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What is Demo Automation Software?

Randy FrankMarch 16, 2021

The product demo is a pivotal step in the B2B selling motion. It is the first opportunity for prospects to get their eyes on your product and determine if your solution is the right fit for their unique business challenges and needs.

Sales talk can be cheap. Fancy infographics, customer testimonials, and product reviews got the prospect to the door, but it is the product demo that brings the prospect inside.

The demo is a critical step in the sales process, but is often the most time and resource intensive piece in the deal puzzle.

Do Automated Demos Work?

Automated demos can prove to be effective and engaging pieces of presales content if used correctly. These demos are intended to give users a high-level but hands-on product experience without needing to engage a sales rep or sale engineer.

While they can be a valuable supplement, demo automation should never be a full replacement for human interaction in the sales cycle.

Automated demos give prospects an early, hands-on experience to touch and feel working product functionality. Unlike a full trial or sandbox, automated demos give prospects the appropriate guard rails to successfully navigate across a potentially complex product offering.

Unlike a static video recording, an automated demo gets your prospect in front of the actual product offering to explore your solution. This unique early experience can be a powerful driver to get your prospect to take future action or share the immersive experience with their team and internal decision makers.

Where Do Automated Demos Fit in the Sales Process?

An automated demo can be a powerful tool in the modern seller’s toolkit. However, this tool is not intended to replace the human element from B2B sales. Like any automation solution, demo automation tools are used to help make jobs easier not replace them entirely.

An automated demo must highlight product value and unique positioning to solve a business challenge. Simply showing off features is not the goal here. An automated demo should strive to uncover real value.

The goal of the automated demo is to provide prospects with an engaging introduction to your product. These quick demos empower your potential buyer to take a brief look into the power of your platform and prompts them to want to learn more about how your solution can be used to solve their unique business challenges and goals. This quick taste gets prospects excited and eager to dive deeper into the solution.

Where Demo Automation Fails

Demos are a uniquely personal and intimate part of the sales process. It is the first time a prospective buyer is exposed to a vendor’s prized possession, the product. Traditionally, product demos have been a gated and eventful process that require multiple set up calls and appropriate approval. The role of the product demo is changing as vendors seek to become product-led and use their product as a key prospect qualification tool.

Demo automation can not be the final step in selling process. Vendors need to clearly articulate that the automated demo is the entry point into future conversations. Call to actions to request additional details should clearly appear throughout these demo experiences to inform prospects on how to continue with the next steps in the selling process.

An automated demo without any followup is no better than a video or slideshow. Automated demos need to capture user engagement to help sales and marketing teams better understand prospect qualification and opportunity. Integrated demo analytics can be a powerful tool to quantify the opportunity and tailor the appropriate follow up for a prospect.

Lastly, canned content does not satisfy a customer’s request for a demo. A demo needs to be a hands-on experience. Watching a video does not get a prospect excited about a solution. Prospects are requesting a demo because they want to explore a solution first-hand. Automated demos are no different. These demos need to get your prospect excited about a solution or offering and ready to take the next step.

Why Automate a Demo?

B2B sales is evolving as vendors look to give their prospects more freedom to make purchasing decisions. Low touch sales is becoming the norm as prospects want to avoid talking to sales when buying software. Demo automation is a perfect fit for these early stage prospects who want to get hands-on with working, set up product functionality but are not ready to commit for a full sales-led demo.

From the vendor side, demo automation can be used to help excite and qualify prospects who traditionally would not get a full product demo. If prospect in a non-traditional buyer industry or at a low deal size wanted to explore a product, the answer today is often no. Automated demos enable anyone to explore a solution to get to the “wow” moment. Plus you never know where new buyers are coming from.

This automated approach enables companies to save valuable selling hours are saving time to focus on higher value, qualified initiatives.

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