A Definitive Guide to Interactive Demos in Marketing and Sales

Table of Contents


What to expect in this report?

We've been on a mission to uncover the friction points, challenges, and triumphs that define today's buying cycle. This led us to survey 250+ B2B buyers, sellers, and GTM leaders about the various friction points in today’s buying cycle and how they've used interactive demos to solve them. Specifically, here, we discuss the role of Interactive Demos in enabling the "try before buy" experience for your buyers and roll it into your GTM.

Why Now?

The Future of Buying Experiences

"Why now?" you might ask. Well, think about the way we consume information today. It's all about interactivity, engagement, and experiences that stick. Static presentations and monotonous pitches are taking a back seat. The trend is steering towards immersive interactions that leave a lasting impact. Our report shows you precisely why interactive demos are the trendsetters' tool of choice, right now, in 2023.



A Report for GTM Teams

Whether you're a marketing manager, a sales virtuoso, or a presales specialist, this report is tailor-made for anyone looking to supercharge their lead generation and deal-closing game. If you're ready to embrace innovation, drive conversions, and make your competitors envious of your success, you're in the right place.

Understanding Interactive Demos

Interactive demos provide prospects with a hands-on way to experience products. They can interact, explore, and engage with your product at their own pace, without actually being inside the product. This turns your prospects from being passive observers into active participants.

This is possible through the no-code capture software that clones the front end of your product and provides an authentic look and feel of it.

Where and How to Use Interactive Demos

From capturing leads to sealing deals, interactive demos have the power to shine at every stage of the funnel. According to a survey by the Content Marketing Institute, 66% of B2B marketers believe interactive content helps them stand out in a crowded market.



What truly distinguishes interactive demos, beyond their ease of creation and sharing, is their extensive array of applications. With the capacity to influence every stage of the buyer's journey, interactive demos become invaluable assets for both marketing and sales teams.

Let's delve into the various applications of interactive demos, spanning:

1. Website Embedded Tours

One prominent way to leverage interactive demos is by embedding them on your website. This strategy helps serve multiple purposes such as:



Especially for B2B products that require time to set up and deliver value, an embedded product tour allows potential customers to navigate through your product without actually accessing it (viva la no-code editor).

sevDesk converted an impressive 28% of its website visitors into leads through an embedded interactive demo tour.

Here's Clari's embedded demo on their website (try it right here),

2. Email Sequences

In the realm of cold email outreach, interactive demos play a transformative role. On average, the cold email response rate is less than 2%. 

Reason? Most of the SDR/ BDR emails still focus on catchy subject lines rather than “providing something of value”. And when it comes to providing value, we limit it to engaging prospects with ebooks, plain text, and videos.

The solution: Help prospects experience the value you deliver as soon as possible. And that’s where interactive demos provide immense help for SDRs and BDRs.

When added inside your emails, interactive demos can help you,



In our survey, 94% of the companies using interactive demos increased their response rates by over 2.5x in their outreach campaigns

3. Live Demos

We've all witnessed "demo horror stories" in the past. From demo servers crashing to unexpected product updates, there's no shortage of things that can go wrong during a demo call. And as long as you're relying on staging or demo environments for live demos, there's nothing you can do to eradicate these issues. For sales reps, this could translate to lost deals.

But what if there's a way to disconnect your live demos from your actual product? What if you could entirely remove the possibility of any glitches during your calls?

Enter interactive demos. By pre-recording your product showcase, you can display an exact replica of the user interface thereby eliminating the risk of mishaps during the demo. With interactive demos, you:



“We wanted to eliminate any scope of change in data or bugs, surfacing during live demos. Our sales team has moved on from showcasing our actual product to using Storylane”

Craig Leren, CPO @ Horizon Education”

4. Sales Leave Behinds

Leave behinds, as a B2B sales collateral, helps occupy the mindshare of your buyers after the live demo calls. So far, companies have used either a demo recording or presentations for this.

There are 2 problems with this approach:
- The same demo recording isn’t going to satisfy the use cases of all the decision-makers
- Not everyone has the time to read or watch lengthy, passive content

Interactive demos can step in here to easily address these problems - by empowering different buyer personas with tailored and diverse use case coverage. This not only aids internal buy-in but also replaces the time-consuming Proof of Concept (POC) cycles that typically necessitate sandbox access.



"Upland Software consistently sees approx 70% engagement rate of its interactive leave behinds, with a 3x improvement in sales velocity"

Summing it,



The Art of Crafting a Conversion-Powered Interactive Demo

Creating an interactive demo isn't just about pretty visuals – it's a strategic art. 75% of content marketers agree that interactive content is effective in increasing engagement time (Demand Gen Report). Execute it right, and your interactive demo will keep your audience engaged and curious at every click. We'll walk you through the process, from concept to execution.

Ready? Let's go.

After analyzing over 3,000 interactive demos, we have 7 crafting tips to help you create a compelling demo story.

1. Know your audience: Identify the main problems you help your prospects with. This should be a baseline for creating a compelling story.

2. Highlight only the key features: Each step in the demo should emphasize important features designed to capture attention and generate interest. 

3. Use simple words: Your story should be easy to understand and memorable. Avoid using jargon, buzzwords, or technical terms.

4. Make it short: Your story should have no more than 6-12 steps. The attention spans are getting shorter, so keep it brief, engaging, and to the point. Your audience will appreciate it.

5. Personalize whenever possible: Create prospect-specific flows and mention viewers' names often. This approach makes it easier for viewers to envision themselves using your software.

6. End with a call to action: Your story should have a clear and compelling call to action. Tell your audience what to do next.

7. Encourage collaboration across different teams: This involves input from multiple team members to ensure that it resonates with their target audience and successfully communicates the value of the product. 



Optimizing Your Interactive Demo for Maximum Impact

Marketing Demos

Duration and length of the Interactive Demo

If the interactive demo extends beyond 12 steps, implementing flows/branching can be highly advantageous. This empowers users to handpick the sections of your product they are most eager to explore.

Stats reveal that using flows or branching can increase engagement by more than 40%. Instead of cramming all features into a single journey, flows logically group distinct features, increasing viewer interest and comprehension speed by 30%.



Where to embed Interactive Demos and in which format

When deciding where and how to embed interactive demos, it's important to consider the context. Your choice depends on your objectives. For instance, if you're looking to boost impressions and quickly educate visitors about your product, embedding an interactive demo on your homepage is a smart move. This can actually increase impression rates by up to 7 times, taking advantage of the peak traffic flow.

You can also extend this strategy to specific product pages or seamlessly integrate it into your navigation menus, especially when showcasing multiple products or specific features.



Now, in terms of the embedding format, you have options. 

You can smoothly integrate interactive demos directly within your landing pages, or you can opt for pop-ups triggered by engaging CTAs. However, statistics reveal that pop-up embeds often go unnoticed as users scroll, leading to a significant drop in engagement rates. Additionally, pop-ups can introduce friction that might compromise the overall user experience.



Gated vs Ungated Interactive Demos

Gated demos are primarily used in lead generation efforts, placed at the beginning or middle of the demo, to capture leads. Ungated demos, on the other hand, excel in educating potential buyers and are primarily used on the websites and product pages.

When it comes to impressions, ungated demos witness a 7x higher impression rate compared to gated ones, while gated demos can yield a 20% higher conversion rate.



Does adding chatbots to your demos impact conversions?
When you introduce a chatbot, it speeds up the process for potential customers to ask questions and learn more about your product. The fast response from your sales/support team helps build trust with potential customers. Adding a chatbot like Intercom, Chilli-piper, or Drift is straightforward on most Interactive Demo Platforms, usually just requiring a JS embed.



Sales Demos

Use flows inside your leave behinds

Your leave behinds are likely seen by multiple stakeholders. Hence, it's important to use flows to cover the important use cases of the key personas.



Adding flows also eliminates the need to setup multiple meetings to satisfy each stakeholder's use cases. This expedites the decision making, ultimately improving your sales velocity.



Personalized demos increases conversions
Always give a personalized experience to your prospects by customizing your demos based on their name, use cases, company logo and more.



Best Practices from Pioneers

In this chapter, we're setting sail alongside heroes who've cracked the art of interactive demos:

Ignition: Ignition created an amazing interactive demo to showcase its product on their website and got these results:



: Sevdesk created a remarkable branched demo with multiple flows to convert more visitors, and got:



Pulley added an interactive demo on their website to increase self-serve sign-ups and got pretty amazing results:



Upland Software:
In addition to improvement in leads captured, Upland Software also saw a marked uptick in sales velocity courtesy of interactive demo leave behinds.  



Beyond the Horizon - Key Takeaways

  1. According to a report by Forrester Research, interactive demos are one of the top three most effective content types for moving prospects through the sales funnel.
  2. 80% of customers prefer interactive demos and self-service over speaking to a sales representative.
  3. Interactive content is 650% more effective in educating buyers compared to static content.
  4. 70% of buyers have used self-service tools to research products before making a purchase.
  5. Personalized demos have a 37% higher conversion rate than non-personalized demos.
  6. Continuously optimizing the demo can lead to a 20% increase in conversion rates.
  7. The optimal number of steps in the interactive demo is 6-12 steps.