What’s the “Minimum Viable Demo” & How does it relate to the Six Demo Types?

At our DemofestX event in Silicon Slopes earlier in the year, author and recognized presales expert Chris White shared a concept he calls the MVD with the audience – the “Minimum Viable Demo”. We LOVED the concept and wanted to learn more. In fact, we challenged Chris to consider how that concept might apply to the Six Demo Types that we defined years ago. Challenge accepted.

Curious to know what the answer is? So are we!

Join us for this webinar to hear the best practices in applying the idea of “less is more” to each of the six demo types – Vision, Micro, Qualifying, Technical, Closing, and FAQ – and how you can maximize the return on the time and effort you spend on your demos, while at the same time MINIMIZING the time and effort you spend on your demos.

Chris will be joined by his colleague Bill Balnave. Watch the recording today

About the Presenter

demos, pre sales, customers engagement, demo, user engagement, client engagement, consumer engagement, increase customer engagement, demo website for automation testing | goconsensus

Chris White

Chris White is the author of the acclaimed “The Six Habits of Highly Effective Sales Engineers”. Founder and CEO of Tech Sales Advisors and host of the LinkedIn Live program Tech Sales Advice (#techsalesadvice), Chris is no stranger to the presales community. A regular guest at industry events and three-time presenter at DemoFest, he speaks with infectious enthusiasm, shares unique insights, and leaves tangible steps on how to improve.

Bill Balnave | DFX London

Bill Balnave

Bill Balnave began his career in IT and then transitioned to his first SE role in 1999. Since then, he has been an SE and SE leader for companies like Clarify, Mercury Interactive, HP, and Apptio. He has led large teams in big companies and built teams in fast growth startups. He now shares his experience and lessons as part of Tech Sales Advisors.

Webinar Transcript


In this webinar, the concept of the Minimum Viable Demo (MVD) and its relation to the six demo types outlined in a guide published by Consensus are discussed by speakers Chris White and Bill Balnav. The MVD refers to the minimum viable version of a demo that captures the essential value proposition of a product to a potential customer. The speakers emphasize the importance of preparing for demos, and differentiate between content and story to stress that the demo is only a stage prop that backs up the story. The six demo types are discussed, including the closing demo, vision demo, micro demo, and pre-sales live technical demo, and tips for creating effective demos are provided. Overall, the webinar provides insights on creating impactful demos that can effectively showcase the value proposition of a product to potential customers.

  • 00:00:00 The moderator introduces the speakers, Chris White and Bill Balnav, from Tech Sales Advisors who will be discussing the concept of the Minimum Viable Demo (MVD) and its relation to the six demo types outlined in a guide published by Consensus. The MVD refers to the minimum viable version of a demo that captures the essential value proposition of a product to a potential customer. The speakers invite attendees to participate in a poll and share their roles as pre-sales professionals, sales professionals, marketing, sales enablement, or other.
  • 00:05:00 The speakers begin by asking the participants of the webinar if they are familiar with the six demo types and the six habits of highly effective sales engineers. Many participants were unfamiliar with both topics, so the speakers take the time to explain the six habits and their significance. The six habits are: partner with sales counterparts, probe into every engagement and opportunity, prepare for meetings and demos with efficiency and effectiveness of mind, practice delivery, perform to achieve the objective, and perfect the craft through continual improvement. The speakers emphasize that the “minimum viable demo” (MVD), which they will discuss later in the webinar, is closely related to these six habits.
  • 00:10:00 The speakers discuss how preparing for demos is foundational for success as a Sales Engineer, regardless of whether they are live or recorded. They highlight some common mistakes that Sales Engineers make before a demo such as being unprepared, over-preparing, or focusing too much on the product features instead of the customer’s perspective. They introduce the Cornerstone principle that distinguishes between content and story – where the story is the narrative that delivers the message and helps close deals, and the content is what is visually presented. They stress that the demo is only a stage prop that backs up the story. The Minimum Viable Demo (MVD) is introduced as an essential concept in creating a recorded demo that is brief, simple, and has a clear message to the customer. The speakers also discuss the six demo types they will elaborate on, starting in the next section.
  • 00:15:00 The speakers discuss the concept of Minimum Viable Demo (MVD) and how it can be applied to product management. They explain that prospects do not need to see the full functionality of a platform, but rather the specific capabilities and benefits that address their needs. The speakers compare the MVD to a tube map of London, which shows only the minimum amount of information necessary for someone to navigate the city’s public transportation system. They then introduce the six demo types, including the Vision Demo, Micro Demo, and Pre-Sales Live Technical Demo, and explain how they relate to the buyer’s journey.
  • 00:20:00 The speakers discuss the different types of demos, starting with the “closing demo” which is similar to a “CYA demo” where the prospect is convinced they need the solution but need to make sure it ticks all the boxes. They also cover the “vision demo” and the difficulty of building it without knowing anything about the audience. The speakers point out the need to assume certain things such as the audience having a problem, not knowing the vendor, and having a short attention span. They stress the importance of creating interest and standing out from other vendors to catch the audience’s attention.
  • 00:25:00 The speakers discuss the importance of making a vision demo interesting and unique to potential customers, rather than just a product-focused rundown of features. They suggest starting with a disruptive truth that challenges customers’ thinking and creates cognitive dissonance to grab their attention and make them want to learn more. They advise against wasting time on introductions and tackling too many problems, and emphasize the need to differentiate in order to stand out from other vendors. The ideal length of a vision demo is suggested to be three minutes or less.
  • 00:30:00 The speakers discuss the mindset behind creating a micro demo, which is intended to be a generic demo that provides a taste of what the product is like. Unlike the vision demo, the micro demo is an opportunity to showcase the UI and demonstrate how the product solves a specific business problem or use case. The hosts emphasize the importance of making it use case-centric and business problem-centric rather than product-centric and recommend keeping it short and to the point, lasting between 10 and 12 minutes. They also suggest that the micro demo should follow the vision demo, where the attention of the audience has already been captured.
  • 00:35:00 The speakers discuss how to create an effective micro demo in just five to ten minutes, which is still unique and focused on a specific problem without being too high level. The demo should begin by giving the proper context and opening with a 30-second introduction which will resonate with the viewer, followed by a brief yet complete story. It is also important to not get caught up in too many details, avoid providing generic information, and ensure that what you are presenting aligns with your vision to make it stand out from competitors. Lastly, the speakers discuss the importance of having the right energy level during the presentation, noting the need for a balance of being salesy without being too aggressive.
  • 00:40:00 The speakers focus on the “quiet confidence” needed in a micro demo to show the benefits without being over the top or salesy. The importance of considering the audience and their energy level is highlighted, along with the need for authenticity. The concept of a qualifying demo is introduced, with the mindset and context being important factors to consider. The purpose of a qualifying demo is to give potential prospects the chance to qualify or disqualify the product, and also to differentiate the solution. The importance of having multiple hooks and aligning the demo with the prospect’s specific problem is emphasized.
  • 00:45:00 The speakers describe the mindset and assumptions made when creating a qualifying demo. The speaker emphasizes the importance of still talking to a Persona and tailoring the demo based on the hook that got the customer interested, with a little more time to work with compared to the micro demo. Differentiation is crucial, but it should also include the impact or benefit to the customer and avoid getting excited about the uniqueness of the solution without focusing on what it means to the customer. The audience may also grow, with other people possibly being brought into the first meeting. 
  • 00:50:00 The speakers emphasize the importance of recording demos or pieces of it as it key benefits to the organization. They advise that there are pre-recorded demos that they make available to audiences, while others are scheduled live for interaction with the audience. They further note that the key things that are taught during the six habits are employed during the technical demo process. The speakers caution the audience against giving too much information when handling frequently asked question demos, which can confuse or introduce complexity further than necessary. Also, the speakers advocate for being honest while sticking to the relevant information rather than voluntarily offering additional cautionary advice unrelated to the question asked.
  • 00:55:00 The speakers discuss the final demo type, the “closing demo,” which is also referred to as the “clarifying demo” or the “facts-only demo.” The purpose of this demo is to address any final concerns that the buyer may have before they sign a contract or agreement, to ensure that they have crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s. The speakers advise that this demo should be treated seriously, with quiet confidence, and that it is important to focus on the facts and be laser-focused. They also provide a framework for creating effective demos, which includes considering the mindset, objectives, customer perspective, assumptions, common mistakes, and approach for each demo type.