PrintVis Tip of the Week #46 – Better Demos

Tip of the Week #46 – Better Demos

Sales Manager John Mullins joins us this week to share some of his own experiences and lend some advice on giving a smart and effective print software demo.

At PrintVis we implement and deploy complex software systems, perhaps the most complex systems that a company will ever install.  While we emphasize standardization for consistency and ease of deployment, it is after all a full ERP.

We have a good design for rapid installation, a plan for training, and a plan for Go-live, and even a plan for extended support.  This is all needed to keep our ever-demanding clients happy and their operations running smoothly. But how do you demo PrintVis/NAV – a system which will touch every department in a company when deployed fully – if your prospect only gives you an hour, or maybe two?

We have all experienced those demos which “go sideways” – the ones where you immediately dive into so much deep system information that you lose the entire audience and are unable to get the prospect back on the phone. Then there’s the demo where you spend a long time explaining some impressive functionality, only  to have the prospect finally say, “yes but we don’t do a lot of that”.

If we follow a few simple steps to avoid such misfires and ensure that the prospect stays on track, we can demo enough to keep the sales process moving forward without stalling.  To that end, we at PrintVis are starting on two basic initiatives.


We want to make sure we tell the prospect what we are going to show them, then show them the small segment of software (i.e. creating an estimate, generating an invoice, doing a month-end close, scheduling a job).  After telling them and then showing them, we need to make sure we then state “now we have shown you ____, did this make sense for you?”  If not, then go back into just that area.  Do this often so that your prospect is giving you lots and lots of little ‘yesses’.  The thought here is also that we would be keeping the prospect more engaged in the demo process instead of passively sitting in silence for an hour at the other end of the phone.

Have An Agenda and Stick To It

We are in the midst of fine tuning a small Excel file with 15 -18 areas of the system listed.  The thought is that we can talk to the prospect before the demo and walk through this list with them while taking some notes.  Do they want a deep dive on estimating and not much time on accounting?  Are the very interested in purchasing and generating purchase orders or is that something they don’t care about?  What lines of printing do they do?  Are they digital only?  Label? What other systems do they have that we may have to integrate to?  The list goes on and on.

A set agenda will help to keep the demo on track. It is also in the nature of sales that we tend to want to have when we just say YES to anything during a demo.  Can you show me XXX?  Yes was the old answer.  No needs to be the new answer if that is not on the agreed upon agenda.  “Actually Mr. Prospect you wanted to spend most of your time on XXX and not YYY so we will have to come back to YYY at another date.

Hopefully if we add this step in before just firing up the software and hoping to show them one or two key things they want to see we can add a lot of value to the demo, keep more prospects engaged in the sales process and CLOSE MORE DEALS.

Thank you John!

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