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Ishan Pandey: Hi Yoav, welcome to our series “Behind the Startup.” Please tell us about yourself and the story behind Walnut.io?
Yoav Vilner: Walnut is building the category of providing a great sales experience. We let sales and marketing teams sell much better by putting their prospect in the centre while getting unique insights and clarity into the entire process.
Before launching Walnut, I was the founding member of an anti-bullying startup and one of the world’s first tech marketing companies. I was also a writer for publications such as Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, CNBC, and more. In my free time, I’m a startup mentor in accelerators led by fortune companies.
Ishan Pandey: Many small and upcoming startups feel that building a product demo is too expensive and requires a lot of back and forth with graphic designers and back-end engineers. According to you, what is the solution to this problem?
Yoav Vilner: The solution is empowering the sales team to own the entire process without relying on anyone from the back-end and providing the sales team with a platform that can edit, customize and analyze the process in a 100% codeless approach.
The sales team should not worry about live product malfunctions, no need to ask for favours, no need to ask R&D for a separate demo environment, no need to ask graphic designers to add or remove a button in order to make it a more customized demo. It’s all happening in a one-stop shop.
Ishan Pandey: What is the importance of User Interface (UI) when building a product demo? Further, what advice would you give to the sales team to increase conversions of prospective clients with product demos?
Yoav Vilner: Personalization and ease of use are the two main aspects I’d recommend companies maintain. Prospects are clever, short in time and patience, and expect to see a solution to their specific use cases.
UI and UX play a critical role in providing your prospect with the best possible experience. We’re all attracted to solutions for our burning problems, especially solutions that are easy to operate. You have to think simple and make it painless for prospects already lost in the tiresome buying process.
Ishan Pandey: What are the current hurdles technology companies face while designing and showcasing product demos for clients?
Yoav Vilner: The first and most troubling issue is providing prospects with a unique and tailor-made solution for their specific use case. A secondary problem would be the malfunctions and live demo bugs every company faces every day.
Live demo bugs, surprises, backstage disagreement between sales and back-end teams, and authentic products just failing to show the value they were promised to show. How many of us have seen a fully functional B2B product breaking during the live demo call? Imagine if your prospect could experience the demo even without going on the call with you… that’s the revolution.
Ishan Pandey: According to you, what are the best design practices that tech companies should keep in mind when building their products and product demos?
Yoav Vilner: Make several different instances (or “product nuggets”) that speak to your different types of prospects. Have it match their size, industry, and phase in the sales funnel.
Make it simple, friendly, and bug-free so they can quickly understand the value of your demo—no need to perfect the product in terms of functionality and appearance. A demo call is not enough time for them to enjoy the experience. They will only judge the value during that call within seconds from finally seeing it.
Ishan Pandey: What advice would you give to a sales team on how to demo their product effectively while remote working?
Yoav Vilner: Remote selling means we are currently reliant on speed (product’s loading speed, your room’s wi-fi speed) as well as our product’s time-to-value. Besides providing a unique experience to your prospect, make sure you won’t encounter slow internet, any minute-long buffering spinners within your product, and simply get to the product’s value as quickly as you can.
But that’s the easy part since it relies on things in your own territory. The product’s back-end isn’t; you should get your hands on a codeless demo platform, so you are entirely independent in the process.
The best would be if you can get the prospect engaged with your demo product even before going on a live demo call with anyone; they’re just so much likely to convert if they did.
Ishan Pandey: Marketing a technology product is challenging to say the least. According to you, what are the best practices that a marketer should follow when marketing a product in the tech industry?
Yoav Vilner: Like a real product demo, you have to have a quick time to value. Even at an early stage, illustrate your value in the most straightforward words possible and in a way the prospect will quickly understand. Invest in your content and design as early as you can. Build social profiles, launch on Product Hunt and get brand awareness in the different blogs and news sites your prospects must be reading.
Stand out with a language that will be more interesting and memorable within your target audience, and don’t copy what competitors are doing. Competition is meaningless when you’re the #1 brand.
You don’t have to spend much money on all of these. Simply focus on becoming an authority and a category builder as early on in the company’s life as you can.
The purpose of this article is to remove informational asymmetry existing today in our digital markets by performing due diligence by asking the right questions and equipping readers with better opinions to make informed decisions. The material does not constitute any investment, financial, or legal advice. Please do your research before investing in any digital assets or tokens, etc. The writer does not have any vested interest in the company. Ishan Pandey.
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