Far too often, salespeople overload their playbooks with slides that only highlight product features and end up "freestyling" their demos instead of following a sales methodology. The result is an unsatisfying experience for both the customers and the salespeople (Forrester reports that only 20% of executive buyers consider their meetings with salespeople to have met their expectations and created value).

The prerequisite for a successful product demo is good discovery. In order to offer your customers solutions that are relevant and that truly add value, you first need to understand their pains and the impact of those pains. Your customers are not sold on your product's features, but rather on whether they are able to add value and resolve their pain.

A method that is particularly well-suited to B2B SaaS sales is the SPICED method developed by Winning by Design. SPICED stands for Situation, Pain, Impact, Critical Event and Decision Criteria (You can learn more about SPICED here).

In the following sections we will show you how to create a product demo playbook according to the SPICED method that will enable your salespeople to make the most out of them and ensure that your customers have a great demo experience.

1. Account Information

Having "Account Information" as an agenda item, with the addition of tokens in the notes section, enables you to access all the information that has already been collected of a pre sales team on the account with the click of a button.

2. Intro

The purpose of the Intro is to welcome the participants, set the framework for the meeting and clarify expectations. We recommend using the ACE Framework: Appreciate, Check Time, End Goal.

  • Appreciate: Express appreciation for the participants joining the meeting.

  • Check Time: Check that they are still available for the duration of the scheduled meeting, and whether they have a hard stop.

  • End Goal: Agree on the goal of the meeting.

    • Show agenda slide (3-4 bullet points)

    • Ask participants if there is anything they would like to add

3. Company Presentation (Optional)

In general, it is recommended that you confirm what the participants already know about your company and pitch more or less depending on their answer. Less is usually more. You can use Google Duplication to automatically display the correct name of the customer on the slide.

Tell a good story:

  • Why was your company founded?

  • What problem does your company solve?

  • What is the impact of your solution?

    • Testimonials from your customers

*Unless it actually adds value, avoid showcasing the slide with the logos of your customers.

4. Discovery

We always recommend conducting a discovery in order to uncover:

  • What the client's current situation is?

  • What their current pains are?

  • What the impacts of their pains are?

The higher-up someone is in the organizational hierarchy, the likelier it is that your conversation can be focused around their overall goals and how your product can help to achieve them. A good discovery is the basic prerequisite for a successful and relevant product demo. And the prerequisite for a good discovery is to ask the right questions. Open-ended questions (How? What? Why? Who? Where?) and follow-up questions (Why? What else? How else? Who else? Where else?) can be incredibly impactful. Try to keep the conversation interesting and engaging, while also practicing active listening.

We recommend using tokens in the speaker notes to record the information you gather in a structured way. Here you find all information about how to set up and use custom tokens. These tokens will be displayed again at the end of the meeting so that you can also fill them in afterward.

  • Ask open-ended questions to diagnose the current situation, pains (P) and impacts (I) of the pains.

  • Prioritize pains: What are the 3 biggest pains? → P1, P2, P3.

Example questions to diagnose the Situation:

Example questions to diagnose the Pains:

Example questions to diagnose the Impacts:

5. Product Demo

A discovery is followed by the product demo, which should showcase the features that resolve the 3 biggest pains uncovered during discovery. This will highlight the greatest added value that your product has to offer. At this point, it may be a good opportunity to go beyond a surface-level explanation of your product's value and dive deeper into the details of how exactly your solutions can resolve their pains. Demodesk lets you make your demos interactive by adding your demo environment as a web page in the playbook and giving participants control.

  • Show features that solve pains: F1 solves P1, F2 solves P2, F3 solves P3, etc.

  • Confirm the impact of resolving the pain: Solution of P1 has positive impact I1, etc.

6. Summary

It is important to summarize and confirm the value-add of your product. After which, you should find out what the decision-making criteria and critical events for the deal are.

  • Summarize added value (Sum of impacts).

  • Ask about critical events.

  • Ask about decision-making criteria.

7. Next Steps

We recommend that you always book a follow-up meeting ASAP. To realize this, it is a good idea to add booking pages as the last content in the playbook. Here you can find information on how to automatically display the booking page of the meeting host.

  • Define next steps near the end of the meeting

  • If possible, book a follow-up appointment during the meeting using a booking link in the playbook.

Congratulations! You have now successfully implemented the SPICED method in your product demo playbook! Of course, you can also use any other sales methodology that you like. The most important thing is to set the framework for your playbooks, give structure to your meetings and adapt a method to your sales process.

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