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SaaS Demo Structure

Hi all,

I'm an AE at a SaaS company with a pretty standard setup where XDRs run discovery calls and set demo appointments for AEs. Roughly a 25 day sales process on average and the goal of the demo is typically to set a proposal review call meeting.

I'm curious for other AEs with similar processes, how are you baking additional discovery into the demo and what's your thought process behind how you run your calls?

Historically, I've done 10-15 minutes of additional discovery at the start of the calls, but have gotten away from it in lieu of trying to balance showing some of the tool and then asking questions and repeating that process.

I imagine people have had success with both, and there may be more strategies as well, but it'd be awesome to get some feedback from other AEs on:
1) how you structure your calls
and
2) why you do it that way

thanks in advance!
๐Ÿ“ฃ Demos
๐Ÿ“ณ SaaS
๐Ÿ‘‘ Sales Strategy
6
SaaSam
Politicker
3
Account Executive
Similar to the cycle for my first AE job. I opened with discovery and transitioned into a demo built around what I learned from them in that disco portion of the call. You need to know your product and demo enough to adjust on the fly.

I did this to avoid an additional call in the process since the cycle was so short and transactional plus their own pains were fresh in their and my minds when I covered those portions of my solution in the demo.
noID
Good Citizen
1
Account Executive
Thanks for the response! I can appreciate that and definitely agree on being able to adjust on the fly and I like the idea of building up pain ahead of time in discovery too like you mentioned.
jefe
Arsonist
3
Head of Sales
I always schedule a discovery call before a demo. It's the best way to set yourself up for success and truly uncover pain that you can leverage to close the deal.ย 

With such a short cycle, I'd just try to schedule 15 minutes to get it done.

How much can you tailor the demo based on discovery?
noID
Good Citizen
1
Account Executive
Nice, thanks for the response! Thereโ€™s definitely a good amount of tailoring that can happen in a demo depending on the prospects workflow, although I typically have a good idea of that workflow going into the demo.
DungeonsNDemos
Big Shot
2
Dialing for Initiative
It's all about expectation setting and keeping it conversational.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
1
Senior Account Executive
Yes!!! Conversation isn't interrogation.
Pachacuti
Politicker
1
They call me Daddy, Sales Daddy
More discovery is rarely bad.ย  You should be doing discovery until you discover the signature on the contract.ย ย 

I always try to find something personal to relate to.ย  I know that is VERY salesy but people buy from those they like, so I do it.

So the first 5-8 mins is personal time - ask them a question about favorite movie, first car, etc.ย  Work it into something business related and then into a demo or solution conversation.ย  That's what works for me.
noID
Good Citizen
1
Account Executive
I like the point on relatability! Would you literally start a call with โ€œHi John, whatโ€™s your favorite movie?โ€
Pachacuti
Politicker
1
They call me Daddy, Sales Daddy
If Iโ€™m using a deck, Iโ€™ll have an Intros slide and state โ€œname, role, years with Org, favorite movie (optional)โ€. Iโ€™ll mention a movie like Avengers or something else immediately recognizable and relatable.
JohnnyDamone
Opinionated
0
AE Inside Sales
does anyone give a crap about your years with org?

Not trying to be an ass, but whats the point of that
Snowey
Politicker
1
Account Executive
I always do discovery as part of the demo, builds on what the SDR has found and letโ€™s you build up a reference point to discuss their issues rather than second hand.
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