Declining a demo request without a disco

Like any SaaS platform, we have "Book a demo" CTAs on the website. BDRs are trained to push back and require a disco before a demo can be booked, but every now and then you run into one of those buyers ... you know the type.


Looking for insight into how everybody else pushed back without starting off on the wrong foot.


My go-to is usually something like "I'd love to give you a demo, but our product has 2,000 options for feature A, 500 options for feature B, and 200 options for feature C. Without a quick call, the demo is going to sound very much like something we could put on YouTube for the masses - which we do also have if you're interested. I'd much rather not waste your time on a 60-min demo that doesn't address your unique needs. Fair? Can I grab 15 minutes of your time first?"

โ˜๏ธ Software Tech
๐Ÿ“ฃ Demos
โ˜‘๏ธ Qualification Calls
26
funcoupons
WR Officer
8
๐Ÿ‘‘
I like your approach - you make it about them and not wasting THEIR time. Tough for them to disagree with that. If they still insist just send them a pre-recorded demo and move on.
GreenSide
Politicker
2
Sales manager
It took me a while to come up with that response, but I started using it at my last job and it seemed to get the job done.

If someone is truly unwilling to start with a 15 min convo, it's a major red flag. Just wondering other ways to ensure its really a red flag without creating conflict and telling them "no" right off the bat. Buyers always think they're right.
funcoupons
WR Officer
3
๐Ÿ‘‘
I 100% agree. If the matter is important, they'll make 15 minutes available. If they won't, they're either kicking tires, fishing for information to pass on to their current supplier as leverage, or going to be a lazy/useless prospect the whole way through.ย 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
8
Senior Account Executive
Wow this response is gold in my opinion. Your time is just as valuable as theirs, and you are clearly trying to to help guide them. Like the humor too.
GreenSide
Politicker
1
Sales manager
Exactly. I try to highlight why a 15 min disco is valuable for them. I know the reasons why I don't want to do a demo, or why I can't bring an engineer on for the demo - but those don't matter to the prospect.ย 

How have you responded to these types of prospects in the past?ย 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
1
Senior Account Executive
I am not set up the same way, but when I get a request or feel like I'm being stalled I respond with more questions in a consultative manner. They are gonna answer me damn it ๐Ÿ˜†
AssistantToTheRegional
Politicker
3
Enterprise Account Executive
This is what I did, and it works very well. 90% response rate. Enterprise space, IT Security personas.
Make a Google Form, keep it to 10 questions or less. Link that Google form to a Google sheet.
Form should haveย 
Name Company Then 8 or less questions to further qualify the call

Position it as a way to help them make the most of the call. Itโ€™s for THEIR Benefit to answer.ย 
Tell them if they donโ€™t feel comfortable filling it out they can send you the answers back via email. If they donโ€™t fill it out tell them that the first call will not be a demo and will be to discuss the same questions in the form.

Also by syncing the form to the sheet you now have a meetings held data base :)
GreenSide
Politicker
0
Sales manager
Do you have examples of some of the questions you ask? Obviously anonymize as needed.
yohnst
1
Account Executive
How truly personalized/customized are your demos after a disco call?ย 

I ask because my company has always been rigid with our process and I've come in, been willing to jump on a call to do a disco/demo because often there are 3-5 things each of our prospects want/need and when I'm in that live software it seems those discovery conversations are sometimes even more engaging. The results have been my company average sales cycle being 140 days and mine being 28 days.ย 

I just closed a 17k deal in <24 hours this week which was unheard of here. The now customer chatted in and nobody wanted to take it because they said they didn't want a disco call/normal sales process.ย 

It won't be always, but I'd bet your competition is making it easier to buy in 2021 and there are times where flexibility with new-aged buyers will win you the deal.

Having that hard and fast rule may be costing you money.
GreenSide
Politicker
0
Sales manager
Absolutely a fair point.ย 

I am new to the org, so still ramping up and can't quite jump into random parts of the solution to point things out. That's on me. I did do that at my last job though, so you're correct there.

Maybe the answer lies in the middle, "Hey, let's start with a 30 min disco / high level demo. If it makes sense to go more in depth, we can schedule a follow up customized demo for you after"
Ozz
Politicker
0
Account Executive
I just decline the meeting and send them a pre recorded demo - lol. It's usually guys that don't have a company email - we sell to real estate guys and I know their busy but it's easy for us to qualify without a disco since our solution is pretty turnkey. I definitely require a disco for enterprise customers.ย 
GreenSide
Politicker
0
Sales manager
How do you turn down the enterprise customers and make sure the disco happens if they're pushy about it? What do you say to them?
AssistantToTheRegional
Politicker
0
Enterprise Account Executive
They are super specific so I can't really share. But ultimately give the SE's enough ammo to help me position us unqiuely.ย 
CaneWolf
Politicker
0
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
I've used a similar explanation for most of my career. "Our product can take longer to explore than a big museum. Without proper guidance, we'll end up using far more of your time than we need to and there's no guarantee you'll see what you need."
DungeonsNDemos
Big Shot
0
Rolling 20's all day
Thats a perfect explanation. Plus if they won't offer buy in and want it to be a oneway conversation, they are generally not an easy customer to work with.ย 
Thats why we all keep our pipes full so we can say no to these people haha
cw95
Politicker
0
Sales Development Lead
Do you offer a trial or a 'free period'?


GreenSide
Politicker
0
Sales manager
We do not. Too much tech setup involved. Takes 1-2 months of onboarding.ย 
GDO
Politicker
0
BDM
Great way to handle it. Make it about them and giving them the best possible demo. To do so you need info to set it up.ย 
LordBusiness
Politicker
0
Chief Revenue Officer
Based on the probably dozens of demos Iโ€™ve been given most are too long and terribly boring. For me there is nothing more painful than the two step discovery then demo. The first call should be 15-20 mins discovery (if you can) and then 10 minutes demoing then solution for the prospects biggest pain. Show them you can solve that, then set next step as proposal review snd deeper dive.
pretengineer
Politicker
0
Head of the crumpets
Like that! If you have another stakeholder in the call, you could also use that as a lever; something like: In order to put in a demo with our solution consultant, I need to put a business case so we can prep it to make a call that addresses your requirements.
GreenSide
Politicker
0
Sales manager
The requirements bit is key. I usually remove the piece about โ€œin order to get you the solution consultantโ€ because if they have a โ€œcustomer is always right mindsetโ€ they may focus on that as you not listening to what they want (a demo) and throwing up roadblocks
TheIncarceration
Politicker
0
SDR Manager
I've used a very similar approach with only a few instances where theย  prospect pushed back. And in many cases I've had prospect tell me they were glad to have that initial conversation
ThatNewAE
Politicker
0
Account Executive - SMB
100%. I wouldn't know what to demo, if I haven't done the discovery.
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