Strategizing The Solution Demo

By: Steve Robins

The Solution Demo Series, Part II

This is the second part of the Solution Demo Series.  Check back for additional posts (see end of post for complete list).  Also, be sure to check out the last post, Getting Started with Solution Demos.

You already know that solution demos are an important aspect of solution marketing.

Before you build a solution demo, make sure to do the advance work of understanding the target audience, their needs and goals for the demo.  Also consider the need and goals of your company.  Armed with this key information, you’re ready to begin building your solution demo (see next post).

  • Know your audience. Are you presenting to prospects or customers?  Executives or managers?  Analysts, press, or bloggers?  Internal audiences for sales training?  Build a demo that speaks to the needs — and schedule — of your audience.  For example, Peter Cohan advises that many executives will actually arrive late and leave early, leaving their subordinates to view the details.  So you’ll want them to see the most important information up front – in six minutes or less.
  • Understand the business problem. Fully understand the business problem and process that you’ll be demo’ing.  In advance, make sure that the audience agrees with your assessment of the problem and process.
  • Establish clear goals. What do you want to accomplish with your demo?  What is your audience hoping to accomplish?  Are you hoping to introduce your company to a prospect?  Do you need to show an analyst how your offering solves a specific business problem?  Before you begin planning the demo, make sure you understand the audience’s goals, develop a clear goal for yourself, and ensure that everyone on the demo/presentation team is on board, and prepare a demo that achieves those goals.

So, what do you think?  Agree?  Disagree?  What else do you do to strategize and plan for a demo?  Did I leave anything out?  Let me know – please post your comments below!

Check back in coming days for additional posts:

The Solution Demo Series

Part I: Getting Started with Solution Demos.
Part II: Strategizing the Solution Demo. Understand your audience and determine goals before you develop the solution demo.
Part III: Elements of a Great Solution Demo. Build and deliver a great demo that your audience will value.
Part IV: Solution Demo Resources. Links to selected demo resources – articles and demo companies.
Part V: Solution Demo Checklist. Answer these strategic questions and you’ll be ready to develop a great solution demo.


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Filed under Demos, Solution Marketing, Solutions

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