You've developed a remarkable product that has captured your customers' interest. They have gone through your marketing materials and watched your videos, but they are still uncertain. They need more. They crave to witness it in action, touch it, and experience its capabilities firsthand before committing.
This is where the bottom of the funnel or decision demo plays a vital role. Generic videos or screen recordings are no longer sufficient. It is time to offer an immersive, personalised experience that ignites their determination to take action.
In this episode, Simon Harvey and Daniel Kleber delve into the methods to unlock the full potential of solution demos. Long-time demo guru Neil Wilson joins them, and together, they unveil the secrets behind crafting demos that transform your prospects into devoted customers.
To simplify your demo creation process, download the free demo script canvas. By using our template canvas, you can create a memorable and effective experience that will leave a lasting impression on your audience. You can find it here (or copy and paste the link below):
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You've created an amazing product and your customers are intrigued. They've read your marketing copy, watched your video, but they're still on the fence. They need more. They want to see it in action, touch it, and experience its power for themselves before making a commitment. At this point in the journey, your potential buyers want more than high level information. They want to experience your product and confirm for themselves that this is the answer they've been searching for. They want a demo that speaks directly to their pain points and leaves no doubts in their minds. That's where the bottom of the funnel or decision demo comes in. Generic videos or screen recordings no longer suffice. It's time to provide an immersive, personalized experience that ignites their desire to take action. In this episode, we see how to unlock the true potential of solution demos. I'll talk with longtime demo guru Neil Wilson, and together we uncover the secrets behind creating great demos that transform your prospects into devoted customers. Hi there and welcome to the Authentic Marketing Podcast in association with Demodia. I'm your host, Simon Harvey, and I'm joined by my co host, Daniel Kleber. Hi, Daniel.Daniel:
Hi, listeners. So, I'm glad you've made it into the studio today, Daniel. I wasn't sure you were going to be able to make it after your incident with the car last week. Oh. Yeah. For those that are listening out there, Daniel had a rather unfortunate incident with his car last week, and he managed to seize the engine. Due to a lack of oil, of all things, yeah?Daniel:
Yeah, you know, I was driving down the highway to St. Gallen when my car engine suddenly broke down. And I had to wait for the breakdown truck for almost half an hour until they picked me up and dropped me somewhere in the middle of nowhere.Simon:
Yeah, it doesn't sound great, does it? But yeah, anyway, glad to hear you managed to get home okay. How's the car? You any ideas what that's going? You managed to get it fixed up or what's the situation there? Well, as youDaniel:
know, I bought the car only a few weeks ago. Yeah, I do. The garage said that the engine broke due to a seized piston and lack of oil.Simon:
That doesn't sound good. Sounds expensive.Daniel:
Yeah, it does. I had already had to refill the oil a couple of times before it broke down, but the dealer told me to drive for another two weeks and just keep refilling it. To see if it stops.Simon:
Yeah, I can say that doesn't sound particularly good to me. It doesn't sound sensible if you've already had problems withDaniel:
it. I was already suspicious at that point, but you can imagine after the breakdown, I had a pretty long discussion with the dealer and at the end he took it back.Simon:
Well, that's good to hear. At least he, uh, he took it back and you got your money back from there or what's happened then?Daniel:
Uh, yeah, I, I didn't get all my money back because I drove the car for some weeks now. Um, but I got. Most of it back.Simon:
So, yeah, at least there's a bit of good news there then. I hope you're gonna make a few extra checks this time then before you purchase your car. Ha, yeah, for sure. How's the hunt going then? Have you found a new car or where are you with that? Well,Daniel:
this will be my sixth car now within the last six years. Ooh, that's pretty impressive. Yeah, I'm not really proud of that. So this time I decided to buy a new one which is guaranteed to work. I've been looking around on several websites of different car dealerships and found a few offers that are within my budget.Simon:
Yeah, that's good to hear then. So I'd imagine this time then that you're going to go and take a couple of test drives at least before you make your final decision. OfDaniel:
course. This time I will only buy a car which is new or almost new, so I still have guarantee on it. That's a good idea. Mm hmm. But other than that, I want to have enough space to be able to fit my skiing and skydiving equipment. I also want to have all kinds of extras since I'm making this investment. I'm talking about a reversing camera, heated seats to keep my butt warm in winter, and cruiseSimon:
control. Yeah, so you don't have too much in the way of extras that you want in there then, hey? Uh, well,Daniel:
for me, it's a lot more than the last car had. I found a couple of options that seemed to fit my needs. I'm trying to decide between a Volkswagen Golf Variant, a Ford Puma, and a SuzukiSimon:
Jimny. I can't say I'm too familiar with any of those, but, uh, at least it sounds like you've got a plan for what you want then. Um, so I can imagine though, you're talking about sports stuff, that you need a bit of space for that with all your skydiving things.Daniel:
Yeah, and also for my weekend trips to foreignSimon:
countries. Actually, we've been talking a lot about demos throughout this series, and as you're talking through this, it really seems that this is the point now that you've got to in your buy in process as well. So, yeah, if I look back through the whole sort of story script that we've been talking through the whole time, you know, there's something that you want, you know, you want to go skydiving or you want to go skiing. You've got a problem that's stopping you achieving that. You don't have a car. And you've researched the solution and you've found some potential providers, your VW, your Ford or your Suzuki inside there, and now I guess you're ready to go and get that demo. So, have you taken any for a test drive yet, or how did they go?Daniel:
Uh, yeah, I had a test drive with the Jimny and the Golf. And in the end, I decided to go with the Golf. The Volkswagen dealer was much more personal, you know? He asked more about what I was looking for in the car, and then he took me out on a test drive, so I had the chance to check that everything was what I needed.Simon:
So it sounds like the perfect decision demo to me then. Yeah. And that's really what we're talking about in today's show. That final demo, the decision demo, as we call it, just before you close the deal. So we talked in our last episode about the education demo. So as a reminder, that was the one at the start of the buying journey that introduces the general problem and illustrates ways to solve it. In the decision demo, It's much more about demonstrating in detail how the solution fulfills the requirement of their customer and solves their very specific problems. So, going back to your case then, Daniel, it could have been that you took your parachute with you, for example, and checked to see whether it fitted in the trunk or that it was comfortable to drive long distances if you're going to get to your various drop zones. Yeah,Daniel:
you're right. What was also important for me was the chance to test the product myself to see how it feels to use it. Did it give me a good feeling and did it really fit my needs? It's different to put your own hands on a product to test it rather than seeing someone else test it for you.Simon:
Yeah, that's very true and something to consider within demos too. People like to touch and feel and it often helps at the end of the sales process to allow them to play with your product a bit themselves. And, you know... Ideally in some sort of controlled fashion. So earlier this week, I had a chance to sit down and talk with a great friend of mine, Neil Wilson. So he's a colleague for many, many years and a real demo genius. In fact, he taught me most of what I know in this particular area. So we spent quite a bit of time actually talking about these end of the sales cycle, bottom of the funnel demos and how he and his team build enterprise software demonstrations in that way. And he gave me some great tips. So I think listeners, you're really going to enjoy this conversation with Neil Wilson. Hi there, Neil. It's great podcast here today. Maybe you can tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.Neil:
Thanks, Simon. I spend. The majority of my career delivering demonstrations and being part of the I. T. side of the infrastructure of demonstrations in various roles. Technical marketing is responsible for the tools to Our customer facing people to show off the value of our product.Simon:
We've been talking in today's episode about the importance of demonstrations within the sales process and how difficult it can be to convince buyers of the value of your product when you don't have a demonstration. So what's that meant for you?Neil:
Yeah, I mean, it's just the same as you and I, you know, when we go out there trolling for new products, looking for interesting things to explore, we don't want to engage with someone from sales straight away. We want to play first. Demos have always been a very significant part of the sales cycle for enterprise software and typically demos would happen at some point after qualification. Now, demos are part of the qualification process, and generally speaking, the newer buyers, the millennial kind of buyers, are more interested in doing their discovery themselves than they are engaging with someone from pre salesSimon:
early. So when we were talking before the tape started rolling, you were telling me that your team has to support something like around 600 different demo scenarios for all of your products? I think it was something like that. I can't imagine how you go about doing that, you know, can you tell me a bit about some of the challenges that you've experienced over your years?Neil:
So you know, a vendor of enterprise software products has had to make a major change from the way we used to sell. We don't want to change, but we're being forced to do so by competitors who engage with Our prospects earlier in the buying cycle and are able to offer them some sort of experience with that product very early in the discovery phase. You know, in our traditional approach, we will want to have a conversation, extract the needs from the customer, design a solution that's specific to them, take it to them and so on. And the patience isn't there anymore. They want to actually get a feel that the product is right for them before they engage, uh, going to the websites, looking for demonstrations on the websites and that kind of thing.Simon:
So the problem basically is that customers want to be able to actually see the product and play with it themselves before they actually go ahead and buy anything.Neil:
It's interesting, most SAS products that we compete with are not as specialist as the kind of applications that we deliver to large companies for on prem deployment. There tend to be a big decision for an IT department, a multimillion dollar deployment over a period of years, but the expectation is set by that smaller vendor. So the enterprise buying customer wants the same things that they're getting in the small medium enterprise business. That's the dichotomy when I look at on the marketplace in. The enterprise software place, they put people like salesforce. com and I really like the model that they've built for themselves to engage with new customers. I don't think free trials of enterprise software get you very far.Simon:
I'm guessing that's a challenge for pretty much all companies, actually, that are selling enterprise style software. You know, they've got to be suffering from them, too. You know, you guys have got highly complex solutions by the sounds of things that you need to be able to demonstrate in order to compete with those more agile and focused SaaS vendors that you talked about. But you need to be able to do so with an environment that you can control, not just an open trial. If you'reNeil:
trialing something, That is complex, that takes months to set up. They'll never get going in a trial unless you help them over that hump. Building a demonstration of something that's highly complex, repeatable, takes time, costs money, and all that sort of stuff. So number one is how easily can you capture that custom engagement that took you many months to build, so that it's replayable to other customers who might have similar problems. The second thing for Any large software sale is onboarding. How quickly can you make that customer successful with whatever you've sold them? It's not cost effective to sell your end user training, much more cost effective to enable as many customers or users within, you know, a trial or whatever. Make them successful, make them understand how to use the software correctly. Get them to the point of seeing that your software delivers something of value that they can see. Do that fast and you'll close big deals.Simon:
If I'm hearing correctly, this sounds like two challenges then that you've got. Firstly, how do you deliver complex demonstrations at scale? And secondly, how do you teach people how to use these large products without the need for expensive classroom learning? So how have you guys solved this then? So we,Neil:
we started with, with tools that capture green shots. Thanks. And then we put, um, hyperlinks on the screenshots to guide the user from one screen to the next, to the next, and so on. It works very, very well, but the, the issue sometimes is that the screen your end user is using to view the product is an unpredictable size and shape. You know, it's large, it's small, and you generally capture enterprise software on a desktop screen. Somebody tries, you get a demonstration on a laptop or an iPad and it's compressed down. That screenshot becomes pixel dust and it's hard to read. So a newer product came on to the market that we, we took a look at that captures HTML in place of the physical screen. So it creates a. HTML equivalent of the screen it's actually viewing. It's not capturing the whole application capability. The main thing from a user point of view we find is it's, it's very real feel. There's, have a real feeling of the product that you're trying to, you know, get them to buy. Um, because they're really experiencing the UI and the performance of the UI. What they would, they would use in real life. And these clickable demonstrations we find have got higher. Interaction rate with customers and a high satisfaction rate. So again, all parts of our enterprise trial, we would give them a tour to look at and learn more about the application. If there's a followup to that. And they're still interested in the product and want to learn more. That's where we bring them into an actual product in the form of aSimon:
lab. That's really cool. So you mentioned you were building some quite complex multi platform demos earlier. How's that changed with Walnut? InsteadNeil:
of having to have multiplicity of virtual machines and interconnections and months worth of consulting to build the demonstration, we go through the months to build the demonstration. We can now capture that. We can capture it and make it repeatable instead of having to have the whole thing up and running all the time in order to share it with other pre sales people. We can even capture it in a way that we can share with customers, which has been very challenging to do before with, you know, a complex installation, including multiple interconnected partners and so forth and multiple applications. It's just nightmare of complexity now becomes something it's still just as complex. But you can let other people experience it without fear of it being broken or being able to explain it to somebody else, being able to connect them with that demonstration early in their buying cycle so they can actually see what we have to offer. Instead of engage with us in order to see what weSimon:
have on offer. Wow. So it really sounds like this has changed the way that you plan and build your demos then. So you can now plan a scenario then that includes multiple physical products and capture those into an editable click tour type demonstration that you can use repeatedly and consistently at various places within your sales process. That's very cool. That's really cool. Well, Neil, it's been great to have you here with us today. I really appreciate your insights into the world of creating these complex demonstrations. Thanks very much for joining us. So that was really interesting to hear that it's not only small businesses that are having to adapt their sales approaches. But also larger ones that are selling enterprise software and services too. You know, the market's changing, the way that people want to buy are changing. So Neil raised a couple of really interesting points during that chat that I think are worth just going back over quickly. So firstly, demos don't have to be done using a single technology. You know, he discussed using VMWares and virtual machines, and he also discussed using these interactive demos. He mentioned Walnut, for example, inside there. It's quite okay to simulate parts of the process, even at the later stages of the sale. So with complex products, you know, customers are going to understand that occasionally you need to cut from a live product to a simulated section, you know, they're probably not going to question it at all. You just need to do that. So make use of the most appropriate medium. The second key point that I picked up on was relation to training, and I think that has many facets, uh, which we'll talk more about next week. Firstly, though. Neil mentioned that the demos that you create don't just need to be the tools of the sales team. You know, you can also use them for training. Uh, you can include links to simulated demos in your onboarding emails. You can link to them from your help guides. And don't forget to share them with your support teams, resellers, partners, all of those other people that might be interested in how the product works or explaining parts of that at some point. So really great insights there. So thanks once again, Neil, for joining me. It was great to have you on the show. And for those of you listening, Neil's going to be back with us again next week to talk a little bit more about how to handle large numbers of product demonstrations, particularly those where companies have enterprise product suites, for example. So if you're having problems creating demonstrations or you need somebody to help you write a demo script and capture that perfect demonstration, then you can hire an authentic engagement coach. Just go to Demodia. com to hire a coach that will show you how to increase the effectiveness of your product demos and give you an easier way to grow your business. Well, we're getting towards the end of the show now, but before we wrap up today, I want to give you some concrete actions that you can take away from today's episode to help you improve your product demos. Today, we've been talking about building personalized bottom of the funnel demos. You know, those demos that are designed to convince people that this is exactly the right product for them. I know that many of you listening are going to be relying on personal one to one demonstrations that you build for each prospect at this point in the sales process. But as Neil mentioned, though, these can be pretty time consuming, expensive to deliver. And, you know, especially when it comes to scaling your business, it's not a particularly cost effective way of doing things. So for today's action, I want you to go and take a look at one of the various interactive product demo tools, like Walnut, for example, that's out there on the market, and I want you to take a trial of one of those and build yourself a short simulated demonstration, you know, something that you can use either as part of a personalized demonstration or as a pre qualification demonstration, maybe that's linked to a demo form on your website. You'll find these are quick and easy to create. Thanks for watching. But they can have a significant impact on the performance of your sales, making sure that you're not repeating the same things over and over again. So that's all for today's episode of the authentic marketing podcast. Thanks as always for listening and don't forget to bookmark the podcast on your favorite platform and follow us on LinkedIn. We love to hear what you want to know and how we're helping your business succeed. I'll see you next time. Bye for now.