What To Expect From a Business Software Demo

ChelseaWilliams
By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Apr 11 2023 read
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It’s natural to want to test a product before buying it. There’s something about feeling a steering wheel, sitting on a couch or tasting a food sample that lets you know right away whether it’s for you.

Software is arguably a more significant investment than any of the above examples. And evaluating it feels different than making a personal choice about what you’d like to wear or eat. Knowing what’s involved in the business software version of a test drive — a demo — can help you feel poised to make a sound decision.

Start with this review of what to expect before, during and after your demo.

Feeling Prepared for Your Call

While you don’t need to spend a lot of time preparing notes or documents to attend a demo, it’s wise to get clear about your business needs. Providing consistent, complete and accurate information to the host is in your best interests, so reflect on your challenges and business goals beforehand. If colleagues will be attending the demo with you, be sure you’re all aligned about the answers you’ll provide.

Every demo process is different, but there are a few consistent factors you should anticipate. You will …

  • Interact with a sales team.
    Most software companies will have a dedicated sales team in charge of conducting demos. While you may not like the idea of speaking with sales at this stage, remember that a good sales rep knows the product inside and out. Thus, they can be one of your best resources for in-depth information. 
  • Be expected to share important business details.
    When your sales rep asks questions, it’s with the intention of getting to know you and your business so they can offer appropriate solutions. They’ll likely want to know about your current processes, what you would like to change about your workflows and the impact you want to see as a result of implementing their software.
  • Participate in more than one call.
    A demo might be followed by more detailed conversations. Think of these additional calls as your opportunity to remember everything you covered in the demo, compare with alternative solutions and get a real sense of what it would be like to engage with the company long-term. Even if you ultimately go with another option, use this valuable time to refine your wants and needs.

What to ask before your demo:
Use your line of communication with a sales rep to clarify anything you aren’t sure about in the period leading up to your call. You may decide to ask:

  • How long will the demo last?
  • What additional details will I need to provide about my business?
  • Where can I find more information if I’d like to keep researching before we meet?

Engaging During the Demo

Your sales rep will have a lot to get through. A demo is not just about learning what a platform does but how it will help you and your team reach the next step in your journey.

A typical demo lasts about an hour and consists of:

  • A conversation about your current challenges and priorities
  • A brief overview of the platform and each of its core functions
  • A review of how you feel the product meets your needs
  • Time for a Q&A

What to ask during your demo:
While you may feel like you have an overwhelming number of questions on your mind, stick to the most important, high-level ones during the demo itself. Here are some examples:

  • How would I use [a given feature] to accomplish [a specific task]?
  • What types of businesses use your product? Do you have testimonials from my industry?
  • In what way(s) is your platform different from the one I’m using now?

➡️ For additional question inspiration, check out GetApp’s software demo checklist.

Following Up Effectively 

Once your demo is over, expect to hear from your sales rep soon. If you’re already sure you’re not going to select this platform, it’s best to share your honest conclusion as soon as possible. And if you’re willing, explain a bit about your reasons for making that choice. This helps the company understand prospects like you and develop better processes and solutions over time.

On the other hand, if you were intrigued by the demo and are looking ahead to the next steps with this software, your sales rep will walk you through that process. They may want to schedule another call to discuss pricing, timelines and options for implementation. To get the most out of their follow-up, don’t hesitate to turn these opportunities into valuable conversations about what matters most to you.

This is the stage in which you and the sales team set the tone for your ongoing relationship. It gives you a glimpse of what future interactions will be like, so trust your instincts and maintain transparency.

What to ask after your demo:
Post-demo, you could have access to additional contacts and platform experts who can address your lingering questions or concerns. Be as specific as possible, and trust that the platform experts will guide you in the right direction based on their wealth of experience. At this point, you might ask things like:

  • What strategies do you recommend for getting my team ready for new software?
  • How many hours or days should we expect to spend in training?
  • I don’t have a project manager. Who should I select as a point person for implementation?

➡️ Why go with expert implementation? Read Grey Matter’s story.

The Accelo Demo Experience

At Accelo, a demo is just one part of a sales process we’ve designed to make you feel as comfortable and supported as possible. Here’s the sequence of interactions you can expect:

  1. After you express interest in a demo, we’ll have a quick discovery call to make sure you’re a good fit for our platform. We don’t want you to waste any time!
  2. In the demo, we’ll first discuss your current client work management processes and the challenges your team is experiencing. Then, we’ll dive into the Accelo platform and our six interconnected products.
  3. If you’re excited about the potential results you could experience, we’ll move on to a Solution Session, in which we discuss what your use of Accelo could look like. We’ll chat about how each product will offer solutions to your unique challenges and how guided implementation will go. Together, we envision your new day-to-day operations.
  4. Finally, it’s time to talk details and next steps in what we call an Investment Connection.

We’d love to get to know you and your business and share how Accelo could be the client work management solution you’ve been searching for. Schedule your demo to get started. 

Prefer to play around in the platform first? Sign up for a free trial now.

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About the Author

ChelseaWilliams

Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.

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