Three Immediate Benefits of Instant Demos
How do you share your product with interested, early-stage prospects? Time to value is a key consideration when prospects are evaluating business software solutions. No one likes waiting around for multiple discovery and qualification calls before even getting the opportunity to see the business value of solution. Instant demos can help prospects expedite this time to value and quickly get hands-on with product functionality.
What is an Instant Demo?
An instant demo gets interested prospective buyers in front of product functionality faster. Rather than having them wait outside in the front yard behind a gated fence, it invites them in the front door to evaluate your solution earlier in the buying cycle.
Showcasing a product demo is an impactful and popular method to share your product with potential buyers looking to learn more about your solution. A traditional product demo is a sales-led overview of various product features and components with the end goal of driving a follow-up conversation or eventual paid conversion. At this stage, a prospect is looking to learn more before making any commitment to a vendor. While they may be a serious buyer, many times the prospect is still “window shopping” and looking to get an early peek into working product functionality before making any decision about next steps.
This “window shopping” comes at a cost to your sales teams. Taking the time to walk early stage prospects through your product for each and every request quickly adds up to create large inefficiencies and a non-scalable sales process.
The Case for Instant Demos
Meet the instant demo - a guided product overview that prospects can explore and engage with on their own time to learn more about your service or offering. Unlike a full demo, an instant demo puts your prospect in the driver seat to explore a guided version of your application at their convenience. An instant demo is a quick peek into working product functionality to showcase an example of what a fully set-up product looks like to the end user. Traditional trials and sandbox environments can require hours (if not days) of set up, data integrations, and on-boarding before a prospect can fully visualize product value. An instant demo reduces this time all together and rapidly enables the prospect to quickly see working functionality.
Here are 3 ways that instant demos can immediately improve your demo-to-close rate and support your sales and growth initiatives.
1. Get Noticed
Providing customers with an instant demo is a strategy to stand out from the competition. This expedited time to value can be a huge competitive edge over other vendors in your space. If your competitions relies on a traditional sales-led selling motion to engage early stage customers, a prospect could potentially wait days (if not weeks) before seeing working product functionality. In this go-to-market, a prospect will schedule a demo, reschedule if needed, then eventually meet up for call or video conference. This window of inactivity introduces an opportunity for prospects to continue shopping around vendors and explore new options.
In addition to reducing the time to value, the instant demo provides a new and exciting call to action. The instant CTA gives buyers a choice that does not exist when putting time on a calendar or waiting to hear back from an Account Executive. It reduces the friction points that are typically associated with scheduling and qualification to give prospects the flexibility to explore on their own schedules. How many “Request a Demo” or “Book Time Here” call to actions are your prospects getting every day? Stand out from the crowd with a differentiated message.
An instant demo alternative for a prospect to explore on their own time is a unique sales tool to help you stand out from the pack. Differentiate from your competitors and don’t let your prospect get away before getting hands on with your solution.
2. Lead Generation
In addition to showcasing your product to early stage customers, instant demos can be used as a powerful sales prospecting tool. Not every prospect needs a full product tour. Your sales and sales engineering teams are busy. They don’t have the time to provide a demo for every prospect. Oftentimes, the prospects requesting these initial demos are not fully qualified and are “just browsing” or self-educating themselves on a new product or industry. The 30-minutes a seller spends delivering a demo to a largely unqualified prospect is 30-minutes that are taken away from a higher value initiative such as building a proof-of-value for a high intent customer.
Unlike a static video or recording, an interactive, clickable demo provides an opportunity for increased prospect engagement and puts the prospect in the driver seat. Additionally, the instant demo can be a goldmine for analytics. Unlike a video or slide deck, interactive demos force users to engage with the product. This engagement can be used to tell a story around feature interest, drop off, and overall prospect interaction. With this data, sales and marketing teams can paint a better picture of prospects before ever talking to them. Prospects that meet a certain engagement threshold, Product Qualified Leads, can be segmented and identified for additional follow up engagement - all before ever meeting with a sales rep.
A traditional product demo is a 1-on-1 experience where a sales engineer or rep walks a prospect through the product. Instant demos enable entire teams of prospects to explore that same product experience on their own time. Traditionally, if you miss a vendor’s live product demo, maybe you will be able to get a recording after the fact. With instant demos, the vendor can share an interactive and hands-on experience with a buyer team for additional engagement and internal sharing.
This means that the executive decision maker who missed the demo meeting, who typically would require a follow-up live demo weeks from now, can quickly explore the demo on their own time. This helps expedite the sales process and close deals faster. The demo follow up can make or break a deal. A strong supporting leave-behind asset (like an instant demo) can be your key to unlock the door to these decision makers within an organization. This asset will be your champion’s reference point when relaying relevant information and business value to teammates and leadership.
Lastly, this emphasis on demo sharing can lead to improved insights for vendor organizations. With integrated demo link tracking, teams can view who within a buyer organization is actually viewing the demo content. This helps sales teams paint a clearer picture of the buyer landscape to uncover new personas to engage with when positioning a solution. This intel can be invaluable when working in competitive deals or trying to close drawn-out enterprise contracts.
Instant demos are giving sales and marketing teams a new way to engage early prospective buyers. These experiential overviews get prospects in the driver’s seat faster without needing to wait through a lengthy sales cycle. They can help vendors stand out from the competition with a new and enticing call to action. Integrated analytics can help revenue organizations better evaluate who is exploring the product and generate leads, all before ever engaging a sales team. Lastly, instant demos provide teams with a new sales asset that can quickly be shared to better uncover prospective buyers within an organization.