Video Demos: 5 Professional Best Practices

BY Jessica Helinski

Video demos can be highly effective at boosting the probability of closing a deal. But, many reps wait until late in the sales process to offer one. And, some salespeople don’t use video at all to demo their product or service. These are mistakes, according to sales leader Pete Prowitt in a Loom article. “Effective sales teams should lead with a product demo early in their sales process, and deliver these to prospects via personalized video outreach,” he explains. But, as he points out in his article, many don’t and are missing a major opportunity. He shares five best practices for putting together a successful video demo:

  1. Don’t “feature dump.”
  2. Personalize it.
  3. Keep it short.
  4. Don’t panic over mess ups.
  5. Show you understand.

Why video demos?

There are reasons why Prowett believes video demos are successful. Specifically, videos are:

  • efficient. Via video, reps can quickly and clearly discuss the product or service, as well as any complex issues. 
  • engaging. Video easily captures attention and interest. “People retain more of the content they consume over video than in text, which means you have a better chance of making a lasting impression over video,” Prowitt explains. 
  • expressive. Video gives you the chance to express yourself via tone and body language, making you relatable and “real” to the prospect. This is especially vital during times when most deals are still made virtually. Show the prospect how great your product or service is.

Best practices for your video demo

Prowitt shares five things that salespeople should keep in mind when they are crafting video demos. He draws on his own experiences to create this guide, taking time to explain why each step is important and offering a professional tip to do each. 

  1. Don’t “feature dump.” One way to lose a prospect’s interest, even on video, is to rattle off a list of features that your product or service has. This is especially true if your listing features or functionalities that aren’t even relevant to their business. Yes, it’s early in the sales process, but there will be time to examine each feature later. “When you’re sharing a demo early in the sales process, you might consider limiting it to two or three compelling features,” Prowitt suggests. “There will be time for a more extensive demo later, but the goal of this demo is to pique your prospect’s interest and share some relevant information.”
  2. Personalize it. It is so important to personalize video demos to each and every prospect. Focus on engaging, informing and inspiring. A one-​size-​fits-​all approach won’t do those things for every buyer. While you may not have a lot of information yet to hyper-​personalize the demo, work with what you do have. He acknowledges this challenge, noting that “When you’re sharing a demo early in a sales process you’ll have less information than you will post-​discovery, but do your best to personalize the demo around the prospect’s business or role.”
  3. Keep it short. Likely, you’re eager to show how you can help the prospect, but keep in mind that you don’t want to overload them with information. Prowitt recommends keeping video demos to about three minutes in length.
  4. Don’t panic over mess ups. With video demos, there’s a good chance the prospect will see you stumble or you’ll encounter a technological glitch. Try not to let it deter you. Things happen, and most prospects understand that. You could actually waste a lot of time if you try to record a perfectly polished video. He assures sellers that the prospect will understand, and a quirk can actually make your demo even more memorable. “Some of my favorite memories are from a funny technical glitch or a silly aside in a demo, and those demos stick out more than others that were more polished,” he admits. “Treat the demo with respect and know your narrative, but don’t be afraid to be yourself.”

One more step to consider

The fifth and last best practice that Prowitt discusses is showing the prospect that you understand them and their business. This requires research. And as it was mentioned before, you may not have a lot of information yet to go on. But, you do have online tools at your disposal to do at least a little bit of research about them; LinkedIn is a great place to start. “One of the most consistent complaints buyers cite around negative experiences with salespeople is ‘You don’t know me or my business,’” he writes. “Taking the time to personalize that demo and show your customer you’re prepared to help them will build credibility.”

Video demos are a powerful way to show how your product or service can help the buyer, but it also can do other things like instill trust, engage the prospect, and establish credibility. And, due to the recent need for remote work, prospects will likely be more comfortable with video communications. 

By following these best practices, you can set yourself up for success by establishing these things early in the sales process. Kicking it off with a video demo that is thoughtful, engaging and valuable can set the stage for a sale. As Prowitt explains, “It’s true that in uncertain times, salespeople need to change their approach, dig deep and try new methods to achieve their desired outcomes. Sharing a personalized product demo video to a prospective customer is a differentiated way of salespeople adding value.”