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Increase your Win Rate by Flipping Your Demo


Often sellers don’t get to what’s of most interest to a prospect until 10, 20, 30 minutes or more into a demo.

Turns out, that’s too late! analyzed 67,000+ SAAS demos and found that “Following a linear path or going through a series of workflows before getting to the end result is an unsuccessful approach.”

Traditional linear demos are ineffective:

Traditional demos typically start with the salesperson walking through some slides that talk about his company, their customers, and the problems they solve/solutions they provide. This is often followed by an agenda describing what will be demonstrated.  Finally, the salesperson logs in and starts to click his way through a workflow or process until finally arriving at that end result the customer is hoping to see.  By this time anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour has passed.  Here’s the problem:

  • Attention spans are significantly lower
  • Executives are often gone
  • Remaining customers are on information overload
  • You’ve run out of time and must rush through your strongest selling point

The Power of the Upside-Down Pyramid found that demos that are conducted in an upside-down pyramid are more successful. In other words, instead of starting at the bottom of the pyramid like most demos and making your way through the workflow or process, you literally need to flip your demo and start by showing the customer the end result first.  This idea of “Doing the Last Thing First” is one of the core concepts in the Great Demo! workshops.

Start with the End in Mind

You can’t start with the end result if you don’t know what that end result is.  Discovery is absolutely critical for a successful demo and your skills need to be sharper than ever in today’s competitive market.  In doing discovery, one of your goals is to identify what that end result looks like for your customer.  That means you need certain pieces of information, including:

  • Current state – i.e., how is your customer currently accomplishing this task or process, and what is the outcome? Maybe it’s an excel spreadsheet, a report, or a dashboard.
  • Future state – What does an ideal outcome look like for them?
  • Gaps and opportunities. Customers often sell themselves short because they don’t know what is possible.  Use your discovery to test for interest and expand their expectations of what is possible.
  • Who will be in the demo? Always know who is in your audience and align your end result with their interests and needs.  While IT might want to see a detailed report of the workflow, the CFO likely wants a more high-level report that gives him a quick understanding of the situation.

Flipping your demo is a highly effective technique for wowing and winning over today’s busy customers, but it’s just the beginning of a successful demo strategy.  For more information on a full Flip your Demo strategy, check out our Great Demo Workshops.


About Julie Hansen:

Julie Hansen helps salespeople create and deliver winning presentations and demos. Julie is the author of Sales Presentations for Dummies and ACT Like a Sales Pro!  As a Keynote Speaker and Presentation Coach, Julie has been recognized as one of the 35 Most Influential Women in Sales by SalesHacker and a Top 50 Sales Bloggers by Top Sales World.

Julie spent 20 years as a sales leader in technology, advertising, and media. She also worked as a professional actor, performing in over 50 plays, commercials, and television shows.  Through her company, Performance Sales and Training, Julie helps salespeople leverage key principles from performance to communicate with greater confidence, clarity, and influence.


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