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Death to the "Demo" CTA!by@skellator
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Death to the "Demo" CTA!

by Ben SkellyJanuary 18th, 2023
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The “Request a Demo” workflow is inefficient, unnecessary, and a massive waste of resources and opportunity. The demo-on-demand concept is skyrocketing in popularity, but it is still criminally under-utilized in SaaS, particularly in security. Instead of using the outdated demo request to qualify prospects, let them qualify themselves.
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"Don't Sell Me. Show Me!"

Buying a software solution shouldn’t be so hard.


Go to ten software-as-a-solution (SaaS) websites, and eight or nine will have their primary call-to-action lead to a form, soliciting contact information to schedule a demo call. This form response gets routed to sales, usually an inexperienced BDR, who will pester the prospect to schedule a discovery call or demo. The prospective buyer now has to devote valuable work time to learn if the solution is suitable to their needs. Let’s say your sales team is closing a third of these leads… that means two out of every three is a wasted hour of a prospect’s life and an hour that your sales team could’ve been doing something more productive.


Cut this shit out.


The “Request a Demo” workflow is inefficient, unnecessary, and a massive waste of resources and opportunity. You have a hot lead on your website, clearly interested in handing over money for your solution, and you’re telling them… “wait, not yet” ? Do you hate money?


Instead of using the outdated demo request to qualify prospects, let them qualify themselves.

The Demo on Demand

When selling a SaaS solution, you likely have an edge that doesn’t exist with services or hardware products: the dashboard. It’s been my experience that most founder teams take a lot of pride in their dashboard and all the cool/helpful things you can accomplish from within it. Why not hand over the keys and let your prospects experience this for themselves?


While the demo-on-demand concept is skyrocketing in popularity, it is still criminally under-utilized in SaaS, particularly in security. The general idea is to create guided paths, allowing a prospect to explore your tool as if they’re actually inside the dashboard, but can only take action on items that you specify and direct them to. This lets you shape the narrative and highlight your solutions’ capabilities exactly as you intended them to be used. It also means engaging with interested prospects while your solution is top-of-mind, rather than asking them to hurry-up-and-wait for an in-person sales call days later.


KEY BENEFITS OF THE GUIDED DEMO:


  • Self Qualification. Rather than getting your sales team on a call to make sure the solution is right for the prospect, enable them to decide if it’s a fit before they engage. This leads to a sales conversation with a buyer who knows the tool is right for them and eliminates wasted calls with a user who was just exploring or decided it’s not right for their needs.


  • More Informed Users. Many SaaS solutions are complicated and have a learning curve. Similar to self-qualification, the guided demo illustrates your key use cases and how they can be acted on within the platform.


  • Shorter Sales Cycle. The guided demo eliminates the “discovery call” almost entirely. The prospect has already explored your key use cases, knows it’s a solution they need, and frankly just wants to buy.


  • The Buyer is Changing. Millennials are becoming the primary decision-makers and holders of the budget in most organizations. As a millennial myself, I don’t want to talk to another person or be “sold” something unless I’m damn certain I need it. Many of my peers feel the same way. These demos are perfect for the growing demographic who wants to self-educate and engage only when ready to buy.


  • Training and Education. Guided demos are not just a sales and marketing tool; they’re also great for Customer Success and onboarding. If your tool is complicated, you can build these guides as a training tool on the ways to best utilize the solution. This helps to minimize support tickets and increase engagement of use cases.


One of the most common misconceptions I’ve discovered when pitching the guided demo to SaaS clients is that it is not a video or explainer. The tools that enable such a demo build essentially scrape the front-end UI and allow you to script a path that allows users to feel like they’re actually IN your dashboard/product, even though it’s really a sandbox. Having this type of hands-on engagement drastically improves attachment rates.


About My Company

There’s a growing industry for these pre-sales demo tools on the market. At Skellator, we’re partial to Navattic, largely due to cost-effectiveness and ease of use, as well as analytics that help illustrate where users are most engaged and where they typically fall off. This provides your team with insights on what features to focus on and what features to de-prioritize.


To be clear, the guided demo is not meant to replace your sales team. It is a supplemental tool to make their job easier, giving them warm prospects who already have a basic understanding of how your tool operates.


Now shut up and take their money.


Also published here.