Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
you are getting some very solid advice here from what appear to be experienced sales people. without knowing what you are selling and to whom it's tough to offer more than generalizations. This isn't something you will master overnight and your process will likely change over time. A few clarifications/additions/tactics:
1. if you truly have just 60 minutes in front of these people then your 'demo' time will likely be around 40 minutes or less depending on how you elect to handle questions and objections: address them as they come up OR acknowledge them, write them down and cover them all at one time at the end. Demo time is also affected by how much upfront work you have done prior to the demo.
2. Bring at least 1 other person along with you to the demo and preferably on your 'needs analysis' meetings/skype calls as well. Try not to have more people in the room than your prospect does. When you are in the middle of a demo there are simply too many balls in the air at one time for one person to juggle. Even if the person you bring along knows little about your product they can still relieve you of important tasks so you can focus on more important tasks. This person can:
A) keep track of time
B) capture questions and responses - write them down and who asked and make sure they are answered even if the answer comes after the demo - can be a good opportunity for more face time in a follow up meeting/skype call.
C) monitor audience feedback (you want to know who is jotting notes, who is scowling or shaking their head, who is not paying attention, who is smiling, who appears to be the leader in the groups,, etc.
D) a second set of ears regarding questions and objections to be sure you understand them. When you are in a demo you are often too focused on YOUR message and often don't/can't hear the real essence of a question or objection. questions and objections tell you a TON so it is vital that you soak up every detail.
** i can't over emphasize how important a second or third set of eyes and ears is.
3. when you get questions and objections make absolutely sure that you understand the question/objection. Never hurts to bounce the question back to the person in your own words to be sure you are on the same page before you answer. Objection handling is an art to it's own, but the basics are:
A. be sure you understand what the REAL objection is in addition to the expressed objection - they are often 2 different things.
B. Don't argue or get defensive.
C. if you don't have a good answer right there then acknowledge the objection and offer to address it in detail one-on-one if you can.
D. Understand that often times an objection is mealy an attempt for the person to show off in the meeting and/or to show that they are smarter than you. Developers (technical buyers) are famous for this in demos. Don't try to go toe-to-toe with them. Lots more on objection handling than we have time for here, but try to anticipate objections and formulate some answers before the demo. This is where a second and third set of eyes and ears in a meeting can be invaluable. If you have a champion already in the account then ask them who is likely to offer technical objections and financial objections and suggestions on how to handle them.
4. Buying influences: it is unlikely that just 1 person will make the buying decision. At the very least you will have a technical buyer (this person decides if your technology is compatible with their's, security, training, implementation support, etc.), an 'economic buyer' (who is focused on how your solution makes them money or saves them money), an executive sponsor (will make the recommendation to the ultimate decision maker(s) - they are the one who is spearheading the overall initiative if not running the eval process, and you will have one or more "user buyers" - super users or team leads who will implement and use your solution. They all have different needs and questions. be sure you understand each of them.
5. Champion: you can almost always find/build a champion in the account - someone who wants to see you win and who will help you win. If nothing else they can provide you will guidance and feedback as to process, influencers, pitfalls, status, etc. Put effort into building this relationship early and often and try to find/build 2 champions if you can.
6. don't rely on just one source for the answers to important questions.
7. demo tactics:
A. "tell em what you are going to show them, show them, tell them what you showed them": summary overview, mid-level details, a few low-level details, high-level wrap up summary, Q&A, next steps.
B. don't get lost in the weeds!
1. High level summary first so each person knows that you plan to show what they came to see. Before you drop down into lower details, ask the audience if there is any general subject that they want to see that you didn't cover in your "Here's what i'm going to show you" overview. This keeps the inevitable "what about this" questions to a minimum.
2. be selective in the details that you show. you don't need to show every function. Typically it is best to just point to a menu item and say "and here you can do this...". If something is of particular interest they will ask you for more detail.
3. People get lost in demos. use secondary visuals where you can to keep them on track - perhaps a whiteboard or secondary presentation page/screen that you can refer back to that "checks off" the important items as you go along: "ok, we said we were going to cover these 8 topics, we've finished these 3, now onto #4. any questions before we move on? ...."
8. Try to listen and ask questions as much or more than you talk. constantly elicit feedback - "how are we doing for time?" , " is this too much detail or not enough", "did that address your question?", "what do you think, does that solve the xyz problem that we have listed here on the white board?" (check it off so they have a visual that you addressed their issue), etc.
9. use open issues as an opportunity for more face time.
10. close for follow up: don't just leave the demo with 'ok, let us know'.
11. If you get solid buying signals then shut up and and stop demoing. focus on the transaction. If you don't get strong buying signals then probe for why and move for more 1 on 1 time or group time. If you are getting 'no' signals then probe for why right then - be professional about it. If you wait until you leave the room you won't get the detailed feedback that will help you overcome the objections or win the next deal.
In about 5-6 years of doing this every week you will have it nailed. In the mean time you can reference "Strategic Selling by Miller and Hayman (sp?)". Good luck, let us know how it goes.