You walk into your favourite dessert bar after a day of hard work, ready to grab your favorite snow cone and chill. But you need to talk to a dozen of their employees before placing your order.
If you're someone like us, the idea will immediately turn you off. Forget about returning to there for a repeat order.
Buying a SaaS product is no different.
No matter how cool and efficient your tool is, if you're challenging your prospects to go around the 'sales maze' before they can experience your product, the chances are bleak that they'll buy your product, especially in today's competitive PLG (product-led growth) world.
A killer sales product demo that makes your customers fall in love with your product at first sight.
Research suggests that people form a solid impression of who you are within the first few seconds of meeting someone. Some studies present that determining traits like trustworthiness can take as little as a tenth of a second.
This means you can't afford to lose time making that vital first impression. And an interactive product demo can be just the right fit for you.
But how do you create a product demo that converts?
If you're a product marketer or a sales rep working on the product demo of your latest SaaS tool release, this is the ultimate product demo guide you'll need.
A SaaS sales product demo is a unique opportunity for any SaaS brand to showcase the product's unique features to its potential customers.
Plus, buyers now prefer to self-educate. A 2021 SaaS Buyer Experience Study highlights the critical shift in buyer preference. Out of all the respondents who participated in the study, 36% want to research products on their own, 32% want to make their own product comparisons, and 40% prefer self-demos.
So, it’s evident that while the buyers might be reluctant to hop on a sales call, they prefer to self-educate and get a walkthrough with self-guided interactive demos.
An interactive product demo also gives the prospect a frictionless product experience and reduces the length of the sales cycle from free trial to paid renewal. Since no human interventions are needed, PLG companies rely heavily on interactive product demos as a core component of their marketing strategy.
Here are some interesting stats to ponder upon:
TrustRadius mentions that virtually 100% of buyers want to self-serve part or all of their buying journey, up by 13% since 2021. Hence, an interactive product demo is not fancy but a must for SaaS brands. At the same time, vendor sales reps have dropped out from the top five most commonly used resources by buyers since 2021. 70% of buyers also want free trials or demos provided by the vendors.
In the 2022 B2B Buying Disconnect report, TrustRadius mentions that 41% of Gen Z and 29% of Millenials named "check review sites" their first preference in their buying journey. So, integrating your product demo into review sites should come naturally for SaaS brands. Recently, G2 has partnered with Storylane to introduce a new feature of Interactive Demo Tours to showcase self-guided product tours on G2 product files. If you haven't got this for your SaaS product yet, check it out now!
40% of buyers at the same TrustRadius report mention that "having to contact sales for a demo or free trial" is among three things vendors do to make them less likely to buy. So your product demo must be easily accessible to your potential buyers right on the product homepage. Here's a great example of Veed that we like!
So what makes an ordinary product demo a great effective demo? Here's an anatomy of a product demo that converts:
Humans love stories by nature. And it's no different when it comes to a product demo. So, before creating your product demo, build a story that will engage and educate the prospect. Focus on the customer's pain points and how the product will solve their problem and ease their pain points. A good story articulates the 'aha' moment when the prospect uses your product.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you see a product demo that’s personalized just for you? Trust us, your prospect would feel the same too when they see their name popping up on the screen while watching a product demo. It will immediately grab their attention and make them intrigued to know more. If you’re using a platform like Storylane, you can add personalized tokens for names and companies.
When the prospect interacts with your demo, they might feel curious to learn more. So have your lead capture system at the product demo's start, end, or middle. Don't make an elaborate lead capture form. At this moment, their name and email should be enough.
Sales reps share product demos with prospects who are exploring and considering your tool. And remember that a prospect is not just evaluating your tool but your competitors as well. To quickly stand out and differentiate yourself, it is important that the prospect can have a live experience of the tool. A shareable link ensures you can quickly customize your demo and share a link with the prospect for them to see what your product can do and how it can solve their problem.
To understand the effectiveness of your demo, you need to have a few analytics metrics in place for your tool. For example, you should be able to tell who has viewed your demo, how much time they have spent on the demo, how many employees from the same company have viewed it, and which portions they have seen.
Storylane offers granular level powerful analytics like total impressions, unique impression, engagement, leads, CTA clicked, last view, time spent, completion, etc. Knowing these metrics can help you nurture and push your prospects down the sales funnel.
The goal of a SaaS product demo is not just to tell the story of your product — a great product demo works best when it meets the goals of the seller and the buyer.
The goal of the seller: In a nutshell, a seller wants to qualify the leads, tell the product story that offers value to the buyer, and pave the path for closing the sales.
The goal of the buyer: On the other hand, the goal of the buyer is to find a solution to their problem and verify the marketing claim.
Analyze and create a detailed user persona. Who is going to use your tool? What are their biggest challenges? What are the things they value most? What are their jobs to be done? Answer to such questions.
Knowing your customer journey well will help you identify the touchpoints you can cover in your demo.
Once you know the above two, it's easy for you to create the story you want to tell through your demo. Make sure you answer any customer objections that might arise along the way.
As we have mentioned, product demos can be of many types. Decide which route you want to go, and then pick the technology stack you will need. For example, if you build interactive demos, a platform like Storylane can help you get started.
Once your product demo is ready, share it with prospective customers. Set metrics you want to track and conversion goals you want to achieve. Monitor the performance of the demo, tweak, and improve.
The homepage is everything you need to know about the importance of the demo with 2 CTA buttons.
This works well to tell prospective customers about the product and what it does for them, and how they can learn more through the demo. The demo is embedded into the page, followed by signing up for the free trial. This is where Kajabi plants a seed that its platform is what the prospect needs.
Bill.com has an intriguing interactive demo. It starts with collecting the prospect’s email ID and offers eight different flows for the viewer to choose from. It offers a self guided demo and builds the story for the viewer.
Dooly, another SaaS platform, uses interactive product demo to give its prospect an idea of what to expect in the product demo. Dooly has also placed its interactive demo just right at its product page.
Salesforce has an entirely different approach to demo. This cloud-based CRM platform goes a step further with demo. It not only shows the product value, but strategically incorporates all the information that a user may need along with the practical implications of the product!
Slack welcomes you with the demo. It uses the interface to demonstrate what it can do; hitting the Start the demo button takes users on the product journey with detailed key benefits.
Storytelling is a powerful way to get your point across and Zendesk has utlized it beautifully in its product demo. Zendesk has resorted to powerful storytelling through animation, where it builds a story and establishes the audience’s problem before diving into how using its product makes things better.
Airtable is a cloud-based collaboration tool that helps you manage projects and collaborate. It has a spreadsheet style design and if you’re a first time user, you may find it a bit overwhelming to set up everything. Airtable has many demo videos that can help you get started. Here’s an example.
Although the video is a bit long, the screen recording, voiceovers and small broken down sections are easy to consume and implement.
The success of your product demo largely depends on your demo toolkit. Imagine the embarrassment when a demo doesn't go as per plan and you frantically scramble to fix it in the middle of a customer demo. Not desirable, right? Right!
So, here are three things that you must do above in your product demo toolkit:
Psst! Integrating Segment with Storylane is super easy too.
Interactive product demos are a must in a PLG world. They help engage with prospects and push them down the sales funnel. It can improve the overall product experience too. Want to build a product demo in less than ten minutes with zero coding? Get started with Storylane!