March 12, 2016 by Ashwin Ramasamy

We are not building a ‘SaaS Demo’ product. With that, you could now bring down your guards :).

PipeCandy is being built on top of several products that are currently used by sales reps. We need to work with data partners, text analysis software providers, CRM systems, and many more solutions that are common in the SaaS sales / customer relationship landscape.

Part of my job, calls for sitting in numerous demos. I am glad that I did. These demos have been informing me of how not to do demos than how to.


You are not a tennis ball machine that throws questions

Sales Development Representatives are trained to qualify their leads. I’ve been a sales person too and I’m with you, Dear SDR, as you put me through an agonizing round of interrogation that could be rivaled in excruciation only by the TSA that does it in the name of homeland security.

But, be human.

Instead of saying “Hey Ashwin, I’m going to ask you a few questions so that I can accordingly talk about the benefits of ….. in your context” try saying “Hey Ashwin, I was looking up your profile on LinkedIn and then jumped to look totally different. I’m going to remember you the aviator guy with a beard!”.

Do a small talk. I can totally spend my 5 seconds feeling a bit warm and friendly than facing a tennis ball machine that throws questions.


The demo is for “me”. Keep “me” in the focus.

The primary purpose of a demo is to make me feel that you’re good for me. The secondary purpose is for you to check out if I am good for you. Don’t be too selfish and focus on the secondary purpose. Woo me first.


  1. Don’t ask me what role I play in the company. Google or LinkedIn me. (LinkedIn, I’ve used you as a verb. That must be a first for you. Now, be nice and don’t keep rejecting my card every month. I am your paying customer whom you keep un-customering!)
  2. Wherever it is relevant, put my name in the demo
  3. Don’t show me “Acme Company”. Show me “My company”, “My customers” and “My colleagues”



Respect my time. Prepare ahead for the demo. Ask me all your qualification questions over the email. Ask for my context and expectations. Give me a tailored demo that tells me why exactly your product is a good fit (or getting there). I recently sat through the demo of one of the world’s leading marketing software companies. The rep said that we could as well use LinkedIn than their product. He was being honest but he could totally have avoided the demo, had he qualified my expectations better.

[bctt tweet=”A good sales demo starts much before the demo. Ask me questions. Understand & set expectations!”]


You ask me out on a date. I did not agree for a sleepover.

Don’t confuse courtesy in a demo for confirmation.

Most prospects keep their cards close. This is to allow themselves the time  & the space required to make a decision. Respect that. The same SDR from the company that I mentioned above, asked me if I’d be fine with a 3-month contract or a 6-month or a year’s contract. If I did confirm the longer duration one, he promised that I’d get a special rate and he’ll get that worked out for me. I am not a noob. I know that longer duration contracts get better pricing. The SDR isn’t pulling any special favor. Besides sounding disingenuous, he was also pushing me for a closure right in the middle of a demo.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t confuse courtesy in a sales demo for confirmation. Don’t suggest a sleepover right after the first date! “]

Don’t be so insecure.

I agreed to be on a date. Don’t overdo and say something stupid like “I love you!”. Wave hands at me at the corridor. Send me a joke. Plan an accidental meeting at the water cooler. Be there. Don’t be there.

I’ll sign off this post with a note for you to remember what to do in your next SaaS Demo

A good sales demo

  1. Starts well before the demo – Ask questions. Understand and Set Expectations.
  2. Happens when you talk, socialize and empathize like a human.
  3. is not an accident. Customize it for me. Floor me or at least, attempt to make me remember.
  4. stops with the demo. Don’t push me to decide right there.
  5. is followed by careful and sensitive follow-ups.

Being thoughtful is never out of fashion. That’s why we are building PipeCandy that enables sales reps to come across as genuine, helpful people that care about their prospects. Sign Up for early access.

Ashwin Ramasamy

Co-founder @ PipeCandy

Slips poor jokes & gets away with a poker face. Carries a no BS attitude at getting things done. First to arrive at the office, Ashwin’s energy does not ebb through the day. Ashwin is one of the co-founders and he sets the tone for marketing, sales, design & culture.