What is a Sales Demo?

What is a Sales Demo

People don’t know. It’s why we wrote this article. We discovered that there’s little consistency in the definition of a sales demo. 

Google it: What is a sales demo. Except for this blog, there aren’t great results. A few tips on how to deliver one, but there’s no broadly applied definition.

So we’re going to give you one, along with the 5 W’s – who, what, when, where and why – to know what’s appropriate for which situations.

Definition of a Sales Demo

A sales demo is the process of demonstrating a product or service to a prospective client. The reason it’s called a sales demo is because its purpose is to create a sale. It can get mixed up with a product demo, which refers to a demo that is for already-existing clients.


Who refers to who your audience is. Sales demos for B2C (business to customer) and B2B (business to business) companies can be very different. Sales demos for B2B companies are typically longer, might require multiple demos, and are seen by a whole buying panel. B2C sales demos are usually shorter because they are selling less complex products directly to a single consumer. For example, a salesperson showing people how to use a vacuum at a department store is a type of B2C sales demo.


What refers to what your product or service is. Is it a software package or a new type of backpack? Again, the purpose of the sales demo is to make a sale, so highlighting all of the wow factors of your product is necessary to do right at the beginning of the demo. Figuring out what features are relevant to a specific audience before giving them the demo will help frame your product in the best light possible for them.


When refers to when in the sales process do you show the customer this info. Again, a sales demo is the process of demonstrating a product or service to a prospective client. Its purpose is to create a sale. Product demos are for existing clients. While a product demo can refer to a demo either before or after a sale has been made, a sales demo is specifically happening before the sale has been made.


In-store, online meeting, in-person, phone call, automated demo video – these are all different types of locations (or styles) to give a sales demo. Figuring out which best suits your product or company is up to you. In-person or in-store demos are a great choice for B2C companies because people can physically touch and test out your product. Automated demo videos or online meetings are often used for B2B sales demos because it might require multiple people to be in the meeting, and aligning schedules to meet in person is time consuming.


Why refers to the reasons why you are giving a sales demo. The simple answer: to close more sales! Knowing your prospects’ unique pain points and needs are critical to know before going into a sales demo. As sales thought leader Jim Keenan writes, “There is no room for “if” in your demos. There is no excuse to show a feature that isn’t germane to the specific business and highly targeted to the operational or executional needs of the buyer.” Keep this in mind as you design your next sales demo.

Ready to take your demos to the next level?

This post barely scratches the surface. To learn more about the different types of demos you should be delivering, refer to our Definitive Guide To The Six Demo Types.

Consensus is Intelligent Demo Automation that scales your presales function.
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