Show don’t tell, that's the key to success on the big screen. Demo’s play a crucial role in the sales process. The same principle helps you sell, because demos play a crucial role in the sales funnel. With everyone having a camera and screen recorder these days, demos can be a really simple thing to deliver.
As always, though, the devil lies in the detail and strategy. A multitude of tools and approaches are out on the market. But which is best suited for which stage in the sales funnel?
Level 1: The general information demo
At the beginning of the sales funnel, prospects have a problem and are looking for a solution. At this point, it is unlikely they have a specific product in mind; they are looking for ideas and solutions to the broader challenges that they have.
In this very early phase, animated videos and short simulated product animations can be a great option. Many companies push physical demos or recordings far too early in the sales process, wasting both their time and their prospects.
In the first step, a potential customer wants to learn what the solution can do without going into detail. This task can be very easily fulfilled by an animatic-style video like these from Darvideo. When creating your demo script, remember to use a storytelling approach and include details about the problem your product solves.
For example, if you were selling accounting software to small businesses, your story might talk about simple, time-efficient accounting for SMEs. The video should illustrate their problem, a lack of time and then show the potential customer how the software enables simple yet correct bookkeeping in the shortest possible time and with little effort.
Creating videos without production experience
There are plenty of agencies that can create animated demo videos. Using the storytelling method, we have created many successful animated demo videos for our clients.
But if your budget is more limited, even non-professionals without video production experience can create animated demos with tools such as Vyond (previously GoAnimate). The tool offers many templates for different industries and purposes. From the templates, a product presentation can be created with an animated hero, or the product can be presented through facts and graphics.
Level 2: The product overview demo
With the prospect now understanding how you can help them, they are likely interested in your product as a possible solution to their problem.
Now comes the next step: they want to know exactly how it works. In this case, a screen-cam video or individual screenshots can be a time-saving and very credible solution. Tools such as Camtasia can be used to capture a salesperson doing a short demonstration on their laptop. These can be uploaded to YouTube or your website. However, beware that you don't make the demo too long. Your viewers are still learning how you solve their problem, so much more than a couple of minutes, and they will switch off.
For a more advanced option, platforms like Navattic and Storylane can assemble a series of screenshots into a click-tour that guides the prospect through a product. The viewer feels like they are on a well-guided museum tour. Instead of walking helplessly past the multitude of paintings. Outstanding features of the artworks are highlighted by the tour guide giving the demo meaning and context.
Advantages and disadvantages of screen recordings
Click-tours have many advantages over the familiar product screen-cam, in which a salesperson can be seen tucked into a corner, guiding viewers through the product. Among others, the viewer plays an interactive part in the presentation, making them feel more like part of the story.
Screen recordings, on the other hand, are easier and faster to implement. Tools like Camtasia record exactly what is happening on the salesperson’s screen. The disadvantage, though, is that if the demo is of any length or the screen area shown is too large, they can involve large video files with a significant data volume.
Level 3: Product interest demo
Now you've got them hooked, the prospect wants to know the full details of your product and whether it can satisfy their specific needs. Now is the time that general videos or screen recordings are no longer sufficient.
At this stage, we recommend personalised and interactive demos that can be run by prospects themselves or presented by your sales team. Tools such as Walnut.io can capture and guide prospects through demos of any web application without needing a salesperson to be present. Separate web applications can be seamlessly linked together in a structured flow, giving the prospects the look, feel and experience of their complete solution without the complexity of having to have numerous real products present.
In addition, Walnut allows companies to create libraries of standard demonstrations. These can be personalised by salespeople and shared with the prospect at the end of the demo. Analytics within the tool shows how long the potential customer spends in the demo and where they left off.
Personalised sales presentations
To stay with our earlier example. An interested prospect of the SME accounting software has concerns about whether the software is also suitable for customers abroad. A self-guided tour through the corresponding demo video guides them through the creation of foreign customers, and they are happy.
With a library of demos, companies can store examples of numerous problems and their solutions, so the interested customer gets a sales presentation tailored to his challenges.
For demos to be used successfully, companies should be clear about the point in the sales process at which the demo is going to be used. Like anything else within the sales and marketing process, the use of demos should follow a strategy. A one-off demo video somewhere in the funnel confuses more than it clarifies.
As with all other parts of your communications, demos should always follow a clear story-based approach, no matter with which tool and for which purpose they are used.
The later in the sales process a demo falls, the more sophisticated and personalised they should be. This can mean an investment, but it will be one that pays off in higher conversion rates and a reduction in one-to-one time for sales professionals.