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Demo Calls That Don't Suck: The Highlights

Demo Calls That Don't Suck: The Highlights

Narendhra Rajagopal
Narendhra Rajagopal
February 17, 2022
5 min read

Let’s be honest, ‘memorable’ and ‘engaging’ are not the words that come to mind when you think of demo calls. 

Maybe that’s why most demos feel like they go on forever? 

If you’ve ever been a buyer, you might feel the same way.

But, as a seller, it can be quite hard to realize how boring demo calls are, especially when your buyer is behind a screen. 

An obvious — and unfortunate — effect is that you’re not converting enough despite a great product. And that’s potential revenue left on the table.

It’s clear as day, SaaS demo calls are sorta broken.

This was explored in a recent conversation between Chief Pitch Artist at Startup Hypeman Rajiv “RajNATION” Nathan and Wingman CEO Shruti Kapoor. The reasons range from being too product focused to lack of engaging conversation and much more.

Rajiv gave us an eye opening lesson on why most demo calls suck. Even better, he shared his yet to-be-beat demo technique.  A technique that he’s been refining over the years while helping companies scale through strategically crafted pitches.

His premise is that in sales, the bar is really high when it comes to giving entertaining demos. And he’s right.

Think about it. Anytime you’re giving a demo, odds are you’re competing with:

  • Equally hungry SaaS businesses aka your competitors
  • Mobile phones and the urge to scroll down social media
  • The ability to open multiple browser tabs and watch literally anything more interesting than your demo. 

And so, the chances of your product being first in mind reduce with every second spent on a feature-led demo.

“So how do I NOT bore my buyer and get them to excitedly ask me about next steps?”

Glad you asked. 

Here are some of Rajiv’s top tips to make sure your demo calls don’t suck:

1. Be cool and be you

Your mindset and the message you deliver during a demo go hand in hand. Both of these should be deliberate and thought out efforts. 

Here’s what you should aim to do:

Develop a conversational mindset

Don’t attach yourself to your role. Thinking about yourself as an SDR or sales rep creates an unbalanced conversation, riddled with friction and sometimes lies. Instead, Rajiv talks about how you should focus on just having a conversation with your buyer, like between two friends at a cafe. 

Make your demo as conversational as possible and avoid sounding transactional or robotic. 

That’s it. Just relax.

Get the message through

Focus on the main message of your demo call — why are you a fit for your prospect. This is essentially your company’s elevator pitch, and forms the foundation of your overall messaging. 

Don’t have a messaging strategy or elevator pitch in place? No problemo! 

You must try Rajiv’s Que PASA formula. 

The PASA in Que PASA stands for Problem, Approach, Solution, Action.

Here’s how it works:

  • Problem - The goal is to first empathize with your buyer's pains and business process to create a relatable approach.
  • Approach - Give them context for why your company even exists. Simply put, it’s the what and why of the problem you’re solving with reference to their pains.
  • Solution - Give them a quick beat on how you’re solving said problem, but remember to keep the jargon out of it.
  • Action - Here’s where you show them the light and run through what they can do to overcome the problem. Help them picture solving the problem, themselves.

2. Set up the perfect call flow

This is your chance to make the most impact by being empathetic and deliberate in your interactions with buyers. Setting up these steps will help structure a call flow that builds trust and entertains. 

  • Mutual agenda - We at Wingman analyzed 224k+ calls and in only 4% of those did the reps set up a mutual agenda. Those 4% of calls saw a 120% increased win rate. Lesson? Making your sales process transparent and giving structure right off the bat instantly makes it an inclusive conversation where the buyer knows what to expect.
  • Impactful POV statement - Convey your company's unique vision and its analysis on the state of industry & market that you operate in. This’ll help your buyer place your product in scenarios that they could benefit from.
  • 300-level discovery - Discovery isn’t about your product or even asking how the buyer might use it. Good discovery is about getting your buyer to talk about their pains, their process and what’s at stake for them and their company. 
  • Pitch perfect deck - Your deck is like a sequel to your Que PASA elevator pitch with added commentary about the industry and where it’s heading. This sets up your buyer to picture themselves in a scenario with and without your product, but by no means should your deck talk about your product at length. 1 product slide at tops.
  • Reverse demo technique - Demos that suck focus too much on the product, showing features at length and talking about all the cool stuff it can do. The problem with that is, even if you’ve got the coolest product out there, your buyer sees it as just that. A cool product. 
    Your objective is to help them picture how it benefits them and how it makes their life easier. Keep it simple and light by conveying the end user’s benefit and intentionally avoid explaining at length.
  • Collaborative next steps - This ties into what you’ve laid out while setting up a mutual agenda. Ideally, you should make your end of call intentions clear and that means getting comfortable talking about price, requesting for a follow up meeting along with data & time options and understanding their buying process.

3. Ensure proper coaching and accountability

Are you a sales leader or manager? This one’s for you. 

Reps need a repeatable coaching process that consists of more than just call shadowing and pipeline reviews. They need an inclusive system that involves you giving regular and practical feedback until they’ve figured out a repeatable gameplay. 

As a sales manager/leader, setting the right feedback parameters for demo calls can be challenging. So, the gift that keeps on giving, Rajiv has developed a scoring system that lets you objectively score your reps demo calls. It encourages self course-correction while pushing managers/leaders to be more thoughtful in how they review and rate calls.

 You’re in luck, because you can get this template for free, here.


So, you wanna do demo calls that don’t suck and boost conversion rates? 

  1. Relax and make the demo conversational, like between two friends.
  2. Put deliberate effort into developing your messaging strategy and elevator pitch. Don’t have either? Use the Que PASA formula. Read through point #1.
  3. Curate your call flow to give it structure and to make it entertaining. More on this in point #2.
  4. For sales leaders/managers: Develop a systematic and inclusive coaching system that gives regular and practical feedback.

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