What is Demo Software?

Creating amazing software takes a lot of hard work, but that alone won’t guarantee its success. Prospective customers have to have exposure to the product to understand how they can get value out of it. However, teams may not always be ready to give prospects full access to their software on the first call. Or they may not have the engineering resources to build a free trial or lightweight version of the software.

Demo software lets prospects interact and see value from a product, without needing a product or engineering team to build anything. Let’s dive into what exactly is demo software and the pros and cons of different options on the market.

What is demo software?

Demo software is a term that’s given to any tools and solutions designed to help teams showcase their product to prospective buyers and end-users.

Simply put, it’s any version of a software program that’s made available for free so that people can use it to decide if they wish to purchase it or not.

Demo software is an incredibly valuable part of the software sales process and can often mean the difference between a lost prospect and a closed deal.

Why is demo software important for growth teams?

Growth teams’ goals are to increase the rate of customer acquisition, retention, and revenue. Demo software can help them toward all of these goals. Demo software:

  • Increases leads
  • Allows users to explore the product without feeling like a salesperson is breathing down their neck
  • Can be tailored to present the features that best showcase the product and its potential value to end users
  • Can be tailored to suit the target customers’ attention span
  • Can be distributed as per the growth teams’ decisions
  • Saves time and expenses in sales
  • Usually means that customers have less issues after purchasing. This in turn results in higher customer satisfaction and therefore retention.
  • Can provide analytics that will improve future product demonstrations as well as the product itself
  • Is a key feature of product-led growth and greatly reduces time-to-value for a product
  • Examples of demo software

    There are different types of demo software available, and marketing or growth teams may choose different options depending on their buyer persona and target audience. Here are some of the formats available as well as some examples of those formats.

    Video creation software

    This type of demo usually focuses on the pain points that prospects have and common, desired requirements. Two great examples are Loom Video and Camtasia.

    Loom software makes it possible to record and share short videos of a person’s screen and camera. It was a useful tool even before the pandemic but found a wider market since remote working became popular. The home page of Loom’s website features plenty of looped videos that clearly show what the software looks like in use, making it easy for prospective customers to see what they can expect from Loom.

    Camtasia is screen recording software meant to create tutorials, demos, training videos, etc. Their product page features a 93-second video showcasing the pain points that their potential customers have, such as wanting to create tutorials, and then shows them how Camtasia’s demo creation software can be used to do this easily as opposed to buying plenty of equipment and learning how to professionally edit videos.

    Pros:

  • Easy to understand
  • Reusable
  • Multifunctional
  • Addresses a large audience
  • Boosts brand awareness
  • Boosts brand homogeny
  • Gives customers a very clear idea of what to expect
  • Cons:

  • Not very personalized - because video demonstrations cater to such a wide audience, they aren’t personalized enough to appeal to a select group of people
  • Not precise enough - many customers would like to not only understand and view the product in more depth but try it out as well
  • Screenshare software

    Screensharing software lets salespeople walk through their product with a prospect live. Some of the most common examples are Zoom or Google hangouts.

    Another option tailored for salespeople is Demodesk, a screen-sharing technology that’s entirely web-based. It’s a solution meant to help salespeople sell better by capturing insights, enhancing products, and integrating with existing CRMs. Demodesk also has a 7-day free trial and a video demo of how their product works.

    Pros:

  • Builds brand recognition
  • Builds brand homogeneity
  • Incredibly simple and easy to do
  • Affordable
  • Cons:

  • Not interactive - the salesperson is leading the call, meaning the prospect can easily check out or not understand how to use the product themselves
  • Reliant on the salesperson’s time - the prospect, in this case, is reliant on the availability of the salesperson, meaning deals could be lost due to scheduling conflicts
  • Interactive demo software

    Interactive demos are lightweight clickable versions of your product that don’t require any coding or engineering to set up. They let allow potential buyers to feel like they are using the product and become familiar with it before they buy it.

    For example, on one of their promotional pages, Intuit has a “try clickable demo” CTA. This allows potential prospects to see if they are interested in the product before signing up for the promotion. We also show off our own interactive demo and how it was built on the homepage of our website.

    Pros:

  • Ability to present plenty of information
  • In-depth - customers get a great idea of the product and can make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing
  • Boosts brand recognition
  • Boosts brand trust - customers feel that the company is proud of their product and eager to share it with them
  • Improved customer interest retention - engagement is easier with interaction
  • Helps users understand what is required of them when using the software
  • Cons:

  • Risk of competitors seeing the product - there is a risk that competitors will also be able to access it. However, in this day in age, if customers want access to a product, they’ll find a way to see it.
  • Customers want to see a demo with their data - since product tours are front-end captures, they won’t have actual customer data besides the data in a staging account. Some product tours though can edit screen captures so the tour appears to have custom data.
  • Why try interactive demo software?

    There are many different ways for brands to provide interactive product demos for their potential customers. They can be featured in a website product tour, email program, outbound sales outreach, and more.

    When done right, interactive demo software can eliminate bottlenecks to growth and reduce the cost and hassle of acquiring new customers.

    Build interactive product tours.Request a demo with our team.