Anyone involved in software sales or revenue generation will agree that the demo, or early product experience, is probably the most important part of any software sales cycle.
Which gives us a big problem – pre-sales resources are at a premium. The reason? The ratio of pre-sales to sales has halved, going from an average of one pre-sales engineer for every 2 sales reps, to one pre-sales engineer for 4 sales reps. In some markets, that ratio drops to 10, 20 even 30 or more to 1. Plus, today’s buyers expect an “early stage” demo as part of their initial education and evaluation (they may still require a full, scripted or custom demo for closing as well), meaning that demand for demos and product experiences is up.
What’s the most important stage in any buyer’s journey? You guessed it! It’s the initial product experience. Or, in software terms, the DEMO.
In the last five days, I’ve had at least 10 conversations with B2B SaaS companies that are moving down market - primarily enterprise vendors trying to expand their reach by targeting SMBs with smaller, “lite” versions of their software. It’s a tough transition, as I know from my own, sometimes painful experience. One of the most common misconceptions, I believe, is that software buyers in big companies are significantly different to software buyers in smaller businesses. Let’s break it down in terms of what any software buyer – regardless of company size - looks like today:
In January 2017, two random things happened to me at around the same time. First, my sons told me that they were looking for online class videos but couldn’t find a way to search videos. Second, a friend complained about the demo process at his software firm.