Have you ever contemplated purchasing a product or signing up for a service but felt it was necessary to see it in action before making a decision? Perhaps you were uncertain of how it functioned or whether or not it would address a particular problem you were experiencing. Well, that’s when a sales demonstration comes in handy.
Sales demonstrations have become one of the most important elements of the entire sales process in the SaaS industry, providing companies with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to demonstrate the value of their product to potential buyers. Since the SaaS market is projected to reach a value of $171 billion by the end of 2022, many businesses are striving to develop new platforms that help to smooth out many of the kinks that SaaS companies experience while conducting these demos, catering to an enormous new demand that has arisen.
Why are product demos so important?
A product demonstration is when a company presents the value of its product or service to a current or prospective client. It typically involves a demonstration of the product’s core features and capabilities, usually highlighting how it will help the prospect overcome a particular set of challenges.
As you would expect, the whole purpose of the interaction is so that the company conducting the presentation can close a deal and secure a buyer for their product. In most cases, the product demo is carried out by the sales team, specifically the account executive responsible for the particular prospect in question.
The shifting landscape of B2B software sales
It’s important to note that the face of B2B software sales has been undergoing a massive shift from traditional field sales to digital sales over the past decade, which is one of the main reasons why we are witnessing considerably more development in the industry in terms of new platforms and tools. Today, the dominant sales model in B2B tech is inside sales: sales that are handled remotely using the phone, email, and online meeting tools, and this has become even more prevalent in light of the global pandemic where face-to-face meetings were ground to a halt.
As a result, the majority of SaaS demos are conducted using online meeting tools that include screen sharing, audio, face-to-face video, live chat, and so on. However, it’s not unusual for a slew of problems to arise as a result of the fact that the software and technology used by businesses aren’t intended for these types of interactions and are prone to failure. This is because most businesses continue to rely on generic online meeting platforms like Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts, all of which have been shown to be unreliable (and ineffective) when conducting remote sales demos.
In response, a new generation of product demo platforms is emerging, beginning with Walnut, who was first on the scene to enhance the sales industry with their platform. They put prospects in the center of the sales process, as well as host the product demos in a code-less cloud environment, ensuring zero load time and connectivity issues. The company recently raised $15 million in Series A funding, which they plan to continue developing their platform.
Some other platforms have also emerged afterwards, but with more narrow demo functionalities.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most important benefits of sales demo platforms and why they’ve become such a popular tool for B2B SaaS businesses.
1) Avoid technical hitches
One of the primary reasons sales demo platforms improve the traditional software demo process is that they considerably reduce the likelihood of technical issues. Instead of depending on Zoom and Skype, businesses can host their demonstrations on a platform like Walnut, which allows them to deliver interactive demos in a secure environment with no downtime and no loading time concerns.
This ensures high consistency and quality throughout the demonstration, resulting in vastly improved sales and conversions. After all, if you’re trying to sell an expensive piece of software to a prospective client, it’s not exactly the best look when the demo is plagued with technical mishaps and performance issues.
2) More personal to the prospect
According to Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when brands offer personalized experiences, which is certainly true when it comes to product demonstrations. Rather than showing prospects a holistic view of key features and capabilities, modern demo platforms help increase engagement and drive more sales by creating highly personalized demos that are specific to the prospects’ needs.
The more precise sales teams can get about how their product will solve client’s problems and provide them value, the better. Let’s face it, nobody wants to sit in on a generic presentation that doesn’t address their specific requirements. This wastes time and energy for everyone involved.
Due to the fact that Walnut’s platform is 100% codeless, sales teams have the unprecedented ability to tailor each demo to suit the particular needs of their prospects without relying on back-end teams such as R&D, graphic design, and coding experts. This helps sales agents in bringing their products to life and highlighting all their best functionalities relevant to the prospect, clearly showcasing the value it will bring them.
3) Data-driven insights
Big data is revolutionizing just about every industry around the globe, and B2B sales are no different. Thus, most sales demo platforms offer capabilities to capture and analyze customer data that can be used to derive insights from and collate valuable reports that can be used to improve business operations. Walnut allows users to collect data on the usage of the demos and optimize them to offer prospects the highest value.
These data insights usually give clues into consumer preferences throughout the buying journey, highlighting the current problems they face and which features may be of most interest to them. This is vital information to the selling agent, who can then optimize their sales strategy accordingly. Furthermore, these data-driven insights empower businesses with the ability to more accurately evaluate sales performance after a sale has been won (or lost), allowing them to revise strategies and improve future demos based on objective data.
There’s no doubt that the product demo is one of the most crucial components of the sales process, which is why SaaS companies must optimize their strategies to get the most return from the resources invested. Fortunately, a new surge of sales demo platforms is transforming the way SaaS companies present their products to potential clients, all with the goal of increasing conversions and sales by providing a superior customer experience.