Driving Product-Led Growth with Interactive Demos

Neil Mclean
September 04, 2021

Experiment

Nowadays, end-users often determine who wins in SaaS. They are more likely to find products on their own and tell their bosses which ones to buy. The best software companies have adapted to this market shift and have built it into the core of their strategy, by embracing product-led growth.

The Rise of Product-Led Growth

In the beginning, software lived in a physical disk, installed into physical racks. Product distribution mostly relied on well-dressed sales reps who wooed CIOs during dinners, convincing them to buy the product for their company.

But with time, software development costs gradually fell as we moved from physical disks to in-house data centers, eventually ending up in the cloud.

Additionally, the rise of robust APIs offering common services such as payments meant that developers no longer had to hand-code products from scratch. They could instead stitch together building blocks for a new logic.

Reduced development and distribution costs have been passed down to customers, as they now get to try out new products at minimal costs or for free.

Thousands of new products are now just a Google search away. And each product stands out based on how easy it is for buyers to evaluate it in a frictionless way, before committing to pay.

The essence of product-led growth is to therefore attract tons of individual end-users to a product, without entirely relying on sales-led (read human powered) motions.

It aims to reduce the customer acquisition cost by empowering users to find and adopt your product on their own.

What is time to value and why is it important in software sales?

In this business, one of the ways you can stand out and retain more users is by reducing time to value. Time to value is the time it takes for a customer to gain value from your product. And if it takes longer to show your product’s value, customers won’t hesitate to look for options.

Simply put, your customers need to easily determine your product is the right fit for their needs. No one wants to commit to a product that may not even do what it says.

How Interactive Demos Can Reduce Time to Value

Interactive demos are a sure way to communicate your product’s value to a customer in a way that allows them to test the product firsthand.

When we say interactive demos, what comes to mind? Boring screen shares with salespeople trying to nudge you into buying their product? Perhaps this has happened to you before, and you know how uncomfortable it can be.

Demos, in this context, are not just plain demonstrations where the client sits back and lets a sales engineer go on and on about how good their software is.

Think of interactive demos as a more authentic way to guide first-time users through the product. They are commonly embedded on marketing websites or sent in email outreach.

The idea is to give prospects easy access to your product and make them like it by reducing the friction often associated with onboarding first-time users. This way, you can use product demos to drive higher conversion rates and uniquely engage prospects.

Product Demos as Part of Marketing

A key way marketing teams are adopting interactive demos is by making it available directly on the website or through your marketing channels.

This way, multiple buyers can experience the product uniquely during their desired time without having to add any strain to your sales teams.

This also allows you to track the buyer’s interaction with your online demo, to understand where buyers are in their journey, and how you could optimize for more conversions.

Demos That Anticipate a Buyer’s Questions.

Most B2B software buyers have a set of questions or concerns that need to be addressed for them to decide whether your product meets their needs.

Using your products to deliver relevant product experiences early and often in the buyer’s journey not only makes your product a better fit for them but also helps you sell more effectively.

This can also significantly reduce your customer acquisition costs. For instance, while your competitors are talking to every person that wants to see their product 1-1, you can provide access at scale to a limited scope of product access that engages prospects, without revealing the demo.

Conclusion

Demos, when done right, can be a key part of product-led growth. Not only do they reduce the cost of acquiring customers but also eliminate the bottlenecks to growth with the traditional sales-led model.

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