demo. Get to know your prospects, their companies, and why they want to buy. Carefully review the questions asked during the discovery stage so you can address their unique needs and tailor your demo to their use case.

Further, memorization of your demo script will help you create an effortless flow that turns prospects into buyers. The easiest way to accomplish this is with two things: have a script (create one if you don’t get one) and watch your own tape.

When you combine product knowledge, good discovery, prospect research, and a great demo script, you should be able to handle most unaccounted situations with ease. This feeling of preparation leads to an increase in confidence that helps you “own the room” and position yourself as the expert that people want to buy from.

The Role of a Demo Experience Platform

On the technical side, teams can support their sellers with tools like demo experience platforms that completely remove the causes of demo anxiety altogether. What if you could have a demo environment that is always up, is completely self-contained, free of surprise changes and updates, and is consistent 100% of the time?

A demo experience platform gives you your product, in a demo instance that is entirely devoid of anxiety-causing issues. The most effective of these platforms works by cloning your product’s user interface (UI), but completely detaching it from the backend. This means that even though your demo takes place within the demo platform, it will look, act, feel, and appear to be your product.

You can then take it a step further as you can completely customize every aspect of the product’s UI. From names to logos, graphics, numbers, and charts, everything can be tailored to each specific prospect, leading to a more engaging and personalized experience.

When you can completely personalize every demo to your prospects, you can truly give them a one-of-a-kind experience that makes them want to buy. This only increases your confidence as a seller.

A demo experience platform essentially becomes your all-in-one demo environment. Replacing any internally managed demo instances. Each seller can create an unlimited number of their own sandboxes, devoid of any interruption from the outside world.

This includes potential technical issues either within your own product, or one of the many services that support it, meaning that regardless of whatever happens in the world of tech, you will be able to deliver your demo. Further, the individual sandboxes ensure that teams can not only create demo templates, but that no one but the owner can make changes to the demo, preventing surprises.

So, to ease demo anxiety for you and your team, focus on both the individual and technical needs. Focus on preparation, knowledge and confidence building to ease individual needs, and demo experience platforms to solve technical anxiety.

Author

  • Jonathan Friedman is a co-founder & CEO at Demostack, a demo experience platform that lets users accelerate revenue with better product storytelling.

Get our newsletter and digital magazine

Stay current on learning and development trends, best practices, research, new products and technologies, case studies and much more.

Jonathan Friedman
Jonathan Friedmanhttps://www.demostack.com/
Jonathan Friedman is a co-founder & CEO at Demostack, a demo experience platform that lets users accelerate revenue with better product storytelling.

Online Partners