If you are a product manager, you’re well aware that the title “product manager” gets interpreted in many different ways. Sometimes you get tangled in marketing, sales or technical processes that really aren’t your area and can eat up a lot of time. One of the most common tasks that product managers end up taking over are product demos. Because, of course, who knows the product better than them?
The problem is, product managers really don’t have time to be doing them. Product demos are an incredibly important part of the sales cycle – I repeat, the sales cycle. Your sales team should be doing the majority of the product demos. Read our three tips on maintaining awesome demos by enabling your sales teams and leveraging sales automation, all while freeing up your schedule.
TIP #1: ENABLE YOUR SALES TEAM
As product management expert and author Steve Johnson writes, “The correct role for a product manager is to empower sales teams to do their own demos.” Enabling your sales team means giving them the proper tools and training. Of course, quality training takes time. But the ROI on quality training is well worth it. As your product evolves and develops new features, you need to train your sales team on the changes. This training is an on-going process that gives back in more than just the demo arena. If your sales team has the same knowledge and understanding of the product as you do, they may have new insights on how to improve the product or process because they’re coming from a whole new sales angle.
It’s important to note that some demos should still be given by the product manager. Depending on the technical level or the seniority level of the customer, the product manager may be best suited. That being said, junior sales people can handle smaller-scale demos, senior sales people can manage the bigger ones, and so on. You need to evaluate every business pitch in relation to the business relationship you have with the prospect.
As the product evolves you’ll have to delegate out the responsibility of demoing to your team in order for all of you to keep up with the product’s development.
TIP #2: USE VIDEO AND AUTOMATION SOFTWARE
There are a ton of ways that video and automation software can integrate into the demo process:
- Create a demo video (of your top demo presenter), that the salesperson and prospect watch together either in person or over video call. This allows for a live Q&A session after the video to ensure that the prospect’s specific questions are still getting answered.
- Do online training through a webinar
- Use sales automation to automate the demo process. The demo is a video that the salesperson sends to the prospect, where the prospect can watch it at their leisure. The video is interactive so the prospect can choose the features and benefits most relevant to their needs. Behind the scenes, the salesperson can see analytics like when the prospect watched, how much they watched and what they selected as important.
TIP #3: DON’T FIND THE TIME; MAKE THE TIME FOR IMPORTANT TASKS
The biggest problem with product managers doing demos is simply the time that it takes away from all their other tasks. Scheduling the most important tasks in your calendar early on means that product demos have to work around them. Rather than back-pedaling out of a demo, or giving a demo and losing time to other things, you can say, “yes I’d be happy to help with a demo. I’m available at this time to do so.” It’s a simple but very effective change in prioritizing.
Learn more about how to leverage demo automation for your demos:
Bridging the Gap Between Marketing Automation and Sales
The Benefits of Automation: Can They Apply to Sales Product Demos?
How Do Sales and Marketing Mix in a Product Demo