New Study Shows What Makes a Winning Sales Demo

Have you ever wondered what makes a winning sales demo? Well, the data science team at HubSpot, along with the Senior Director of, claim to have the answer. After studying over 67,149 SaaS sales demos in a 10-week period, they have come up with nine surprising things that make a winning sales demo.

How the study worked

The sales demos were recorded using platforms such as Zoom and GoToMeeting. Once finished, they were transcribed from speech to text and then analysed against sales outcomes in various CRM systems.

The teams used their skills and “machine learning engines” to identify common trends and point out what made a sales demo successful and what made one unsuccessful.

Although one can argue that every company is different and that a bunch of sales demo data can’t possibly identify sales trends, the team believes that they have identified at least nine trends with their data.

In this blog post, we will discuss these nine trends that cause a sales demo to lead to a closed deal.

Trend 1: Effective sales demos last longer than ineffective ones

The team found that sales demos that lead to a successful deal lasted 30.5% longer than those that were unsuccessful.

This shows that longer demos are better, but you need to apply some caution. Don’t extend your demo time just for the sake of having a longer demo. The team found that demos were longer because they were targeted and spoke to the audience.

Trend 2: Successful demos have 21% more “speaker switches” per minute

Unlike discovery calls where successful ones have a 46:54 talk-to-listen ratio, successful demos had a 65:35 talk-to-listen ratio. But what is more interesting is that although the sales rep spoke most of the time, he/she did not speak for longer than 76 seconds at a time. In unsuccessful demos, sales reps would speak for up to 106 seconds uninterrupted.

The results showed that although you must take charge of the demo, you must allow for conversation to take place. Deliver your pitch in short bursts instead of speaking for long periods of time. This allows your prospect to be a part of the conversation.

Trend 3: Successful demos have four phases

The results showed that successful demos have four phases:

  1. Contextual Overview
  2. Upside Down Pyramid
  3. Accelerated Interaction
  4. The Wrap Up

Trend 4: Contextual overview

Successful demos always start with a short introduction that sets the context of the demo. Topics that arose continuously in the first 10 minutes were:

  • Industry problems
  • Narratives
  • Overviews

By informing the prospect about the problems in the industry and letting them know how you solve that problem briefly, it will set the mood for positive expectation (a solution to their problems).

Trend 5: Upside down pyramid

Another surprising find is that successful demos start with the conclusion and works backwards to the other information. By stating the conclusion from the get-go, you build up an expectation for the rest of your demo.

Trend 6: Accelerated interaction

The study showed that in successful demos, dialogue between the sales rep and prospect increased as the demo progressed. In unsuccessful ones, the sales reps spoke most of the time.

This makes sense because if someone is truly interested in your product they will have questions and objections as you present. If they’re not conversing with you, chances are you’re just wasting their time.

Trend 7 & 8: The Wrap-up and Price talk

Another interesting fact is that pricing came up between the 38 to 46-minute mark in successful demos, but with unsuccessful ones, this was not certain. When they did speak about price, unsuccessful sales reps would speak for 8% longer than successful ones.

Experts advise that you need not spend longer than two minutes discussing your price. If your pricing model is too complicated to explain, you need to simplify it.

Trend 9: Next steps

Lastly, successful demos involved the sales rep planning and speaking of the next steps for at least four minutes. This was 12.7% longer than with unsuccessful ones.

Spending more time speaking about your next steps will help move the prospect down the sales funnel.


While these findings are not 100% set in stone, they can help you perform better with your sales demos. Analyse your own demos against your CRM data and let us know whether you find the same results!

SnappSales is an international lead generation company that provides qualified leads to the software and IT industry. We do inbound and outbound lead generation as well as website building. Contact us for more information.