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The secrets to a great veterinary software demo experience

The secrets to a great veterinary software demo experience

A thorough search for cloud-based veterinary software involves many stages.

Among those stages, you need to look at what your current practice management system can and can’t do, then research how cloud-based software will be able to resolve those functional gaps and improve your daily workflows. And once you’ve gathered all the information, it’s time to take that cloud-based solution for a spin.

The software demo is your chance to learn about the product’s core functionality and to see up close how well it addresses your needs. Vendors (typically a salesperson and a product specialist) will be eager to sell you on the key benefits of their solution, but this is a great opportunity for you to maintain an upper hand in the conversation and get the most value out of the experience. It takes being prepared.

In this article, we’ll walk you through a typical veterinary software demo experience, from start to finish, providing you with the questions and talking points to keep handy, including:

How to prepare for a software demo

The work you put into understanding your software challenges, as well as your motivations for switching to a cloud-based system, will best position you for a worthwhile demo experience – both for you and the software provider. In other words: the better you can express your own needs, the better the demo can be tailored to suit you.

Conversation starters

At the beginning of a demo, expect the vendor to ask you a series of general “discovery” questions, which may include:

  • Why are you interested in switching to cloud-based practice management software?

  • What are your biggest challenges in practice, and how are you currently managing them?

  • What have you seen/heard about our software that most interests you?

  • How motivated are you to change practice software, and how soon are you hoping to switch?

Questions about your current software

Vendors will want to know more about why your current system is (or isn’t) working well:

  • Do you think your current software is helping or hurting your ability to solve your problems?

  • Is your current software saving you time?

  • How well does your staff know how to use your current software effectively?

  • How would you rate the level of support you currently receive?

Questions about solving your challenges

As the conversation progresses, expect the vendor to pivot to exploring how their solution can help:

  • What are the top two or three things you would like our software to help you achieve?

  • What third-party integrations do you use, and do you hope to continue using them? 

  • What kinds of tasks would you like to automate with our software?

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Questions you should ask during the demo

Between learning about your challenges and giving you a tour of their software, the vendor has a lot to cover in the hour or so that a demo call typically lasts. But remember: this is your demo, and it’s up to you to gather as much information as possible about the solution and determine if it’s the right fit for your practice. 

Some questions to keep handy that may not have been answered before or during the demo:

  • What sets your software apart from your competitors?

  • Are there limits to how many users I can have on the system?

  • How customizable is your software?

  • How do you handle data migration; is it included in the cost; and is there information that typically doesn’t migrate?

  • Can you describe your software’s data security standards?

  • What new features and enhancements are planned for your software?

  • What are pricing options for your software?

  • Typically how many weeks does training and implementation take?

  • On average, how long does it take to receive a response from customer support after I call?

  • Are there any specific hardware or internet speed requirements?  

There’s no such thing as a dumb question. The vendor knows their product better than anyone else, and they want to show it off. During the demo, don’t be afraid to interrupt and ask them to go more slowly, repeat an explanation, or provide more details about the features. And tell them if something doesn’t make sense!

How to rate the demo experience

Once the demo concludes, you have a lot to digest, and you should take a few minutes to reflect. Ask yourself some of the following questions – and we encourage you to jot down your answers. After several demos with different software vendors, you’ll be glad to have notes that summarize each experience.

  • Did the vendor answer my questions and address all of my challenges?

  • Did they demonstrate a genuine understanding of my specific needs?

  • Did they present the software clearly and effectively and align it to my needs?

  • How did the software look? Modern and intuitive? 

  • Did the software meet my requirements for third-party integrations?

  • Did the software meet my requirements for data security?

  • Did they explain the data migration process clearly?

  • Do I trust them to be a partner and to offer good customer support?

Key takeaways

  • Being prepared before you enter the software demo will help ensure that the vendor can tailor the experience to your specific needs.
  • Ask as many questions of the software and of the company as you like – there are no dumb questions!
  • Take the time to reflect on the quality of the demo, and keep notes so you can compare your experiences with each software vendor.



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