It's Time to "Flip" Your Demos

BY Jessica Helinski
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Traditionally, demos have followed a linear path, with sales reps not reaching the most important content until well into the meeting. But recent research reveals that this might not be the best way to conduct a demo. In a post for the Women Sales Pros blog, Julie Hansen reports findings from Gong​.io on demo effectiveness. Their study of 67,000+ SAAS demos revealed that “following a linear path or going through a series of workflows before getting to the end result is an unsuccessful approach.” Why? Attention is waning, your prospects are taking on more and more information, and you risk running out of time. Prospects’ attention spans are significantly lower as the demo progresses.

Hansen discusses how reps should instead consider the “upside-​triangle” approach, i.e., flip your demo. Start things off with the end result by showing how your product or service will fix a pain point or propel their business to the next level. Capture their attention immediately by showing them exactly what their future could look like. 

One thing to keep in mind with this approach is the emphasized importance of discovery. “Discovery is absolutely critical for a successful demo and your skills need to be sharper than ever in today’s competitive market,” Hansen explains. “In doing discovery, one of your goals is to identify what that end result looks like for your customer.” Prior to your demo, focus attention on finding out:

  • The prospect's current state, i.e., how is he or she is accomplishing a task or addressing a problem
  • The prospect's future state, i.e. how he or she wants things to be
  • Gaps and opportunities that the prospect hasn't uncovered
  • Who will be will be attending the demo and position in the company

Gathering this information will allow you to craft the perfect end result for demo attendees. And, you'll be prepared to deliver this as soon as the demo starts. 

While this delivery style is drastically different from what you’ve likely always done,’s research supports its efficacy. Wow your busy prospects, and avoid wasting valuable time with this research-​backed approach.