Modernizing the software demonstration can help prospects better understand your product value and keep your digital buyers connected to your product throughout the buying process.
Greg Dickinson is the CEO and founder of Omedym, which is “my demo” spelled backward. He’s trying to help businesses utilize today’s latest and greatest technologies to augment and improve the digital demo process.
Most sellers can point to a personal experience in which a bad product experience eliminated a vendor from consideration in the buying process.
People tend to have different processes and sometimes the more junior players are the ones that are giving the top-of-the-funnel demos. If you ask your team members to each give a demo, you might find yourself wondering if each person is selling the same product. The demos can be that different.
Buyers are more digital than they were five years ago, which is the biggest challenge in the software demo industry. The average software buyer spends 5 percent of the buying process with the sales team. So if you think about the “request a demo” button on your website, it’s your first interaction with a potential buyer. For most companies, that button generates a pop-up form, and the bounce rate in the industry is 85 percent.
People at the top of the funnel want to learn a little more about your product. Maybe they read some content about your product and they want to see a video. When a form pops up, your digital buyer leaves your website.
Sellers, ask yourself as a buyer whether you tend to fill out forms in this situation. If the answer is no, why do you expect your own buyers to do so? Instead, websites tend to hold demos hostage by scheduling them or exchanging them for an email.
Your prospects want to engage and understand your product. Modernizing the software demonstration can help your prospects get the information they need to make a decision.
The going research suggests that buyers want to see the product you’re offering within the first two minutes of an interaction. Your solution sounds great, and it solves a problem they are struggling with, so they want to see the product. Typically, the inside salesperson will insist on asking a bunch of questions and booking a discovery call and then a demo. By the end of that 3-week period, you’ve lost the buyers’ attention.
In response, some companies have allowed the inside sales rep to give the demo, but that usually doesn’t work. The inside sales rep wasn’t trained to do demos, and she may not have the skillset to do them.
Demos are more than a “show up and throw up” proposition. They are hard.
Your customer wants to feel like he’s in control of the sales process. He wants to see what he’s buying.
Greg said that even the companies who are posting one- or two-minute videos to demonstrate their products aren’t getting a good response because they are effectively spraying-and-praying. They generate four or five snippets that they hope will address their buyers’ questions.
Greg’s technology allows you to create your best demonstrations, and then interact with the software to get a personalized demonstration.
If you want to know whether the software can do parallel workflow, the software will bring you to the right asset and the right section to find that answer. Instead of searching through 10 or 15 separate posts, the user can find the content he needs.
The average watch time for a business tech buyer is just over two-and-a-half minutes, so allow them to ask a question and see a relevant demo.
Think of your typical buyer’s team. It isn’t just one person. It’s usually multiple people with different points of view and different ideas of what’s important in the software.
If you can allow your customers to ask questions and then have the streaming of the video and the demo to that person at that moment, it’s much more impactful. Perhaps more importantly, Greg’s software records all the activity so that the marketing and sales teams know the buyer’s intent.
Once you gather this information, you begin to build a picture of Donald. The self-guided demo allows the seller to understand what Donald’s interests are so he knows what to talk to Donald about.
Your customer wants to talk specifically about how you can help ease his pain. Whether you call it the consumerization of the business buyer or the Amazon effect, people are used to buying things a certain way. That attitude doesn’t change when we’re at work.
Buyers want a certain part of the sales cycle to be self-guided. Then, when they are ready to engage with sales, they want to begin with the topic that interests them rather than starting all over again.
Buyers can get their data in a million different places just like sellers can use the Internet to learn about buyers. We’re losing the ability to influence buyers because we’re spending less time with them.
If you don’t provide a digital means for the disconnected independent buyer to stay engaged with you in the digital world, when it comes time to make the purchase, he may not remember all the aspects of your software.
If you’re selling software, keep it in front of your prospect. Give him the opportunity to constantly validate your value as he’s making the decision criteria.
These tools don’t replace sellers, but they augment them by creating a digital footprint that helps the buyer stay connected with you. He can get the information he needs based upon where he is in the buyer’s journey.
Uber, for example, provides the same service as a taxi cab, but it created a better buying experience. Uber made it easier and removed the friction, so it won the market.
The challenge for digital buyers is the same: your sales process hasn’t changed so we’re making the buying process harder. It’s why our win-rates aren’t as high. The buyer doesn’t have the information he needs to make a decision.
In many cases, you’ll never meet with the entire buying team. It might be true that you only met with about half of them, so they are anonymous to you.
Now, those buyers are in a Friday meeting and someone is presenting all the information about your product. Wouldn’t it be great if that buyer had seen portions of the demo on his own? You can’t always be last.
Instead of figuring out whether to be the first impression or the last impression, strive to be the impression. Give that buyer a chance to consume your demo content by modernizing the software demonstration. Record that demo, make it available to the buying team, and use a technology that allows them to find topics within the demo.
The team isn’t going to spend 90 minutes watching, so help them find the topics that are pertinent so they can spend 10 minutes learning about your product. You’ve had a chance to touch a buyer you never would have touched.
Greg’s tool works for anyone who sells a product, and Omedym believes that the product experience, the demo, and the product engagement are part of the buyer’s journey. It’s one of the most important aspects of the buying process.
Starting with the top-of-the-funnel demo to the sales demo and the scripted demo, video is playing a very pertinent role. Omedym focuses on software because you truly can’t be everything to everyone.
Take a different perspective and figure out how modernizing the software demonstration can help your buyers buy.
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Zvi Guterman, founder and CEO of CloudShare, is here today to tell us. CloudShare is a cloud company providing IT labs as a service mainly for IT training, IT sales enablement, and sandboxing, all in the cloud.
Like most entrepreneurs, Zvi got the idea for CloudShare when faced with a problem that needed a solution. In previous positions, there was always a point in the sales process when Zvi needed to build a demo or training talk.
When he realized how much time and work he was spending to build that infrastructure, as opposed to actually doing the demo and closing the deal, he knew there had to be a better way.
He looked but couldn’t find a service to create labs for him, so he decided to create that service.
Ten years and $30 million later, Zvi has seen a lot.
Zvi learned from working with his customers and users that, once a prospect is given a hands-on experience, the level of commitment from those prospects increases.
It is no longer some vague idea that you are selling but rather a tangible product.
When the clients understand how the software works, for example, it is easier for them to imagine using it. They are more committed and less worried because their questions are answered. It also allows sales to collaborate with the prospects on how best to utilize the product.
A hands-on experience allows sales to move control of the demonstration to the prospect. It increases the prospect’s understanding of the product and allows them the opportunity to ask questions they may not even know they had.
Onboarding then becomes super enjoyable.
Begin by answering simple questions and explaining terminology. Then, proceed together to determine other areas to test, what type of specific functionality to add, or which performance issues need to be addressed. It also enables sales to personalize a timeline and success criteria for each prospect.
Client engagement increases retention. The hands-on process increases usage and reduces the risk of the prospects buying but never deploying the product simply because they don’t have the time to install or set it up.
Cases will still arise where the product is not a good match for your prospect. But looking at the big picture, you want to see the No’s. Hands-on presentations shorten the time spent on irrelevant leads because the prospects will see right away whether the product is a match for their needs.
Most times, salespeople focus on leads or clients that are not going to progress. Engaging the customer with hands-on opportunities saves times and energy for everyone.
Zvi insists that the demonstration parameters be the same parameters the prospects can expect when the product is deployed to their data centers. They do not optimize or otherwise tweak the demonstration. This provides true value to the customers.
It also allows everyone the opportunity to enjoy the move toward deployment. The transition is smoother and the actual deployment is faster.
The prospects are happy with the duality of the hands-on process. On one hand, they have control of the environment. No one will interfere or touch their data.
At the same time, sales is available to answer any questions and to collaborate.
An in-house test lab is probably the most common scenario in many organizations but scheduling use of the lab is both cumbersome and expensive.
CloudShare simplifies and reduces that cost by reducing the amount of lab time. Hands-on demonstrations are more efficient, more powerful, and less expensive.
Providing hands-on demonstrations and a trial in the cloud also allows for more and more advanced scenarios. Zvi sees people utilizing all the available tools together and becoming more efficient.
People are now using the data available in CloudShare to calculate the probability of engagement. They can also determine where to concentrate their efforts and to learn about new directions to take.
It allows people to collaborate and get the best results.
For example, if a sales rep on the east coast notices better results from a demo being used on the west coast, he can quickly learn more about it and how best to apply it. With CloudShare, team members can share improvements implement them on a global scale.
Organizations become more efficient as a result.
The best way to reach Zvi is via email at Zvi@Cloudshare.com.
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Are you relying solely on your demo thinking that is what’s going to close the deal? Well, you better stop it as early as now because it won’t get you anywhere. See, it’s not how many demos you get to present. It’s not a numbers game in this case. It’s about quality.
When I was working in the SaaS world, what I noticed all the time was that salespeople would focus on the demo. They would expect the demo to close the deal for them. I had that same mindset as well. That’s because I sucked at selling and didn’t have the capability to help persuade my clients to make the decision. But it didn’t work!
That is not how you sell. That is not the way to sell.
Too many sales reps are crutching on the demo. Way too many of them are just waiting for the demo and hoping it would close the deal that when the person sees the software, they’re going to instantly buy it.
What to do before doing any demonstration:
Things to consider during your first call:
In the book, The Science of Selling, David talks about the science of asking powerful questions and he recommends these three levels:
Figure out their budget and their time frame.
Stop using Demo as a Crutch!
The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld
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Patricia came to this country from England as a young 20 year old with $500 as a hair stylist and soon realized that she needed to do “BIG THINGS”. Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE is a CPAE Hall of Fame keynote speaker, business presentation expert, sales presentation skills trainer, and highly sought-after executive speech coach. Named “One of the 10 most electrifying speakers in North America” by Meetings and Conventions magazine, Patricia delivers high-energy, high-content, and dramatically memorable presentations.
For over 25 years, Patricia has transformed sales teams and coached executives on how to deliver dynamic and inspiring presentations. She delights and entertains audiences while delivering practical, personalized content and consistently exceeds client expectations.
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