Editor’s note: In this post, we’ve curated a series of videos on running remote demos from our friends at Winning by Design. Read below for the highlights or click through to the individual videos for more details.

Chances are that you’re doing a lot more remote demos now than ever before. And while online demos are very similar to in-person ones, you’re going to have to shift your approach and tactics to make them successful. That’s because when you can’t be face to face, it’s not only harder to read your audience, but also a lot easier for them to get distracted. 

Whenever you go digital, remember that the demo isn’t about you. It’s about helping prospective customers recognize their problem and understand how your solution can help. Below we look at how to structure, compile, and present remote demos to best engage your prospects and drive them to take the next step down the path to purchase.

How to set up and structure your demo

While the prep may be the same as for a traditional demo, your set up and structure are going to change. To begin, set the context and summarize your offering with an executive summary, which tells the audience what they need to know at a glance. Then set the end goals for the meeting and what you’re going to achieve, laying out the agenda as you go.

Ensuring you have an easy-to-follow structure is important for keeping your audience engaged. So too is ensuring that you’ve made it easy for your viewers to understand exactly what they’re looking at at every point through the demo, and asking them questions after you’ve demonstrated each feature.

Use slides effectively

Building a great slide deck starts with the executive summary. In a single slide, it should explain the situation your prospect is in, the pain points they are looking to address, and the impact they want from a solution. Some people make the mistake of loading up their deck with company logos, the history of the company, and other details. Unfortunately, most clients aren’t interested in the backstory (and if they are, they’ll ask), especially when they’re viewing a demo online.

Keep in mind that when slides are full of text, they’re hard to read, especially on a screen. Either make sure each slide focuses on one specific point or let the client know you’ll send them the full presentation later. Either way, it’s best to let them know what the main takeaway from each slide is. 

Building consensus

Every meeting should be organized around a purpose and an online demo is no exception. It’s not just about showing how great your solution is, or what integrations will best suit a prospect’s needs, it’s also about providing tactical and useful information and getting agreement.

When you’re working with executives, stay strategic by getting them to realize the impact your product will have on their business. Start with setting out the goals at the beginning and then circling back to them at the end. Ask questions to see if you achieved the goals, such as whether or not you sufficiently addressed any concerns they may have about your solution. Ultimately, you want to achieve consensus from the relevant stakeholders so that you can move the purchasing process forward.

Best practices when screen sharing

Plan in advance exactly what you’ll want to show your viewers and have everything prepped. That means loading up relevant tabs, audio, and video and removing anything on your desktop that’s not relevant.

When you’re doing a screen share of a dashboard, keep in mind that this might be the first time your potential client has seen it, so you may need to orient them to what they are seeing. Giving an overview of what they are looking at, then directing them to the area you’re focusing on will keep them following you throughout the demo.

Mistakes to avoid when giving a remote demo

Giving your clients a generic pitch may save time, but it’s a sure-fire way to bring your demo down. You can’t pretend that every client is the same, and has the same pain points or challenges. Instead, make your demos all about the specific prospect it’s intended for and apply what you’ve learned through your research about their goals and ambitions by highlighting the three most important things you think they want to see addressed.

And make sure you do a tech check before starting any remote demo. Get everything ready ahead of time so it all works smoothly and you don’t kill the momentum.

Getting it right

It’s important to recognize that remote demos aren’t the same as traditional ones, and do need tweaking to have an impact on the clients you want to attract. To be successful, you need to be prepared, make sure that you get your message across quickly and effectively, and that you do everything you can to keep your audience engaged to the very end.