How to ensure that your B2B SaaS demos don't suck


Click on “Ask for a Demo’.

It’s the CTA on every B2B SaaS website.

But what happens after the click?

How do companies educate, and delight prospects?

In many ways, the demo is almost taken for granted within the marketing process.

Marketers are focused on messaging, value propositions and content to attract and engage.

The demo belongs to sales.

But that’s the wrong approach.

The demo should be a coordinated effort between sales and marketing.

A demo is a golden opportunity to encourage, inspire and showcase your product in the right way.

If marketing isn’t involved in this crucial process, that’s a mistake. 

His work, Evans and you're listening tomarketing park for baby marketers and sales people. The Demo is the holyground. If they can convince a prospect to do a demo, the world is their oyster.What prospects speaks the first hand of product value? It's only a matter oftime before purchase happens, or so the theory goes in some ways. A DEMO is amarketing channel, managed by the sales team to get into the value of Demo and howto do them right. Talking with Kerisus president of presale mastery, whichdoes demo performance or BV SOFTWARE COMPANIES WELCOME TO MARKETING SPARK.Carry thanks mark great to be here. When do we start with looking at thestate of the Demo where we at and how do you see the alignment between salesand marketing at the end of the day? A demo is something that happens becauseof market and activity, and if a demi was successful, then you get a salewhich ties back into marketing performance. How are demos being usedwithin the B software world and where the areas for improvement or work areaswhere companies can optimize how they do? Demos? Great great question andMulti Laard for sure, so it's an interesting time for pre sales rightnow in that there's a whole slew of venture capital dollars being investedinto tooling for the space. For a long time, pre cells has been sort in thecolected portion of sales in terms of investment,in really good solutions to help automate and make precol professionalsmore efficient in their job and when, for most B to b organizations, presalea sort of the secret sauce that really is going to determine whether or not asale happens or not. We've been, you know, criminally underservice to this point. So this is an exciting time that now the toolingspace is starting to grow. I think what one of the things that the newsolutions that are coming to the space is really enabled is a big push onreally pushing product led growth into the enterprise space, a lot of B to be organization. A lot ofSB organizations have really led in terms of product like growth, byallowing their prospects to sort of trial. Their software right, you know,get on the website sign up for a dim or trial. You know get into it start usingit without any formal training or any sort of gate keeping, and it becomes afunction of how you know how effectively can we convert those trialsinto paying customers in enterprise? That's a lot harder to do. Enterprisesolutions are typically much more complex, they're, more difficult to use.They require formal training before you're going to do it and in a lot ofcases, they're just not conducive to...

...providing sort of a free trial sand boxfor people to use, but when that's the sort of buying behavior that more andmore people are becoming accustomed to, I think in a lot of ways influenced bythe fact that, if you think about how you buy most consumer type of APPS ortechnology today, that's how you buy right, you buy you want to you, want to.You know, trial a new software you're going to go, download that up or you'regoing to go to the website and try a free trial which almost all be to seetype tools. Allow you to do, and so buyers are taking, that expectation tothe Bab world, and so what's really nice is that there's a whole slew ofsort of Demo, automation, type tools and solutions now coming into presalethat are starting to make it more realistic for enterprise softwarecompanies to satisfy this sort of product like growth requirement interms of a from the consumers perspective, get me access to theproduct much sooner in the sales cycle and without having to go through tonsof qualification and discovery talking to three different sales people or havefive different calls, and as well from this from the Software Company'sperspective, it makes it easier for them to now sort of let the client selfqualify rather than having to put expensive sales resources, I'm doingthat for each individual prospect that comes through the door. If you look at every single bdvarwebsite, this one of the main tas is asked forDemo. Obviously they want to have conversations. They want prospects toconnect with pre sales or sales right away so that they can get them into thepipe line. When I'm wondering about is whether there's a lot of thought thatgoes into what happens after the click, the CT is great, but how much? Whatkind of work flows? What kind of process is what kind of communicationtools that companies are implementing when it comes to the post click activity are a lot ofcompanies, unprepared or just not structure properly. You know what ourbest practices in terms of making that demo experience, or that demo flow asseamless and as delightful as possible. Excellent question. I think Ifortunately, too little is being done after the click. In fact, I think,probably in a lot of cases, two little is done even before the click right,because, ideally we don't just want people to Click on show me a demo we'dlike to capture something from them in terms of what they're looking for aspart of that devil right, and so I think, there's sort of two pass thatorganizations are taking after the click right now. One is to funnel theminto sort of an auto demo where they can basically view a demo or download ademo to watch on the roan versus the other path, which is they're going topush them to some sort of sales person. Who's then going to go through thenormal qualification process before actually allow them to get a devil. Theget a demo button is kind of like a red...

...hairing. It's like! Oh good. We got you,you know we got your cat now we're going to really e in the same way, wewould normally do by you know: cold, calling you or email you the firstplace. So I think those are sort of the two men paths I'm seeing, but I think you know ideally thatbuttons clicked and then there are some qualification questions that come upafter that. There's a couple really cool tools around in Modena and supportthese sort of self service demos and all those tools, ideally are- are doinga good job of trying to segment the sort of auto demos by persona byindustry by critical business issue. That sort of thing, so they havemultiple examples of dem as they can serve out to that audience. The goal isfind out which one is most appropriate for the person clicking that button andthen make sure that gets full over this as as soon as possible, so you can sortof have that instant gratification. The virus. Looking for the prospects of, Isee demos that the post ask for a demo click happening in two ways. One isthat you could see it an vision of world andwhere people are build. Your own demo so come to this demo form tell us whatyou're interested in tell us what your pains are and then auto magically ademo will be created that will be customized or personalized to theirpains goals needs. What have you and the second part of the process? Is thatcommunications flow? So once you know what people are struggling with, whatthey're looking for, then you can personalize the whole drip marketingcampaign around them. Specifically, actually what happens? Is You almosthave this sort of enhanced nurturing impact? Or you know this, thisnurturing tool on it on steroids. Is that happening right now, or is thatkind of thing that people are actually going to have to strive for as we getinto personalization and really producing marketing it that's relevantand on target? I can't tell you if it's happeningubiquitously, I will tell you there. I mean the Nice thing is the way that the these dem atomatic tools work, there'ssort of two Approchans, there's one where they're just building multipleassets based on a certain like, I said, persona industry. You know criticalbusinesses whatever and it's either the sales rops job to determine what theirRAHEITA or hopefully, they've automated. That through, like you, said themarketing team or the website to ask those questions and automatically serveup the right one. So it's not that it has to be created on the spot. It's ait's already there. It's a function of based on the questions and the answersthat are asked. Those questions we know which one to surve. There is anotherorganization in the den Waterman space that that takes a somewhat differentapproach. They're, almost like the equivalent of a video chooser onadventure were basically they will query the audience on what issues aremost important to them. They'll have them actually order them in word ofpriority, and then they will auto...

...stitch together a set of sort of videosnippets into a long edema and serve that out to them. I think was reallyexciting about all of these tools in this particular sub category is notonly are they going to support, like you said, a much more personally sortof marketing drip campaign that kind of stuff they provide a really interestingdata, so they'll actually report back on whose access to those particulardemo assets and what portions of the demasis they've been on. So how longdid they spend in the demo asset in total and then how long did they spendon each screen? So if I know they've spent a lot of time, for example, on aparticular dashboard, I now know what I'm reaching back at well. Maybe therewas a particular you know, report on that Dash Board, that's resonating withthem and that's something I should concentrate on in my message. I can allthey also do things like if they're shared so they'll provide this at thatlito the asset. If you want to share that with someone else, theorganization before you log into view it you've got to add your email addressand so noww all of a sudden, someone goes to click on that button says Iwant to see the dam all the answer, their questions, they get the demo andthey say this is really cool. I want these other three people in myorganization to see this and they send them an email with the link. Now, whenthose new three New People Click had they entered their e mal address andnow all of a sudden, I, as an organization, have for people that Ican reach out to in that organization instead of just the wine. So it helpsthese organization really broad inside the Razai, which I all know is a keysuccess. Given that everything is, you know a you know, team by and a bybycommittee, and most of them must be to be software sale, so really coolfunctionality there. That sounds extremely cool and it sounds like demosadvanced down most demos what they should be, because most Amos are prettyboring. Right now are pretty traditional. You fill out the form, youclick submit, a salesperson calls you or sends you a series of emails, andthen they give you the demo not terribly inspiring, doesn't deliver alot of value, not personalized at all. So I can definitely see why a whole lotof low hanging fruit when it comes to the demo landscape. The other thingthat I wanted to ask you about is that in the baby, software world marketingand sales for the most part operating silos, sales complains that marketingdoesn't give them good enough leads marketing, complaints, that sales can'tclose deals and then there's internal bickering and fighting about who's toblame. One of the things that I'm wondering about when it comes to demosis how much implements or involvement should marketing have in the whole demoprocess, and you might think that sales would say no. This is our world. Weshould control it. You guys stay out. You've done your job, getting people totake odam o from from that point on it's up to us, but I'm wonderingwhether they should in fact work together and move forward and lockstepto make demo's more effective. It's an interesting question. I think that onething I think marketing could probably do enhance the process is find ways to be a little bit morepersonalized in terms of the value...

...messaging. They get still different ITOprospects right. Every prospect thing stared, ultimately unique in whetherthey are or not is that for debate, but everybody thinks they're, unique andwell. A lot of web sites, for example, are going to show a sort of genericvalue props or try and go as broad as possible. Ultimately, most buyers areunsophisticated buyers. They don't buy software as a general rule, and peoplearen't generally very good and envisioning what a particular solarsolution is going to mean to them based on a generic Damo or through genericmessaging. They really need to see their specific problems represented thesoftware and how it's going to address their work flows and their processes.They're reporting their data etcetera to truly understand that that's theright solution for them, which is why you ultimately end up getting. You knowthe second third demos or proof of concepts where you've actuallyconfigured this off war to be specific to those prospects, a right, because,ultimately they need to see that, and so maybe we're marketing can add alittle bit. More value is finding ways to differentiate the message up frontso that the value props more closely aligned to more specific challengesthat individual prospects have versus sort of a broad set that in general,over Urchin ly applied, but aren't necessarily as specific as they couldbe. The other thing I can think of hot. It is one of the things that I coach onmy clients in terms of a Prevete del performance. is we really need to bestoryteller when we're giving a demo right? Everybody wants to, and andthere's there's big reason for this Riante stories, there's a lot ofscience behind the impact of stories, and I'm sure you probably know this evemore than I do, given that your background, but stories really improvepeople's memory of what they're being exposed to right. If you hear somethingin context of the story, it's going to be more memorable than if you just hearit in Yo York state when you can tell stuff in the context of the storywhether it's something that happened to another prospect or a client that youhave or something that you as a sales person experience, and you can relatethat to the prospect they're going to relate to that more effectively andthey're, going to take it back with them. So they're going to they're goingto actually respond to that better. I think in general, marketing is muchbetter at telling stories the sips are and a lot of cases they're usuallyexposed to more information around those stories, and so were one one areaI think we're marketing might be the help sales is in helping them actuallyprove how they tell stories whether it's getting more more stories fromexisting clients right and crafting better messaging around that or justyou know, word Smithing, even existing stories in a much more effective way. That's an interesting concept because Isee storytelling within the bebb software world as a virtuous activity.So a lot of marketers don't have enough exposure to prospects and customers forwhatever reason, they're not in the field they're not talking to customerson a regular basis. Meanwhile, sales is talking to prospects all the timecustomer service or customer success...

...are talking to customers on a regularbasis and all that has to be fed back into marketing and then arm with thatknowledge. Marketing then, can feed those stories can package those storiesback into sales, so that demos can be more compelling they can resonate. Theycan make an impact because you can picture that experience. You can paintthat experience for us prospect and I think that's one of the reasons whymarketing in sales, if they can collaborate, if they can work together,they can make the demo experience powerful, personalized, customized andreally enhance or accelerate the sales process. So I think there's hugepotential for a unified approach to Damos, as opposed to simply being therealm of sales. Yep totally agree when we look at theway that marketers assess their own performance or quantify what they do. Obviously, the ML has been the king of the hill and increasingly it'sbeing invisere, because there's not a lot of value when you really look at itin terms of AMML somebody who down loads an ebook and provides an emaildress. Well, that's just an expression of interest: that's not a really singlebuyers, intent. Some marketers will rally around the ML. Some of them willmove up stream and go to a sales, qualified lead or an Quel, and I'mwondering how Demos and the number of demos in the performance of demos andhow Demos confert into sales can be tied back into marcene performance,because when you think about it, a good bt. Marketer really is aboutconversions, whether the conversion happens right away or whether ithappens after a demo. But if you can get people to convert, and if demos arepart of that conversion formula, then it just makes sense that marketersshould be able to quantify their performance based on the number ofdemos or the effectiveness of demos. Do you agree with that? And how do you tiethat into the quantify quantification game? I think one easy way to do it is.It would be it be very interesting to see if you're, if comane are notalready doing this, I think of life, probably are the percentage of bothmple and sl that advanced to a devil right and then from a devil actuallyadvanced to a or generic or intro demo, I into any more structured or customizeAmo right in a lot of cases. You got to do both because there are a good chunkof sales people out there that use the demo as a crutch right where ultimatelythey're, not even interested in you know, qualifying pre demo they're. Justlike great, you want to see a devil. I want to show you a demo. It's not on me.It's on my my solution, engineer my sales engineer to do it, I'm going toshow everybody that wants to see you when a demo. When that should neverhappen right, they should always be qualified, not because we don't want towaste time when people who are going to buy, which is absolutely true, but evenmore so because in the demolot right t...

...e t e the Gospel is, you should neverever be delivering a generical right. It should never happen. There shouldnever be a spray and Prey Arbor Harbor Cruise, like you, show me everything.You've got and hope that something sticks kind of Demo. It's just noteffective for anybody, and so you should always be doing proper discoveryahead of time to make sure that you're, focusing on what's important with theclient or the prospect, and so I think that measuring short of the transitionthat or the progression rates from from mls into those different Demo steps is,but I know that most sales organizations are tracking sort of thefunnel progression in each of those steps, because, if anything, they'rejust a great way to find out where you're geting stuck, I don't think in alot of cases, there's a situation where if the demo doesn't win the deal, itwas a bad badly qualified deal from working or anything like that. It couldjust be there's lots of other things that are happening in that Demoy thatdidn't go democoon or when we got to deep discovery. We our solution, wasn'ta good for for some reason or if there wasn't budget but you're not going toEcall, find that e right up front, and even if there is no budget, it stilldoesn't mean your ether qualify, the mote and not do it demo. So I think,there's a lot there that you can unpack to track that I'm just I'm not sure howmarketing should necessarily be tracked, based on the demos outside of sort ofwhat percentage of what they're throwing over the fence actually turnsinto what sales deems is a qualified prospect to show a deman evil, thegeneric and of custom, my stamach at a high level. I think that if you'regoing to assess the performance of marketers, obviously you're going tolook at what the website does number of downloads number of unique visitors.You know number of total visitors and if the C Ta is one of the major c Tasis as for Demo, then you have to add demo requests into the marketingassessment mix. I think there's a lot of thinking. If companies aren'talready doing it, they should be thinking about how to embrace demos asa way S as a K. Pi, I'm curious about getting some insight into what you doat pre sales mastery, the kind of companies that you work with. What kindof things are you trying to help them with? Is it simply improving how salespeople do Demos, or is there more to it than that when we think about improving sales?The the most effective thing in terms of uplift of sales, success in terms ofwin rates and sort of attainment to quota coaching is in a lot of states orthe coaching is the single most effective thing you can do all right,and so I do one on one coaching with anyone in the organization, primarilythe pre sales organization, that is delivering demos to prospects, and Iwork with them usually over sort o three month engagements, where I'mcoaching them on actual demos that they've delivered to live prospects. SoI'll take a recorded demo. It's been deliver co prospect up loaded into myown line. Coaching Platform provide a...

...very detailed set of feedback aroundwhat they've actually delivered in the wild Riso. I'm coaching on realbehavior that happens in the field, not something that's an assimulated sort ofinternal training environment. I also have a ninety five metric or demo bestpractices framework that I score every individual against on every demo thatthey do, and so what that allows me to do is really sort of objectivelyidentify where each of the skill gaps might be for every individual and trackprogress over time as they approve. So it really moves the dial in upliftingand a fairly fast, further quick manner. The the overall level of demo deliveryand execution by whether it's a preses person or in a came exact. So where canpeople learn more about you and pre cells? Mastery best place is to go toour website. It's pre cells, mastero or feel free to reach out to meet KariSokolski at link in Fil free to reach out at any time, I'm happing to chatabout about helping you win more business through better Dallas. Well, thanks for in sight, Terry andthanks everyone for listening to another episode of marketing spark. Ifyou enjoyed the conversation, leave a review subscribed by, I tune potii oryour favorite podcast APP and share by social media. If you'd like to learnmore about how I help Btbai es as a Fractional Co, strategic advisor andcoach send an email to mark at marketing spark dot. Co I'll talk toyou next time.

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