The Anatomy of a Perfect Software Demo Agenda
You scheduled a product demo! Congratulations are in order. After weeks or even months of prospecting, qualifying, and discovery, it finally happened. It is a huge accomplishment. But of course, there is still a lot of work to be done.
You have learned a lot about your prospect’s business and pain points. The next step is to develop a game plan to demonstrate how your product solves those specific challenges. It starts with the demo agenda.
Your software demo agenda lets all the stakeholders know what you plan to cover in the demo meeting. As a sales professional, you are likely an expert at setting expectations, and designing the perfect demo meeting agenda is all about managing expectations.
There are a few things you need to share about the demo so your prospects feel confident that you are on the same page and they aren’t wasting their time. When everyone knows in advance exactly what the demo will entail, they’ll anticipate the presentation with enthusiasm.
Let’s explore how you can create a software demo agenda to set the right tone and expectations for success.
Why You Should Always Start With an Agenda
If you have ever wondered how to start a demo, experienced sales reps will tell you the same thing—begin the meeting with the agenda to set the tone and keep everyone focused on the main points of the meeting.
But remember, an agenda is not merely a list of topics and product features you hope to discuss. Rather, it is a strategic roadmap for your demo, designed specifically for the prospect and their business.
The agenda tells everyone why they are attending the demo, what they will get out of it at the end, and how long it will take to complete.
Designing an agenda should never be an afterthought. If anything, it is the first thing you should think about before setting up the actual demo. The agenda is your outline that guides the Why? What? and How? your software solves the prospect’s pain points.
And to ensure the agenda is aligned with your prospect’s needs, send it to them in your reminder email during work hours, one day (24 hours) before the demo.
The Best Way to Send Your Agenda in Advance
If you want to have a rock-solid demo presentation, it’s best to send your agenda with anticipation.
“Sending an email reminder 24 hours before the meeting has significantly decreased our demo no-shows and allows us to get a buy-in from all the attendees in advance” – Wilhelm Bacher, Head of Customer Success at Demodesk
You might be missing some items that your prospects were expecting. It is much better to find out beforehand and adjust your demo than to be surprised on the day of the demo. Moreover, your prospects will feel part of the process when they get to comment on and influence the agenda.
The best way to set expectations is to ask your prospects what they want to take away from it. When the meeting day arrives, you’ll have all the confidence in the world that your demo is dialed-in to meet their core needs.
You can use a scheduling software tool like Demodesk to personalize your reminder email by:
- Adding the fields and information once
- Sending each attendee an email that includes their first name, company name, and customized agenda.
- Responding to them personally if they have questions.
Here’s an example of a personalized reminder email template (with agenda):
Here’s an example email to help you paint a better picture:
Hope your week is going great so far! I’m reaching out with a quick reminder for our demo tomorrow at 9AM EST. Here’s the agenda for our call:
– Quick introduction to Demodesk
– Overview of Demodesk (and anything you’d like to know!)
– How we can help you improve the onboarding experience for your customers
Please use this link to dial in shortly before the call: demodesk/wilhelm-bacher.
How to Design an Effective Demo Agenda
“Start your demo with the problem you spent the most time on during discovery. Then move to the business problem you spent the second most time on during discovery” –Chris Orlob
Does your agenda directly address the prospect’s challenges that were discussed in discovery and demonstrate a clear path to achieving business success?
When thinking about designing the agenda, frame the entire conversation around their business needs, and show how your software specifically solves those challenges. Begin with the most pressing pain point or goal first and move down the list.
Show how your software addresses each issue and follow it up with a case study from one of your other clients. The one-two punch of solution plus a real-world example is a powerful combination.
Finally, your agenda should include room for questions and the next steps. You want to save certain topics for the end. For example, you don’t want to talk about pricing in the first 15 minutes. Wait until you’ve established value before sensitive discussions such as pricing commence.
A Typical 30-minute Demo Agenda Breakdown
In our experience, the best demos are always completed on time. Your prospects are super busy, and the easiest way to show them respect is to start and finish on time.
Yes, it sounds straightforward to stay within time. But, it is a common occurrence to run over, especially when demos only last 30 minutes.
Managing your time while controlling the demo discussion is hard and takes practice. A prospect can judge a sales professional’s expertise based on if they finish a demo in the agreed-upon timeframe.
So, before you finalize your agenda, estimate the timing for each section. You don’t need to share the specific timing details for each agenda item with your audience, but you should have a predetermined idea of how long each section should take.
Staying within time is paramount, but give yourself some flexibility for each section. Sometimes you have to read the room and shift gears. If you use the timer on your screen-sharing software, you’ll know exactly how much time you have and move into the Q&A phase of the meeting at the right moment.
- Introduction (5 minutes): Re-establish rapport and connect with everyone on the call to establish trust. Share the agenda.
- Set the stage (5 minutes): Remind them of their top business challenges and give them an overview of how you are going to help them.
- Solution Mapping (15 minutes): Address each pain point and solution by focusing on the most relevant benefits of your solution. Focus on the three biggest pain points.
- Next steps (5 minutes): Discuss your prospect’s decision-making process and what else they need to move the deal forward.
Your Agenda Keeps Everyone Moving Forward
Your demo agenda is more than a table of contents that you breeze through to start the meeting. It’s an opportunity for you to keep the sale moving along smoothly.
When you design an agenda geared to solving your prospect’s core issues that all attendees agree to beforehand, the heavy-lifting of the demo is already done. Everyone is aligned and excited to see the product and the actual demo becomes the icing on the cake.
Wait! Still having trouble scheduling your demo? Read the previous article all about demo scheduling best practices.