The sales demo environment is critical for sales performance in the SaaS industry. In different stages of sales, the sales team needs to have the right demos to go deep into the sales funnel. Especially if the software or platform is complicated and offers custom solutions, the sales team will need to prove it with many different use cases. In this post, we discuss the sales demo environment and why it matters.

Difference Between Sales Demos & POC 

Before we jump into the sales demo environment, let's make it clear that we are talking about a virtual product demo environment. When the sales team demonstrates the product, there are two ways to showcase the product values. One is a sales demo, and the other one is POC (proof of concept). Sales demos and POC are often confusing, but these are mainly used for the different sales funnels. The sale demo that is effective in the discovery funnel focuses on showing product features and helps the prospect understand what features the product has and how it works in general. POC, Proof of Concept, on the other hand, is used for the interest & evaluation stage in the sales funnel. It shows how this software can solve prospect problems in a specific situation, which demonstrates the solution in a “real-time” environment. A sales demo can be a product interface walk-through tour, without a complex setup, however, POC requires a virtual demo environment with relevant data and versatile demo platforms with public clouds to prove customized software product performance. 

So, What Is A Demo Environment?

A demo environment represents a virtual software product environment where the sales team can show live software performance. Especially for a complex product, the sales team tailors demo environments for prospect needs. Salespeople can show real-life scenarios of how the software solves the prospect’s problem and the prospect can try the software during the demo session. 

Why Are Demo Environments Important? 

Demonstrating the software often uses the metaphor ‘Test Drive’. Prospects have the key to driving the software (exploring and having an experience).  When the demo environment is showing the product's values or how it works for their day-to-day, prospects will understand how it solves their problem. This is why a demo environment is so important. For a successful live product demo, a demo environment should be customized for prospects’ needs and need versatile platform supports. 

One of the common issues that the sales team faces in a live demo session is that the live demo crashes during the sales pitch. Sometimes the sales team showcases its product with the pre-release version of the software, and it doesn’t work correctly in front of prospects. Imagine the demo crashed, everyone says nothing for a few mins… and the salesperson tries to explain like this… “HaHa, well, we are still working on upgrading our system”. Another problem is data is not relative or realistic and prospects don’t feel it as real. Prospects might say  “that data.. We are not expecting to see it in real life…” (On one of the podcasts, sales engineers discussed the horror story in a live product demo session, and one of the sales engineers said they showed a product with showing ROI data, and prospects made a joke “That ROI is what we don’t want to see in real life! ”). These common problems never help the sales team close the deals.

Strategic Plan For Sales Process with Product Demo

For successful sales strategies, the product marketing team and sales team, or sometimes the solution engineering team and sales engineering team work together and find the best way to showcase product values. However, as we all know it is not easy to maintain all different sales collaterals internally because everyone has a full plate, or due to a lack of internal resources. Sometimes it takes too long to set up the sandbox demo environment and tailor each demo for prospects' needs with IT teams and maintaining updated content is a long journey.

Experts argue that building and maintaining a demo environment is time-consuming and risky. The best way to handle it is to collaborate with external professionals. 

Tacpoint product demo solution can help your team with end-to-end support. We get to focus on what we can do the best and help your team have the best sales collateral. Learn more about Tacpoint Demo!

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Demo vs Proof of Concept (POC) 2022

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