By the time a prospective customer sees your product demo, they’re about 57 percent of the way toward a sale. That’s according to a major study by Google and the CEB Marketing Leadership Council, which surveyed 1,500 business leaders involved in key purchases for 22 top-performing B2B firms.

What does that mean for you as a SaaS startup? It means your prospects will more likely than not complete the sale going into the product demo. If they don’t, then the demo may be directly to blame.

Let’s talk about how to fix this so you fall on the better side of that software sales statistic.

Remove your product from the demo spotlight

A prospect approaches you. After a great chat, they want to schedule a demo. At this point, you probably think this is a great opportunity to sit them down in front of a computer, take a deep dive into your software, and show off all its bells and whistles.

Two women watch product demo on laptop

Stop right there. Please. For your own sake.

The product demo is not the time to go into the nitty-gritty about the intricacies of your software and best practices for how to use it.

At best, you inundate the potential customer with an in-depth walkthrough of features. Screen after and screen, you splash them with information until they feel like they’re drowning. The customer walks away wondering if your software won’t just add to their existing complications.

At worst, you end up like Bill Gates demoing Windows 98, getting the blue screen of death on live TV.

(Hopefully, you’ve worked all the bugs out of your software and it’s easy to navigate. But if you haven’t, you can safely sidestep them for the time being. These are concerns for a later date once the sale has been made. If you’re doing a product demo, then chances are you haven’t crossed that bridge yet.)

Let the customer show you where it hurts

Your potential customer is in pain. After all, they wouldn’t talk to you if they weren’t. At the start of this blossoming relationship, it’s your job to hear them out.

Your goal for the product demo is to identify the pain points your prospect faces every day. Then, you show how your software is the solution to ease that specific pain. That’s true no matter if you’re demoing at a trade show, or at the prospect’s office.

You’re set up to be the hero coming to the customer’s rescue. Moreover, you’ll likely be more successful retaining your SaaS customers with such a strong first impression.

Now let’s take a look at how you can clinch that sale with a killer demo.

What should a good product demo look like?

Dropbox is synonymous with cloud-based storage, and for good reason. Check out their slim demo video. You’ll see how well the company sells itself as a convenient software solution.

How can you make a product demo with similar impact? By following these three guidelines.

1) Focus on “Here’s what it does,” not “Here’s how it works”

You probably know that Dropbox is a cloud-based storage service. And yet, its demo video never once mentions the word “cloud.”

Likewise, the video doesn’t go into specifics about the amount of storage space you get, or how much monthly plans cost. The message cuts out the how and focuses on the outcomes. “When your stuff lives here, it’s on all your devices.”

Easy enough.

2) Identify and address pain points

Although it’s brief, Dropbox’s video does a good job at subtly addressing the concerns of its prospective audience. For business users, the pain point is the ease (or rather, the lack of it) with sharing files. Dropbox promises to debloat inboxes by taking files into its own ecosystem “without sending emails back and forth.”

For personal users, the pain point is how precious files such as photos and videos vanish when devices die or go missing. Those files will be safe in the cloud. You can even share them with friends and family who don’t have Dropbox accounts.

See how Dropbox addressed a potential pain point about its service before it was even brought up?

3) End on a high note

After dipping into the general benefits of using Dropbox, the video ends on a direct value proposition. “When your stuff lives on Dropbox, there’s a little more time for all the things you love to do.”

Yes, it’s easy to share documents. Yes, your files are backed up online if your device gets broken or lost. The video cuts right to the heart of the matter, which is saving users time and frustration. Makes you want to take the next step down the sales funnel, doesn’t it?

Looking to give your startup an edge?

Behold, “The 10 Commandments of SaaS Demand Gen.”

(Please forgive the biblical reference, but the content within it is golden.)