Your next sales demo is right around the corner.
You’re doing everything you can to prepare: creating a script, mapping out the best features to highlight, and even adding some fun statistics from case studies (here's how to create them) of happy customers to keep the conversation going while the program runs a report.
Everything is planned out perfectly for your sales demo.
That is, everything except the questions (including open-ended sales questions) you’re going to ask.
It’s true: normally you’re expecting the prospect to ask questions during the demo, and I’m sure you’ve prepared some great answers for common questions.
But, have you prepared any questions of your own outside of your demo script?
In this post, we'll look at 35 questions to ask in sales demos—we've grouped them into categories:
Why does the sales rep need to ask questions in a demo?
Have you or members of your sales team ever been in a demo where the prospect wasn’t talking at all?
Especially if you’re doing sales demos over a web chat, the silence from the other side can get extremely awkward.
How do you know if they’re really listening, or interested in what you’re presenting to them?
What can you do to gauge their temperature and adapt your presentation to their interests or concerns?
Yes, you as the sales rep need to be prepared with questions that you can ask during the sales demo. This will improve your demo in three specific ways:
- Keep the flow of conversation going
- Help you see the interest level of the prospect
- Help the prospect stay engaged in the demo
But remember: each question you ask should have a specific purpose.
We’re going to discuss seven types of questions you can ask in a sales demo, and give you specific examples to use on your next call.
Start with essential discovery questions.
Hopefully, you’ve already found out quite a bit about this prospect during previous conversations. By asking discovery questions, you’ve been able to learn about their business, their buying process, the problems they’re facing, etc.
But, as you’re about to start the demo, are there any points you’re not 100% clear on?
As a rule of thumb, don’t go through the demo using ‘if’s.’
“If you have multiple users, this feature is great.”
“If your company faces this challenge, you’ll really like how our product works.”
Using the word ‘if’ in your demo means you don’t know enough about your prospect.
So, before you start, ask any discovery questions you didn’t get clear answers to before the demo call.
1. "What are the main features that interest you in our product?”
2. “Are you currently looking at any other providers?”
3. “Who else will be involved in choosing a vendor?”
4. “Do they have any other concerns or needs that we should keep in mind during the demo today?”
You may find it necessary to ask discovery questions as you go along through the demo as well. Don’t be shy: your prospects will be happy that you’re taking an interest in their views!
5. “Before we talk about this feature, I wanted to ask you: how does your company currently handle [common problem]?”
6. “Does your company prefer to see [metric] or [metric] when calculating ROI?”
These questions will help you guide the demo in a way that’s most valuable to the prospect.
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Ask ‘why’ after negative and positive responses.
It may feel like second nature to you by now to ask ‘why’ after a prospect responds negatively to a certain feature or aspect of your product.
7. “I’m sorry you don’t like the set-up of the dashboard. Can I ask why?”
8. “If you don’t mind me asking, why do you feel that the pricing is too high? Is it a matter of budget, or do you really think the product isn’t worth that much?”
This kind of ‘why’ question can help you identify the underlying issues that prospects have.
Then, you have what you need to find solutions.
For example, if they don’t like the dashboard, maybe you can customize the information available to them so that it better fits their needs. But how will you know what to change if you don’t know what’s bothering them?
While asking why is a powerful way to get to the bottom of negative responses, don’t overlook the power of a ‘why’ after a positive response as well.
This allows you to dig deeper into their motivation and understand why certain features of your product appeal to them more.
9. “Why is this such an important problem for you to fix?”
10. “Why does this particular feature stand out to you right now?”
11. “Why do you need this solution now?”
Understanding the motivation behind your prospect’s response will help you determine how close you are to a sale, and will also help you uncover important information regarding their current challenges, timeline, authority, and budget.
Ask questions that make the prospect compare their current solution to what you offer.
It’s never a good idea to bad-mouth the competition.
But if your prospect is currently using a competing software or another type of solution, they already know the issues they’re facing.
After all, if they’re going through a product demo with you, it means they’re dissatisfied with the product they’re currently using.
So, throughout your demo, get your prospect to compare your product to what they’re currently using. You don’t need to say anything bad about the other product or company: your prospect will come to the realization if you ask good questions.
12. “What do you currently do to manage [a problem your software solves]? Do you feel that [current solution] is getting the results you want?”
13. “What kind of support do you get from [current solution]?”
14. “Do you feel like [current solution] is saving you time?”
15. “Does your whole team understand how to use [current solution] effectively?”
16. “Do you feel like [current solution] has features that help it adapt specifically do your business?”
17. “What kind of automation features does [current solution] provide you with?”
Asking these kinds of questions gets your prospect thinking about the failings of their current solution. Then, you can bring in your product as the knight in shining armor.
Ask questions that get the prospect to imagine life with your product.
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, right?
So, during your demo, it’s important to get your prospect to visualize how their life (or their business) will improve by using your product.
Once again, the best way to do this with a prospective customer is by asking questions.
18. “What’s the first thing you would use our product for if we moved forward with this deal?”
19. “After checking out our automation features, how much time per week do you think this could save you?”
20. “Which of your top company goals do you think our product could help you accomplish this year?”
21. “How would this solution help you overcome [current problem]?”
22. “How long do you think it would take your team to learn and use this product effectively?”
23. “How would this feature help you visualize [important ROI metric]?”
24. “More or less, how much money would your company be saving per year by switching to our product? Where would you prefer to see that money invested?”
Using these kinds of questions throughout the demo helps your prospect to see not only a list of features, but also a real list of benefits that they’ll personally experience by using your product.
Ask questions that highlight your product’s most important features.
How do you introduce features to prospective customers during a demo?
You guessed it: this is another great place to use questions during your demo call.
Try asking discovery-type questions (which you may already know the answer to) to highlight why this particular feature is valuable to this prospect.
25. “What other tools do you use on a regular basis? Our software integrates with those.”
26. “How many users would you have on our software? Well, you’re in luck: we offer unlimited users!”
27. “What’s the most time-consuming part of [related task] for you? Well, you’re going to love how our software automates that entire process.”
These questions are a great way to lead into a new feature, as they show the prospect the inherent value of your product in their daily life.
Lead prospects to ask the questions they need answers to.
We all know what it’s like to get off the phone and remember that one thing we didn’t ask.
When this happens to your prospect, it means the sale has been pushed out until they can get in contact with you again and get an answer to that question.
If you know your audience and you’ve already done the work of asking discovery questions before the demo, you know what’s important to them and what they really need to know in order to seal the deal.
So, if you feel like some important information is missing from your conversation and demo script, throw in a question that leads the prospect to the right answers:
28. “What kind of timeline for implementation are you looking for?”
29. “Are there any industry-specific features that you’d like to see in a solution?”
30. “Do you have any questions about our pricing structure or trial?”
31. “Is there anything specific you need to know about our customer support?”
At this point, it’s your job to make the buying process as easy as possible for the prospect.
In fact, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that proactively guiding customers through decision making increases purchase ease in buyers. Companies that make buying easy are actually 62% more likely to nail high quality sales.
Asking the right leading questions throughout an effective sales demo will help your prospects make sure they have all the information they need, and will help guide them through the buying process smoothly.
Use questions to recap.
When you’re wrapping up the demo, recap what you’ve seen and spoken about.
Using questions, you’ll be able to draw out your prospect’s thoughts and gauge where to go with your next steps.
32. “Did we cover all the features that you wanted to see today?”
33. “Which aspects of the product really stood out to you?”
34. “Are there any points we didn’t touch on that were important to [other decision makers]?”
35. “What are your thoughts about moving forward?”
These questions give you a clearer understanding of what’s going on in your prospect’s mind, and will help you see how close this demo brought you to sealing the deal.
Arm yourself with the right questions to ask in your next demo.
Obviously, questions from you and your sales team aren’t just for discovery and prospectinganymore.
Skillfully using questions during your demo will help you accomplish a variety of goals, the ultimate goal being to help turn this prospect into a happy customer.
Use discovery questions before and during the demo to clarify important points and guide the demo in a way that presents more value to the prospect.
Also, ‘why’ questions give you insight into the motivation behind the prospect’s responses during a successful demo. Questions that compare to their current solution help them see its failings, while questions that activate the imagination show them the potential value of your product for their life and business.
Questions are a powerful tool in a sales demo. Are you prepared to use them?