May 14, 2024

The sales framework for successful demos: Discovery, Demo, Closing

Discover folk - the CRM for people-powered businesses

Wondering how to level up, or where to begin with your sales demonstration? To execute a successful sales demo, you need a strong tech stack and the right framework in place that will help your sales rep address your potential client pain points, have their buying process in mind, and more.

Fortunately, this isn't as complex as it sounds. Once you've got the basics covered it's easy to create a framework that aligns with your business needs.

In this blog post, we've put together the sales demo best practices you need to know at every stage of the sales process including discovery, demo and closing.

What does a sales demo involve?

A sales demo is a short handed way to refer to sales demonstrations. These can either refer to service or product. Essentially, it's a meeting between someone from your sales team and a potential customer where they get a demonstration of your product or service. Think of it as a sales presentation with your product in action – and the chance for your sales professionals to address any pain points that your prospective customers may have.

What are the key differences between sales demos and product demos?

Even though a sales demo and product demo is closely linked, there are a few key differences.

A sales demo is:

  • Highly customized according to a prospect's needs and pain points.
  • Focused on solving individual needs and,
  • Is geared towards driving a purchase decision.

While a product demo tends to be:

  • More general because it's aimed at a broader audience (think about videos you see on the homepage of a SaaS product website).
  • Focused on sharing the overall product's capabilities and features.
  • Is geared towards educating and creating awareness.

When should you do a sales demo?

Depending on where someone is in your sales cycle, sales demos can sometimes come from a few factors such as:

  • A response to a cold email or call requesting to book a demo
  • If someone signs up to a newsletter
  • If someone asks for more information, such as the price
  • A landing page
  • Gated content

Why is your sales demo process important?

Your sales demo process is a critical component of your sales cycle. Done well, it can help you close important deals. Done poorly, it can affect your brand reputation.

Below are a few factors your sales demo process can influence:

  • Brand reputation: Your product demo is closely linked to your customer experience, and is the first touch point between a potential customer and the product. Make sure that the way your team approaches a demo aligns with your brand values and messaging.
  • Product perception: The quality and effectiveness of the sales demo can influence how potential customers perceive the product or service. Having an engaging demo that can highlight the product’s value and benefits and address your potential customer's pain points will help you win points. Whereas a confusing or disorganized demo can leave someone with a bad impression and influence their decision-making stage.
  • Consistency across sales teams: Inconsistencies in the demo process across different sales representatives can lead to mixed experiences for potential customers. Ensuring that all demos meet a high standard of quality helps maintain a consistent and positive brand image.

One thing is clear. Your sales demo process can either make or break the potential impact of a key decision maker. This is why the best way to approach this is to make sure your demo strategy is consistent across every sales professional on your team.

What makes a sales demo process effective?

The key to an effective sales demo is making sure that your demo is customized to address your potential customer's pain points and business process. Doing so will help them understand how your product or service links to a problem they're trying to solve.

To make sure your sales demo process is consistent, you may want to use a CRM that is highly customizable so your sales team can have a complete overview on what stage of the sales cycle each prospect is at.

folk's sales pipeline management is highly customizable
It can also be used as a Kanban board

How do you deliver a sales demo?

There are a number of ways you can deliver a sales demo. This means that your team needs to have access to a strong tech stack to help them meet their status quo.

  • In person: This might be a conference you've booked a stall in.
  • Pre-recorded video: This might be multiple pre-recorded videos that can address the needs of any particular industries your target audience is in.
  • Video chat: A popular method especially in B2B SaaS is using video chat services like Zoom to do sales demos, and support tools such as Gong to gauge how well a sales rep is doing and specify any action items they can check to improve.

A sales framework you can recreate for successful sales demos

A successful sales demo framework can be broken down into three key phases: Discovery, Demo, and Closing. Each phase involves specific factors and steps to ensure a comprehensive and effective sales process.

1. Discovery phase

The discovery phase involves research on your prospect. This is usually done by the sales rep who will be leading the call. You might want to make sure that everyone on your team collects basic information on their prospect by sharing a list that they can refer to and create consistency.

It might look something like:

  • Prospect name
  • Job title
  • Company Name, Company size and industry
  • Pain points and roadblocks
  • Strategic objectives
  • Key decision makers

Our top tip? Use folk to create collaborative notes with your team so that you can create one source of truth.

Keep notes from your discovery phase collaboratively in folk

2. Demo phase

Remember, this sales demo is a chance for your target audience to take the product on a test drive. So you'll want to make sure to have a clear demo agenda that:

  • Is customized for each prospect: You're using the demo to prove that your product can solve a prospect's particular business problem. Be clear on your product's value propositions
  • Includes real world data: Share any social proof such as successful use cases your customer success team may have shared so they understand its potential impact and why it's a great product.
  • Leaves time for feedback: Demos shouldn't be one-sided there should always be a Q&A session. Make sure you're blocking some time for your prospect to ask any questions, share feedback they have, and share any common questions you get for a specific problem they face.

3. Closing phase

Towards the end of your sales demo, you'll want to leave some clear action points for your prospect. Now's the time to:

  • Recap: Summarize what you've discussed at a high level. Paying attention in particular to the key features and benefits covered in the demo, and how they address your prospect's immediate needs.
  • Share a clear call to action: Prompt the prospect to take the next step, whether it’s agreeing to a follow-up meeting, starting a free trial, or making a purchase.
  • Outline any other action items for next steps: Outline the next steps in the sales process. This could include sending a proposal, scheduling a follow-up meeting, or providing additional materials. You should also make sure to provide a rough timeline for moving forward.

What's next?

Once the sales demo is done, make sure you follow-up with a thank you note, and nurture your business relationship.

Follow-up with a thank you note

Once the demo is over, you'll also want to make sure to send a follow-up email. This is a great way to remind a prospect what you covered and to also build rapport. This might look like a thank you note, reiterating the key points discussed during the demo, the main value proposition and expressing appreciation for their time.

Nurture your business relationship

Further down the line, you may want to create way forward to keep the prospect engaged with relevant content, updates, and follow-up communications to maintain momentum and move them closer to a purchase decision.


Getting your sales team on the same page is a challenge a lot of sales leaders face. Especially when their sales reps are always busy. That's why getting everyone on the same page when it comes to how they execute a sales demo process is a critical component. If you're looking for a customer relationship managment tool that can help your team have an overview of prospective customer, sales pitch that has been tried and tested and is highly customizable for any sales cycle, folk can help. Try folk today, free.

More resources

Looking for more resources for your sales team? Check out these blogs.