What is a Sandbox Environment?
A sandbox environment or product sandbox is a testing environment that enables a user to experiment and explore a logically isolated system or repository. Sandbox environments give developers and users the ability to quickly build and test applications and services without needing to worry about modifying live production code.
Like a child’s sandbox, a software sandbox environment gives users the ability to play in a controlled setting and use their imagination to build creations from scratch. Developer sandboxes are often used for early stage, pre-production testing and integration support, but how can a sandbox environment effectively be used to support the sales cycle?
How to Use a Sandbox for Sales
A product sandbox can be a powerful sales tool if used correctly. Sandbox environments give users a hands-on product experience to explore a solution on their own time. In this setting, a prospective buyer can explore various features to test out capabilities and integrations first-hand.
A open sandbox also is a powerful incentive to push a deal forward. After a vendor shares sales collateral and a product demo, a sandbox can be a helpful tool to keep an offering top of mind for the prospect and decision makers. It enables a prospective buyer to touch and feel the product first-hand to better evaluate if the solution will be a fit for their unique business needs and challenges.
Sandboxes give your sales team the rare opportunity to show, rather than tell, your solution’s value. Marketing talk and sales collateral can be a helpful way to get a prospective buyer in the front door, but the product is what will ultimately close the deal. A sandbox environment gets a user engaged and bought in through hands-on adoption.
How to Build a Sandbox
Building a sandbox environment can be challenging. You need to showcase your product in an easy-to-understand, yet comprehensive setting. Additionally, you need to provide the right context and data so a user can quickly see the value for their own unique business needs and requirements.
A sandbox with no toys is just a pile of sand.
Users need guides and inspiration to be successful and understand the value of your solution. They want to quickly see the product value without needing to dig deep or navigate around a complex environment.
A sandbox should be simple and direct. Users coming in for the first time can quickly get lost in a sea of product features and menu items. Modern SaaS apps can be complex and powerful, but a sandbox should focus a user towards a select set of capabilities as to not overwhelm.
Why Sandboxes Work
Sandbox environments give prospective buyers a quick insight into the inner workings of a product. They enable a prospect to actually get hands-on with a solution and step away from the marketing and sales talk to experience the product value. This first-hand experience is essential for today’s buyer who expects to try before they buy.