The demo, or early product experience, is arguably the most critical part of any software sales cycle. Pre-sales resources are at a premium: 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. Meanwhile, demand for demos and product experiences is up. Today’s buyers expect an “early stage” demo as part of their initial education and evaluation – and may still require a full, scripted or custom demo for closing.
Pre-sales can’t give every demo, so companies need to look for different ways to deliver more demos without increasing pre-sales resources.
As you think about different demo options, remember that depending on your product, the “buyer” may also be the “user”. They’re using their initial product experience to learn and to qualify themselves – will your product address my specific needs, or not?
Explainer demo videos
The typical explainer demo video tries to take your full 60 minute demo and condense it into something less than 4 minutes. The idea is to give the buyer just enough information to create a vision for them. We know that buyers increasingly prefer to watch a video versus read content, such as a white paper. In my experience, this can be effective marketing content and help increase the length of time someone spends on your website. If that’s a metric you’re concerned about, great. However, in terms of engaging buyers and giving them the information they need so they want to speak to sales, start a trial, see the full demo – or whatever the next step in your sales process happens to be – not so much. Here’s why.
- Without going through a full discovery process, we have little knowledge of our buyer’s business drivers – what specific business issues are they trying to address with our product? The challenge, therefore, is picking the capabilities and business drivers you think are most relevant – the ones required to make it onto the buyer's short list - and packing them into your 4 minute video. What capabilities (if any) do you have within your demo video to validate whether or not your buyer thinks the information is relevant to them?
- Your current explainer video tells you very little about your buyer. At most you know whether or not someone watched it and maybe for how long. You still don't know the buyer's specific business requirements/pains, or their buying intent - are they a good prospect?
- Congratulations! Your buyer clicks the link and looks at your video. Now what? Assuming you’re successful, the buyer will want to learn more. Do you have a way to immediately connect the buyer to more learning options? Or do they have to request a demo or request a meeting? If your internal processes create friction or delay for the buyer, your explainer video may be hurting, not helping your sales process.
What’s your experience of explainer videos?
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be exploring demo options, tools, innovations and techniques. If you’re a pre-sales engineer, work with pre-sales, or are interested in demos in the buyer’s journey, please join me as we delve into the modernization of the pre-sales process and the demo. If there’s a particular topic you’d like me to cover, leave a message in the comments section below, or send me a message.