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.
These are the moments entrepreneurs look back on with insight and wonder. I didn’t know it then, of course, but those incidents would propel me to launch the company we’re unveiling now.
So welcome to Omedym.
Here’s a little perspective. I started my software career as a pre-sales engineer. I’ve always loved demos: building the environment, writing scripts, pitching prospects. I believe the demo is an invaluable tool in the sales cycle, and I’ve given hundreds of them. In every startup—this is my fifth—I as founder and CEO gave all demos myself until we could hire someone to do the job.
I’ve always worked in software, and I love how this field advances with stunning speed. The killer app today is legacy tomorrow, and that’s a good thing. It means every product keeps getting better/faster/cheaper.
Except for product demos.
As much as I love doing these, the software guy in me always wondered when we’d get a better way of delivering early-stage demos. I gave my first demo at Ariba back in 1997, and the demo process is virtually identical today to what it was back then. Every other software-enabled function has been drastically transformed in those 20 years, but this one essential process has seen neither investment nor innovation.
And then, early last year, I started thinking about what I’d heard from my boys about their video search and from my friend about his troubles. So I started analyzing the demo process to isolate trouble spots, and there are many.
- Why do we make buyers ‘request’ a demo? They come to our website because they’re interested in a product, and we make them wait hours, days, even weeks before they can see what we have. It’s like we’re doing them a favor.
- We call back when it suits us. This vital process—the first contact with a prospect—is driven by our schedule, not the customer’s.
- We force buyers in the early stages of the sales cycle to sit through generic material. That’s why buyers so often ask to go straight to the parts that interests them. They know what they want—we don’t.
- We know we’re wasting already constrained resources on unqualified prospects and giving too many “show up and throw up” demos.
- And after all that, we get the common challenges of muted lines, broken connections, team members with competing interests, etc.
- Finally, in most organizations, there’s no systematic capture of the interaction, the prospect’s feedback, the answers, the functionality shown (and not shown).
Every software professional I talked to during my research knows this. They all say the demo process used by 95% of all software and services companies is broken: It lengthens sales cycles, creates friction for buyers (who would prefer a self-service model), costs a lot, etc. And here’s the worst number: On average, 85% of buyers who start filling out the ‘request a demo’ form abandon the process. Meanwhile, the process hasn’t changed in 20 years.
So I put my entrepreneur hat on. What if we could enable buyers to search our demo content their way? What if I, as a potential buyer, can ask the questions I want, when I want, the way I want? What if I can create my own demo?
And that was it! My Demo—or spelled backwards, Omedym.
Our mission is simple. We plan to:
- Bring the demo into the digital era
- Remove the limits on when and how often buyers can get a demo
- Enable the buyer to get a 100% customized demo, on their schedule, in under 10 minutes
- Get closer to buyers, much earlier in the sales cycle
- Gain immediate insights into the buyer’s particular interests
- Ensure consistent messaging and quality in demos
- Cut the costs of pre-sales
We spent a year building the platform, testing and re-testing it, adding and cutting features (the only thing worse than bad demos is bad software that was released before it was ready). We took it out to market quietly, incorporating feedback from our early customers and making adjustments to go live with a better, more robust and simpler offering.
So here it is: Omedym, the world’s first true Digital Customer Engagement Platform.
It allows early-stage demos to be served up automatically, is consistent, available at all times, reveals prospects’ interests, turns demos into dynamic marketing assets, generates “demo-qualified leads”, supports lead nurturing and increase engagement time. And of course, it cuts weeks from the average sales cycle.
It’s always an honor working with a great team to take a new company out. As an entrepreneur and founder, it’s “scary fun” to see a vision come to life. I believe this technology has the potential to transform the software demo for buyers and for vendors So please, check us out, do your own demo, and drop me a line.