Saas Demo Best Practices: 5 Tips and Advantages

saas demo best practices

Offering a demo can be beneficial in converting prospects. If it takes a long time for people to experience the value of the product, it’s complicated to set up or learn, or there’s no additional value in the paid version, free trials may be hurting your business. So for some SaaS companies, it makes more sense to adopt the tried and true technique of traditional tech sales – the demo. In this  blog, we walk through SaaS demo best practices, offering some key tips for success.


5  SaaS Demo Best Practices to Increase Conversion 

1. Automate scheduling.

Make it easy for people to schedule your SaaS demo at their own convenience. We set up a calendar system for our client Acctivate, which allows prospects to choose the day and time for the meeting. Follow up with reminders and a simple way to reschedule if necessary.

saas demo Saas demo best practices: calendar

2. Start with the customer.

Before the SaaS demo, learn everything you can about your customer’s goals, their SaaS marketing challenges, current situation and priorities. During the demo, avoid diving into your presentation; ask questions first.

  • Why did they sign up?
  • What are the evaluation criteria?
  • What other competitors are they evaluating?
  • What problems are they trying to solve with your product?
  • How are they currently dealing with these pain points?


Use the information to create a bridge between the pain they feel now and the pain-free future they can have with your service.

3. Soft-pedal the features.

Don’t worry about pointing out every astonishing thing your product can do. Customers don’t really care. They want to hear about how they’ll increase sales, earn more money or get work done faster. Tell that story convincingly, and you’ll build the trust that drives conversions.

4. Offer the free trial after the SaaS demo.

After your prospects understand how fabulous life will be with your product, go ahead and offer the free trial. Now they have the motivation to dive in and try it out. However, if the product requires a lot of set up, consider a self-serve demo in which people interact with a version populated with dummy data rather than starting from scratch.

Saas demo best practices: call to action

5. Stick with them.

Regardless of next steps, stay in touch. Send personal messages to ask how the free trial is going or whether they have additional questions. You’ll have a better chance of ensuring their success and overcoming objections that pop up after the demo.


5 Advantages of a SaaS Demo

Most SaaS companies offer a free trial or freemium version of their products as a way to convert triers to buyers. But most prospects never pull the trigger on a SaaS free trial; in fact, best-in-class conversion for opt-in free trials hovers around 25%.  Demos offer a more tailored approach to showcase your solution.

1. Prove your product solves the problem.

Customers come to you with a pain they’re trying to ameliorate. In a demo, you can uncover that pain and show people exactly how your product addresses it. Unlike a free trial in which customers focus mainly on features and function, demos help them explore ways your software can change their lives, a much stronger motivator to buy.

2. Learn more about your market.

People who opt for a live demo are motivated enough to devote their time to you. These days, that’s a serious buying sign. These folks are probably good representatives of your ideal customer, and the demo gives you a chance to understand their requirements, obstacles and priorities so you can convert more people like them in the long run.

3. Build a relationship.

For many SaaS businesses, users never interact with a person until they need tech support. But as products become more complex, the buying decision gets more difficult and confusing. With a demo, you can start a personal relationship with prospects and guide them as they move along the sales journey.

4. Build a market.

SaaS companies have the reputation of building new markets, addressing a need no one had thought to before. But market creators have to convince people to solve an old problem with a new approach.

Through a demo, you can explain why your innovation improves on the status quo and motivate potential buyers to adopt new behaviors. For example, Zenefits offers a live demo to help prospects make the jump to a new way of managing HR.

5. Own your niche.

Companies can be extremely successful competing in a crowded space if they focus on a niche inside it. For example, a SaaS business like Amadeus could thrive in the CRM (customer relationship management) world by creating a solution highly customized for the hospitality industry.

But success in a niche depends on owning a large share of that sub-market. A SaaS demo helps you position against the gorillas and differentiate your service as a higher-end, higher-touch option so you compete on value, not price.

Unlocking Success: Embrace SaaS Demo Best Practices

In the evolving landscape of SaaS sales, offering a product demo has emerged as a critical strategy to convert prospects into loyal customers. Through the insights shared in this blog, we’ve explored the undeniable advantages and outlined five pivotal best practices to enhance your SaaS demo experience. By automating scheduling, starting with the customer’s needs, focusing on solutions rather than features, offering free trials post-demo, and maintaining engagement, you set the stage for a compelling demonstration that speaks directly to your prospects’ desires and challenges.

Furthermore, the unique benefits a tailored demo provides—such as solving specific problems, gaining deeper market insights, forging meaningful relationships, pioneering new markets, and securing niche dominance—underscore its superiority over traditional free trials. Remember that the essence of a successful SaaS demo lies not just in showcasing your product but in manifesting its value as the optimal solution for your prospects.

By adhering to these SaaS demo best practices, you not only elevate your sales strategy but also ensure your product stands out as the best choice in a competitive market. Whether you plan to try a SaaS demo or want to stick with your current free trial approach, don’t lose sight of the goal. People will never buy unless they believe your product will work better than their current options. Even for SaaS companies, the demo may be the best way to get there.

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Author Profile
Tory Smith
Tory Smith co-founded Bay Leaf Digital, one of Texas’ first SaaS growth agencies. When he’s not offering marketing advice to SaaS companies, you can find Tory jamming out on stage with his 80s cover band, 80s Gadgets ( Connect with Tory on LinkedIn.