Why Most Product Demos Fail

July 23, 2013

Report reviewI came across this article, Why Most Demos Are Useless, and found it extremely relevant to a number of the steps my team at Thomson Reuters is taking this year as we focus on hosted, cloud-based SaaS and a variety of new technology sales.  The article discusses why most demos fail and only a few succeed in communicating the benefits of a software product, and I couldn’t agree more.

As a regional manager working with a small law firm sales team, I’ve heard from attorneys so often that we need to show small law firms how we can help your business.  We often focus too much on the features of WestlawNext or Drafting Assistant for example, because features are exciting and so we believe that is what you want to see.  The improper assumption is that features will help illustrate value.

The truth is the opposite. Yes, a small part of the value that Thomson Reuters offers is that our features are easier to use, more reliable and faster than our competitors, but that is not what matters in the end.

Your bottom line matters, and to ensure that our tools provide a return on investment, instead of demo’ing features we need to understand every firm’s unique business.  I believe you care about how our solutions are going to help you manage your practice more effectively, giving you more time back to spend with clients, and allowing you to make more money. A good Sales Consultant will spend 20% of a consultation talking, and 80% of the time listening.

We need to thoroughly understand your challenges and pain points, in order to solve them.  This is done through a deep discovery process—a business conversation—at the beginning of a meeting, before any feature is even shown. Then, we can be sure that the support, reliability, performance, integration and security that you get is right for your firm. This will solve problems, and it’s up to the Sales Consultant to uncover how we will do it, and effectively illustrate it.

Look for more understanding from your Sales Consultant–and tell us how it went.


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