The 5 Deadliest Mistakes in B2B Sales Demos

Giving a sales demo is one of the most important things you can do as a salesperson. It’s your chance to show off your product and convince the buyer that they need it. There are 5 deadly mistakes that can doom your sales demo and lead to an unsuccessful sale. Avoid these mistakes at all costs, and you’ll be on your way to closing more deals!

The 5 deadliest mistakes that lead to awful sales demos are failing to prepare, focusing on features instead of benefits, not knowing the buyer’s needs, presenting without passion, and rushing through the demo. If you want to make sure your next sales demo is a success, make sure to avoid these common pitfalls!

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.

Conrad Hilton

1. Failing to Prepare

The worst mistake you can make when giving a sales demo is jumping in without having prepared anything beforehand. You’ll be unprepared to answer questions, and your buyer will likely spot that you haven’t done any research into their needs. This tells them that either they aren’t important to you or that you don’t care about providing them with what they need.

Make sure that you have information about the buyer’s company, their role in the company, and their specific needs at your fingertips before you even begin your presentation. If this is a demo for an existing customer, make sure to know everything about how they’ve used your product thus far.

2. Focusing on Product Features Instead of Benefits

When giving a sales demo, most salespeople focus too much on what their product can do. They show all the features and functions, assuming that if their buyer knows everything there is to know about how great their product is, they’ll be compelled to purchase it. However, buyers aren’t nearly as interested in how all the bells and whistles work. They want to know what it’ll do for them, how it’ll help them reach their goals, and why they should buy it over another solution.

If your sales demo starts sounding more like a features list than an explanation of the product’s benefits, that might be a sign you need to spend some more time on benefits . By demonstrating what your product can do instead of focusing on its ability to provide value, you won’t get far when selling.

3. Not Knowing the Buyer’s Needs

There are lots of things in common among buyers. One thing they have in common is that every one of them has specific needs . If you don’t understand these needs or address them, they won’t feel compelled to invest in your product.

Making sure you have a solid handle on the buyer’s needs is one of the most important things you can do before giving a sales demo. If you do that, then during the demo itself, you’ll be able to explain how your product meets those needs better than any other solution out there.

By knowing what these specific needs are and being able to speak intelligently about how well your product addresses them, you’ll win over more buyers who decide it’s worth paying for.

4. Presenting Without Passion

There are few things worse than watching someone give a dry presentation. You might think that because this is just a regular day at work for them, they’re not going to get excited about it. But passion is infectious, and if you can get your audience excited about your product, they’ll get excited too.

People don’t just buy your products that they can see; they buy your attitude that they can sense.

Roxanne Emmerich

The best way to do this is by truly believing in what you’re selling. If you aren’t passionate about your product or even remotely interested in demonstrating it, then why should the buyer be? Find a way to engage with your technology and truly enjoy talking about it, and the solutions it can help solve for your customers. Your enthusiasm will rub off on others, creating a more compelling sales demo that gets people pumped up about investing in what you have to offer.

5. Rushing Through Your Demo

When you find yourself rushing through a demo without taking time for questions from the buyer, take note of that feeling. Ask yourself how many demos you’ve given in the past when you were in a rush and didn’t give the full amount of time to questions and concerns.

The reason you should never rush through a sales demo is because it isn’t an effective way to demonstrate your product’s value. A rushed presentation fails to engage the buyer, and without engagement, they aren’t going to make their decision. They won’t feel like they understand how your product can help them or why it’s worth paying for, which means that by rushing through your sales demonstration, you’ll end up losing the sale.

Avoiding these five deadly mistakes will help you give a sales presentation that truly sells. If you want to be sure you’re giving the best sales demo possible, keep these tips in mind, and invest in a sales demo personalization platform that will help take your demos to the next level!


Brian Cody

VP of Sales Engineering, Clari

Michael Stanczak

VP of Enterprise Sales, illumin

Ryan Splain

Principal Demo Solutions Engineer, Salesloft