A Good Demo Generates Software Sales

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A Good Demo Generates Software Sales

by William DiPaolo

We are putting the final touches on Cogent Road’s new Roohmz Mortgage Enterprise application. We’ve been working on the application for nearly two years, and we are now going live at our first client locations. The energy level is through the roof!

Roohmz Mortgage Enterprise by Cogent RoadCogent Road began selling the software in January – and I personally conducted every single demonstration. For me there is no way to learn how to sell enterprise software except by hearing feedback from real prospects as you sell it. Admittedly, this is not the best strategy in the world, but 15 years selling enterprise software has taught me it’s the fastest way to create powerful presentations that shortens sales cycles and generate installs.

If you are in the business of selling software I think it’s important to understand the difference between selling software and training software. Enterprise applications need to be sold using engaging word pictures that illustrate how your software solves stubborn business problems, saves prospects money, eliminates needless work and enforces consistency. Avoid the tendency to run down a list of how of your features work – doing so is like giving your prospect a giant dose of verbal Ambien.

But do demonstrate the software. Don’t make the mistake of staying so high level that you fire up a screen shot laden PowerPoint while never walking your prospect through your beautiful software. The best solution? Use PowerPoint only to illustrate high level business benefits with images and animation – then move smoothly into your software to demonstrate how easily the concept is delivered. Prospects get this – and you’ll sell more.

My first couple of Roohmz Mortgage demonstrations we’re pretty bad. While I had carefully crafted a complete presentation and flow beforehand, it was obvious I was off the mark in more places than I’d like to admit. After each demo I asked others from Cogent Road who attended to provide feedback in order to produce a presentation that sold harder. Areas that didn’t resonate with prospects were dropped – others expanded. In the end, we ended up with a polished, extremely compelling presentation created significant desire.

Here is a basic outline of how I produce and deliver enterprise software demonstrations:

  1. Identify three to five unique things your software does. If you can create interest in these areas – you’ve made it that much more difficult for competitors.
  2. Create high level business cases around each item above. How will each item help the prospect save money, improve performance and eliminate errors?
  3. Use PowerPoint to help you communicate the problem and how you solve it. (Animation with icons and arrows is great – lot’s of bulleted text is not!)
  4. After describing the item – toggle into the software to show (at a high level) how the software easily achieves the benefit.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 for each item in the application.
  6. Quickly summarize the benefits of all the items you covered as you end the demonstration.
  7. Finish with a description of how easy it would be to get started – and how you will help them through the process.
  8. Improve your presentation based on your prospects responses (or long periods of silence).

After little more than a month, we have Roohmz Mortgage installations underway with 10 different mortgage lenders. I belive the short sales cycle is due in large part to taking the time to continually improve the Roohmz Mortgage demonstration.

Good selling!

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