We often find ourselves faced with a multitude of demos and struggle to locate the appropriate one when we require it. Whether we work in a company that offers software suites or physical product catalogues, we've all experienced that sense of being lost and overwhelmed when trying to find the perfect demo at the right moment. It's similar to searching for a needle in a haystack.
However, imagine if there was a simple method to bring order to this chaos. A way to effortlessly discover the ideal demo precisely when you need it. That's what we'll be discussing in today's episode.
In this episode, Simon Harvey and Daniel Kleber are once again, joined by Neil Wilson. Together, they will explore how a well-organised library has enabled him to effectively manage and share over 600 solution demonstrations.
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Whether you're working in a company that sells suites of software or catalogs of physical products, we've all felt lost and overwhelmed when it comes to finding the right demo when you need it most. It's like searching for a needle in a haystack. But what if there was an easy way to bring order to the chaos, a way to find the right demo just when you need it? That's what we're going to be talking about in today's episode. I'm joined again by Neil Wilson. And today we'll hear how a well organized library has helped him to manage and share over 600 solution demonstrations across their teams. We also discuss how communications and onboarding are the key to delivering consistent demonstrations across sales teams and a partner ecosystem. So let's get the show started. Hi there and welcome to the authentic marketing podcast in association with Demodia I'm your host Simon Harvey, and I'm joined as usual by my co host Daniel Klaber. Hi there, Daniel HiDaniel:
Simon. Hello listeners.Simon:
So hey, we had an interesting trip this weekend. We've had family over and visited the Stiftsbibliothek at the Cathedral. You've come across that at all before here?Daniel:
Um, no, I haven't actually. I know a bibliothèque is a library, but what is it? Is it something worthSimon:
visiting? Um, actually, yeah, it really is. It's really impressive. Uh, it's not massive, but it's one of the oldest libraries in Switzerland, evidently, and one of the oldest and largest monastic libraries in the world. So, uh, it's really quite impressive. Some of the books date right back to, what, the eighth century or something like that. It's crazy. Oh,Daniel:
wow. And how old is the librarySimon:
itself? Um, that's a good question. I don't know whether I really know exactly that. I'm sure someone can write in and tell me. But I think the original library dates back around a thousand years. Yeah, it's fairly old, exactly. But the current library is somewhat newer than that. It's obviously been rebuilt at that point in time. But I think the latest renovation was done back in about the 1700s. Crazy. Yeah, it's really impressive. Actually. I would say I've never been there before. It's really beautiful to see. Um, and definitely something I'd recommend to anyone that's listening that plans on visiting St. Gallen. SoundsDaniel:
great. But what's that got to do withSimon:
our show today though? Uh, that's a good question. I'm glad you asked that. So in the series so far, we've been talking about demos and we've looked at how to use them to support the various parts of your sales process. On today's episode though, we're looking at something slightly different. We're going to look at how to manage and share demos once you've started to build a collection. So really this is for companies that have large suites of products. Um, you know, if you're a company that's got 30 or 40 products, you may well have 20 or 30 demos for each of those products. So you can very quickly get into the hundreds or even thousands of different demonstrations. And with all those small demos, as a sales or a pre sales person, the question is really how do you find the right one to present to the customer when you need it?Daniel:
That's a good question. Since you were talking about libraries, I guess it comes down to having a good library to store and manage themSimon:
within. Yep, you're absolutely right. So when it comes to scaling demos, the final part of the process is to make sure that you've got a central place to store your demos. That's both. You, within your company, and ideally people like partners that might be demoing your products, can also access. By having a central library, it means that the time that you've spent crafting those great stories and building the demos themselves doesn't go to waste.Daniel:
So what you're looking for is something similar to the Netflix library that you have at home. You want something that allows you to categorize your demos around themes such as perhaps the product they show, the stage in the sales process they might be used, and most importantly, the problem that they are showing the solution to.Simon:
Exactly. I think your analogy of Netflix there is absolutely the right one. It's like your Netflix. So I had the chance to chat with Neil last week and we heard this conversation about how his team's creating great education demos. But we talked quite a lot further after that and the conversation went on and I thought you might be interested in hearing more of that. So Neil and his team manage a portfolio of around 600 different products and he went on to explain how they've set up a library and use a library to manage all of them to share them around their organization and to share them with their partners. Here's my interview with Neil. Hi Neil. It's great to have you back on the podcast again, and thanks once again for joining us. So as a reminder to our listeners out there, Neil and his team is responsible for creating and maintaining the corporate library of demonstrations and tools that their sales team uses to showcase solutions to prospective customers. So in our last conversation, Neil, you mentioned that you are managing demonstrations for around 600 different products and their various scenarios. That seems like a lot of work. We've been talking today on the podcast about the problem large organizations have when they have to manage these large volumes of demonstrations. How's that been for you guys?Neil:
So, again, we have a large pre sales organization. We're a large company. Finding things in large companies becomes a problem. Um... You know, your, your number of SKUs starts to rise into the thousands if you grow by acquisition. So we bolt on another software vendor every couple of years, and we bolt on another 20, 30 products. We got to a point where trying to find which demo system, where to go to, to get it became, well, if it's this product, then you go here. And if it's that product, you go there. If it's this product at this phase, you go in this, and yeah, it just became. It became extremely difficult for our pre sales guys and came to my door in technical marketing and they said we need a solution toSimon:
this. So if your pre sales teams were frustrated, then it sounds like things were somewhat chaotic with the way demonstrations were managed. How did you guys go about solving this for your internal customers then?Neil:
We worked with Demodia and we brainstormed some ideas and we piloted a video sharing environment and then adapted it and said You know what? Maybe we can use this in a different way. That was the emergence of the site we call Test Drive today. So Test Drive is simply a website which connects to multiple pre sales resources. So basically, anything that we can connect to that is of value to the pre sales guy. So it could be... A customer story, which is connected to the demonstration. It could be a recorded video demonstration. It could be a click tour. It could be a lab. It could be the product itself. We could start by connecting our end users, that time pre sales. We hosted demonstrations of the products that they want. Doesn't matter where you are, as long as you have an internet connection, you can go into Test Drive, and within a couple of links, you can get into that live product. So we, we started with a live product. Then we started adding our clickable products, because they're just at the end of a URL. Then we can now create a single webpage for a product that brings together those assets from multiple places. We, we store our videos on YouTube. Well, why do I have to go out of this environment and then start searching on YouTube to go and find the marketing asset that I need? Teststripe brings it all together in one page and says, here's the stuff, how the pre sales engineer uses it in front of a customer and say, you know, here's my demo. Oh, and here are two customer videos that I have that could reinforce what I just showed you. Those are the sort ofSimon:
examples. That's really impressive to hear that you've now got a tool which. Really is supporting the pre sales teams. It's not just a search engine that says, Oh, there's the demo you need, but it's also integrating those other marketing assets you talked about. So you can pull in things like case studies, you mentioned, um. Other demos, videos, all those sorts of bits coming together. It sounds to me like it's really giving salesfolk context so that they can either use that for their own education maybe, or they can share that with a customer perhaps to broaden their experience. I do find that really exciting. So speaking of these other use cases, how have you seen Test Drive being used within the company now? Is it just a tool for your sales team now or? Are there other things that you're doing with it?Neil:
So, it started being pre sales people. Then it started to be the inside sales people. Hey, this is a great way of showing a product on the end of a telephone conference. Or, you know, I've got a customer who's interested. I can actually show them something and I don't have to wait for a pre sales person to be available to do that. From that into product marketing. I need access to a live product to take a screenshot from, to put in my marketing material. Well. Provide access to a live running product. Product marketing becomes interested. Then our services are gone. Hey, wait a minute. Is that a way we can go and try stuff out and recreate a customer problem? Or you can go in and do that as well. Test drive has grown from being something that we provided just to pre sales to something that has now become valuable to the whole company.Simon:
So what started off as a project to collect your demonstrations into a manageable space really sounds like it's grown into a tool that your whole company is now seeing value from. That's one thing I love about working with technical companies. The people in those organizations often tend to come up with ideas and ways of using these sorts of tools. You know, they create their own solutions to the problems that we'd never even thought about before. So, where is it that Test Drive is now, and what are your plans for the future then?Neil:
Working with our friends at Demodio, we said, could we also make that into a lab environment, where they could connect to a live running product and actually... Go through some sort of training and learning kind of process. So it grew a little bit more and had the addition of hands on labs, as we call it. So basically it's a live running product. With the addition of a demo script turned into a training course. And it says, follow this script with this live product and you can experience the live product. Customers get a lot out of it. Our partners are probably the biggest beneficiaries.Simon:
So that's interesting. This is really transformed from a resource that was initially developed for your internal teams and your customers, but now you're saying your partners also have access to the site.Neil:
Partners use our Hansel labs every day. They use onboarding, they teach themselves how to use products, and they become quite dependent on the Hands On Labs site to learn how to deliver demos of this product and that product and so forth. Because it gives them a live product experience, which is much more challenging to set up in their own worlds. I think if you canvas our partners, they would say, yeah, really love Hands On Labs. It's onboarding. The realization that you need to onboard. Your pre sales people, you need to onboard your partners, you need to onboard your Prospects, customers, it's onboarding, onboarding, onboarding.Simon:
And you here again. Thank you very much for joining us and for sharing the success that you've had with the Test Drive site and your demo experiences. Thanks very much. You'reNeil:
You take care. Thanks for that, Neil. As I've mentioned before, Neil's been a great influence on my career and helped me learn how to best demonstrate and showcase products with a library of over 600 different product demos. He certainly has got quite a bit on his hands, hasn't he? What really did stick out to me though today was what Neil said about onboarding. And that's a problem I've heard many times before. I think that's a problem that many marketers out there face. You know, it's all well and good creating demos or other content, but if no one knows about it or no one knows how to find it, then you've got to ask yourself whether or not it even really exists. So the key thing that Neil mentions here is that you need to onboard people. You need to onboard your pre sales teams. You need to onboard your partners, your prospects and your customers. You know, it's all about onboarding. If you can't onboard customers quickly, then you shouldn't be in the business, to take his words. You need to let people know that the demos exist so that they can make the most of them in the first place. So if you're having problems creating demonstrations, or you need somebody to help you write a demo script and capture that perfect demonstration for yourself, 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. So we're at the point in the show again, where I like to give you a set of concrete actions that you can take to help you improve your product demos. Today's action is a simple one, but hopefully something that's going to improve your demos. I want you to take a look at the demos that you've created and ask yourself two questions. Number one, firstly, does everyone know that these exist? It's a simple question, and something that Neil mentioned there, you know, communications is key here. Have you notified your sales teams, partners and prospects that you've created or published your demonstrations? Or are they things that have just been created in the back lobby, somewhere in the back office and published up onto a file share or onto a hidden website that nobody knows about? They're worthless if nobody knows that they're there. Question two, I want you to ask yourself whether or not those demos can be easily found. So even if they weren't communicated or somebody missed that message out there, do they know where to go to get that sort of thing? Is there a central place that they can find all of that? And can they search quickly to find the right demo based on a particular problem that a particular customer has? You know, if you've got an internal or a public demo resource library, for example, that members of your sales support and partner teams can search and quickly locate the right demo. So I think if you ask yourself those two questions, they might seem simple, but there's a couple of easy fixes that you can make there to make the most of your demos. A few simple changes to the way that you share and manage your demos are going to have a significant impact on the return that you get from those demos and the consistency that you see. From demoing within your sales teams. Well, that's all for today's episode of authentic marketing podcast. Thanks very much for listening as always. And don't forget to bookmark us on your favorite podcast tool. We love to hear what you want to know and how we're helping your business succeed. That's all for today's show. I'll see you next time.