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#1 Rule for a successful sales demo

John Peltonen, one of 3Sharp’s founding partners, shares his number-one rule for a successful sales demo in our latest installment of our Demo Wizards series.

#1 Rule for a successful sales demo: Focus

Over nearly two decades, we at 3Sharp have found that the best, most powerful sales demos are targeted and thoughtful conversations about what the demo giver understands the customer’s needs to be and how their product can address those needs. When our demos are tight, to the point, and conversationally focused, they lead to a more memorable and meaningful experience for our clients and their prospective customers.

Address the customer’s needs, not your features

When preparing a software product sales demo, it’s easy to think about the coolest, flashiest features: the ones that were the most difficult to build, that enable the most powerful results, or set you apart from your competition. If your preparation primarily focuses on these product features, you will give an informative demo that will educate your customer on how your product works. The customer will most likely thank you for your time and then forget everything you showed them. Whether or not you win the deal will essentially be left to chance.

Why? Because you weren’t focused on the most important part of any sales demo: addressing the customer’s needs. If you focus on features that don’t address any problems or needs that your customer currently has, it will be a waste of your time. If, however, you weave in a story and show how your product solves their specific problems, chances are you’ll leave a positive and memorable impression. This is why it is so very important to never, ever give a sales demonstration without first having a needs-analysis conversation with your customer.

Demo wizard tips:

As a sales rep or account manager: Set your sales engineer up for success by working with them and your customer to truly understand the needs within your customer’s organization.

As a sales engineer: Avoid the trap of walking into a sales demo cold. At a minimum, you’ll want to run your sales rep through a needs analysis first. Ideally, be involved in a similar conversation with the customer themselves. Using the best small business software will help you stay involved with your customers.

As a customer or prospect: Spend time with your sales rep ahead of time, coaching them on the things that are most important to you, items that will make or break your implementation. The more they know, the better your engagement will be!


Our demo wizards have seen it all. Stay tuned for more in this series!


One of 3Sharp’s key objectives is to ensure our demos are meeting the needs of our customer’s audience, whether it is equipping technical sales people with demo tools, providing conference keynote demo support, or simply telling a better technical product story that informs, excites, and wins deals.


Want to learn more? Check out our other blogs from the Demo Wizards series:

Make your next sales demo the remedy

Make your next sales demo a memorable classic

Top 3 ways to win the deal with a live sales demo: Part III

Top 3 ways to win the deal with a live sales demo: Part II

Top 3 ways to win the deal with a live sales demo: Part I

Top 5 tips for a great live demo presentation

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