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Product Demos
4 min read

Traditional Demos Are Dead

Traditional Demos Are Dead

Hot take: Gone are the days of traditional demos. 

I know that’s a controversial opinion, but let me explain. 

Taking a strategic approach to building demos

Think of your product as being a 1,000-piece puzzle. 

(We live in a post-COVID world, so I know you’ve all tackled a few.) 

What’s the best way to start one?

Starting randomly might seem okay at first, and you might even complete a few segments. 

However, as you realize how long this approach takes, you might not give up entirely, but it will definitely slip down your priority list. 

Eventually, the puzzle will sit on your table, serving as a constant reminder of something you’ll get back to—someday. You care enough to keep it out, but not enough to finish it quickly.

Alternatively, what if you started with the border?

Here’s your game plan: Prioritize the edge pieces. Boom, you’ve completed the most crucial step. 

With the border set, you’ve given yourself purpose, direction, and solved your number one pain point. And now that you have a frame, you have options. You can start in one of four corners and from there continue to add on. As you work through the puzzle, you realize all of the pieces are important, but not all need to be used at once.

Starting with the most important pieces of the puzzle

In demo terms, prioritizing the edge pieces is equivalent to focusing on your product’s most crucial features first. This is because it gives you a starting base and ensures you don’t need to wander aimlessly.

Though – no doubt – your product offers the full puzzle, no customer will be able to understand the full value of each piece from the get-go. 

However, once they understand the first value add (the border), by the next demo – or better yet – by the time they purchase your software – they can add pieces of the puzzle to get the full picture.  

By not showing the entire puzzle at once, you’re not downplaying the importance of your product and its features. Rather, you’re focusing on the key elements first and building up.

And the best part about this in demo terms? You can build your way up in multiple ways. Just like the puzzle. 

Once the foundation is set, you can begin in any way you want. Creating a toolbox of demos allows you to build the full picture in various ways, customizing the approach for your prospects.

Target your audience by making the demo fit what they need now, not what they might need later. Find the features that make the most sense, and trust that over time, the extra features they didn’t know they needed will make an impact.

Applying this strategy to sales enablement and customer enablement

For us, this is true for both sales enablement and customer enablement. 

As a seller, don’t overwhelm your prospect with Walnut features they don’t understand yet. And don’t teach them about Walnut by starting in the middle of the puzzle.

From the CS side, the same principle applies. A sandbox environment as your first experience with Walnut requires understanding linking, Smart Objects, variables, Find and Replace, how to update screens, HTML edits, and many more features—all at once. This is the middle, even near the end, of the puzzle.

If you first focus on creating a shorter, yet targeted demo flow specific to your prospect’s pain point, you will have successfully found all the edge pieces for your border. Throw in an avatar and a variable, and your edge pieces fit together and your frame is complete. 

When the time comes to delve into the middle, your foundation will already be strong, and adding a third or fourth variable is less scary and overwhelming.

From there, with the help of the Walnut platform, the rest of the puzzle will build itself. 

That’s why the days when your demo strategy simply equated to copying and pasting a full sandbox environment are long gone. 

From a customer enablement perspective, I’m not afraid to shout it from the rooftops. 

And from a sales enablement perspective, you shouldn’t be either.

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