Official thread

Bad Sales Advice? Demo and Discovery: together or apart?

video cover

This is the first of our Bad Sales Advice video series from none other than@sahil himself, where he reads real sales advice posts from LinkedIn for the first time and gives an unfiltered reaction.



Discovery: I think we should start seeing each other more


Demo: More? We meet every 2 or 3 days. Whenever you need me, I “present” myself. Society excepts me to follow you. Not marry you. Why more, then?


Discovery: You wanna know the truth?


Demo: Yes


Discovery: I feel more confident when you’re around. Like I can “win”. Even leads people trust me more when you’re with me. You complete me. And I wanna be with you…


Demo: Even when it gets rough? When I’m contributing half as much as you? When we’re dealing with shitty leads people?


Discovery: ALWAYS!


Demo: Then let’s move in together <3



What do our savages think?


Are demo and discovery meant to be together or apart?



-@Gasty

📣 Demos
🎤 Sahil
34
TennisandSales
Politicker
8
Enterprise Account Executive
really like this idea alot. lets keep this coming.

since i moved into ENT sales ive never done discovery and demo on the same call. it just hasnt made sense. but i do think you should be willing to show SOMETHING, if the prospect is asking for it.

and if there really is something else that needs to be seen that should be made clear and another deep dive demo can be scheduled.
jefe
Arsonist
5
Head of Sales
I think is it - the balance. It's great to show something. But 7-8 minutes of demo for a complicated product?

That's not enough.
Gasty
Celebrated Contributor
4
Community Manager [War Room]
I think showcasing something is better than showing nothing. Even a short glimpse of the tool / UI / look n feel - is a win! I didn't think like this till the time I had to step into the buyer's shoes early this year during an evaluation. Balance is key, for sure.
TennisandSales
Politicker
1
Enterprise Account Executive
i agree i with Sahil would have clarified that it depends on the product and how complicated it is and how many people need to be involved.

in my experience, the discovery call is with one person who is the representative for a large group. they want to make sure that what they rest of the team is going to see if worth their time and I want to make sure that i know everything i can to make that 90 minute demo as valuable as possible.
Kosta_Konfucius
Politicker
2
Sales Rep
Do you think a video would work? Since there can be so many things you can demo, it might hard to be ready for anything in a demo environment
TennisandSales
Politicker
3
Enterprise Account Executive
YES! i had alot of success with this at one company. we had clips recored of different work flows. like 2 -3 min each.

it was great to say "yeah in my follow up email ill include a few clips walking you through XYZ".
solder
Old School Bravo
2
Private
Like showing a quick glimpse that will maintain curiosity. Keeping attention while staying transparent and setting up for the next call/demo.

I was expected to show the demo during discovery at one of the companies I worked at. That didn't always work when people were driving though.
TennisandSales
Politicker
1
Enterprise Account Executive
exactly! i think it all comes down to the customer experience and being helpful. If doing discovery is more about YOU then THEM, its not helpful. but if part of discovery is to make the experience better for the prospect then its great.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
4
Senior Account Executive
I don't either. I find with the bigger deals sometimes we gotta slow down to speed up. Ya feel me?
TennisandSales
Politicker
3
Enterprise Account Executive
i feel you. most of the time my customers want to see how the whole thing works together and NOT just a small part.
whatsquota
3
Enterprise AE
It’s really dependent on the client. I also believe there is tons of room for discovery during a deeper dive demo and I find clients are way more willing to divulge info when you are seeing actual software they can relate. I’ve been doing enterprise for 10+ years and it’s clear clients now want a mix of both. Let’s chat and show me something to make the next meeting worthwhile.
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
yeah i would agree with this for sure. discovery does not just happen on one call. you for sure need to be doing this throughout the process and a demo is a great time to do it.
Eddys
0
Account Executive
You are absolutely right!
Epictetus
Valued Contributor
2
SaaSy
I think that there is a distinction between a custom demo and basic demo. You can show them basics on the disco call to get discussion flowing, especially around workflow. Then, you come back with a customized demo to their workflow, factors, etc. It all depends on what you're selling, I suppose. I find this stuff works, though.
TennisandSales
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
again it depends on the product. i could show someone a basic demo of one specific feature on a discovery call but thats not a basic demo haha.
antiASKHOLE
Big Shot
4
Account Executive
I think it depends on the industry. The people I meet with have very small windows of time and it's something that can put in place fairly quickly.
SADNESSLieutenant
Politicker
3
Officer of ♥️
I also think its a little bs when the lead doesn't see the demo or at least part of it by the end of the call
Pachacuti
Politicker
3
They call me Daddy, Sales Daddy
I have to say I strongly disagree.

Why?

He’s assuming you have the right person or people on the DC. In the real world you may have 1-5 DCs prior to a demo and actually you never really stop doing discovery through the entire sales process.

Also, he’s assuming you only sell a single widget. What if you sell a suite of products/services? I’d have to do 8 hrs of demo to properly get through it all.

Finally (although not really final) he’s mistaking demo for overview. I can’t imagine a solution you can adequately demo in 7-8mins.

If I have a 30min window with a prospect I’m going to spend as much time as I can building the relationship. If I only get 5mins of solution discovery and 25min of relationship building, that’s a good call to me.
Sunbunny31
Politicker
3
Sr Sales Executive
It's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Even within my company, it's not a case where it makes sense to do things one way or the other every time.

I'm prepared to jump in and show a little bit of what ONE PIECE of my platform can do, but if the customer needs to see anything else, I can't do that. In the case of the customer with specific pain points around that one module and with interest and focus on only that one module, I'm ok. However, expectations cannot be set by BDRs that the discovery call will include a demo - that's going to frustrate everyone. And it often does, because somehow it's promised. Setting me up to underdeliver out of the gate isn't a winning strategy.

So I prefer if the BDR says nothing, and I can say segue into a quick look at what we have if it makes sense. 80% of the time, it does not, primarily because of the very things Pachacuti brings up.

We also have quick videos on our website - and I don't go beyond what is already there. It can be a big waste of time for me to provide yet another high level demo of basic functionality and the interface when I could be having a conversation with the customer and aligning to their requirements so that the demo is impactful and not a feature/functionality overview.
Diablo
Politicker
2
Sr. AE
I tend to this a lot. It’s always about gets and gives to keep the balance and conversation going on.
Salesandcoffeedude
Valued Contributor
2
Business Development Representative
I like this series Idea!! Would love to see more. (Would be so much easier with an Android App btw)
SiliconBBQ
Politicker
2
The Metal Rooster
I sell into companies from 2B- ~10B. The technology is leading bleeding, not commoditized and actually unique. It is also somewhat nebulous because we can solve for so many use-cases, and very visually compelling.

As I've gotten my hands around it more, I've leaned into demoing it on the first call with Dir. - VP.

It is actually a case of show and sell. I can do discovery, and leverage the tool for more discovery, but it's been helping get people's wheels turning.

I scrapped the companies marketing / enablement scripts and took the framework from one of the top reps who sells into the fortune 100.

It helps that i used to manually do what the tool enables in a career prior to sales.
BourbonKing
Valued Contributor
2
VP of Sales
Love this format...although I disagree with this one. I don't believe discovery and demo should combined into one call. It probably depends on what you're selling and how simple it is to demo, but what I've sold could never be satisfactorily demo'ed in 6-8 minutes at the end of a discovery call.
SADNESSLieutenant
Politicker
1
Officer of ♥️
Gasty
Celebrated Contributor
2
Community Manager [War Room]
This shouldn't have happened. Let me check this.
Gasty
Celebrated Contributor
0
Community Manager [War Room]
@SADNESSLieutenant : hope you received the email around this?
SADNESSLieutenant
Politicker
0
Officer of ♥️
Yeah apparently I somehow missed SIX emails asking for my address information from Sendoso, it might be spammed, not sure, but my fault
Gasty
Celebrated Contributor
2
Community Manager [War Room]
Ouch. Hope it's resolved now, savage! I'll wait for your post around "2 gigs on 1 mug". 🍺
SADNESSLieutenant
Politicker
0
Officer of ♥️
might have to get a second one ;) yeah just waiting on a new sendoso link that my ass wont miss lol
SADNESSLieutenant
Politicker
0
Officer of ♥️
Ah yes it skipped the inbox again, didn't go into spam, not sure where it went but I had to manually search it again
CSmith
1
NA
There are multiple valid points with the comments presented here. At a company I formerly worked for we called this doing the disco/demo & we had success with it.

IMO, I believe that you can be successful doing them together or doing them separately. However, the key to success with either is to set the proper expectations with the prospect. This can easily be done by discussing an agenda with them beforehand during the call that initially set the disco/demo up and/or by emailing the agenda. Additionally, I would do a high level demo to give them an idea of what the software can provide but with the closing goal of scheduling a more in-depth demo with a focus on their needs.

Setting the proper expectations going into every meeting can make a big difference with your success rate.
SalesSavage4Lyfe
1
Enterprise Account Executive
This might work for run rate/SMB types motions but no way this gets it done at the ENT level. This is why the "leading with a POV" sales motion is popular and used. It is an efficient way to "paint a picture" in a customers head and get their feedback on what THEY think the solution should look like. Then you can customize a demo around that, because they told you what they are looking for which, IMO, is more true to "selling the solution/problem you solve".

To spin up a demo org for every meeting (even if its generic) just doesn't seem feasible or scalable.
revenuegenerator
Praised Answer
1
Sales Management
You're always doing discovery on every part of every call until you have a purchase order. You're always discovering something if you're doing your job correctly.
B2BSalesGuru
Personal Narrative
1
Head of Sales
This approach works for more senior salespeople and usually when they are working on a full sales cycle. Otherwise, clients will be tempted to push junior salespeople for demos during discoveries and that will result in poor qualification.
NoSuperhero
Politicker
1
BDR
I absolutely love this idea. I have no experience closing (2 yrs as an sdr now) but it just makes sense. Gotta have that product knowledge on point, also being organized with your files would help SO MUCH, but that's just me though.
thedue2.0
Contributor
1
VP of Sales
Like diapers, it depends. What you are selling, how educated the buyer is or is not, how complex is the product, self directed, or requires some additional customization.

As a guided, thought-provoking, art of the possible discovery, I am ok with it….

It has value and utility.
TNsalesguy
Good Citizen
1
VP of Sales
We use a brief pitch deck that highlights a portion of our platform during discovery calls, and if they want to see more, which people typically, do, we schedule a demo with more stakeholders. I think it's different for everyone.
ZachYak
Good Citizen
1
Sales Guru
I agree if your in a transactional 1-2 call cycle. There is no way, I am combining a demo, for a 7 figure complex cloud migration or edge computing. Also I think people Ike combined them, because they don’t now how todo discovery, without interviewing their contact.
o.g.meister
Member
1
Mid-Market Account Executive
I can definitely see how a short preview/demo of the product at the end of the discovery call can make an impact and get the customer engaged, but as @TennisandSalessaid if you sell a complex product you will most likely have to do another deeper dive demo with your SE and specialist team.
TennisandSales
Politicker
1
Enterprise Account Executive
🙌
i really feel like what Sahil is talking about only makes sense for point solutions and "simple" products
Stuntdude
Personal Narrative
1
Head of Sales
Love this take @sahil. 100% sell the way buyers want to buy.
SDM
Politicker
0
Sales development manager
No harm in doing both together, if buyer is interested in looking at it.
KyloSellMeThisRen
Opinionated
-1
Account Executive
Lol Sahil can’t even handle being called out himself
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