In today’s SaaS sales ecosystem, the product demo or sales demo is a crucial element of any marketing toolbox and sales assets. Visitors and prospects want to see the product before making a purchase, and as a matter of fact, 74% of B2B buyers do at least half of their research online before they buy. You got the point: showing your product is a must and you have to demonstrate its value as efficiently as possible.
In order to achieve that, you need to understand what kind of demo is the most beneficial for your needs and why. Some of the most popular options include: Marketing demo videos, sales pre-recorded videos, product demo presentations, live product demos, and interactive product demos. Yeah, it’s super confusing but we’re going to try and make sense out of it.
Let’s start by understanding the pros and cons of each kind of product demo:
What’s a marketing product demo video?
A marketing product demo video is usually a short clip that features your product value. The goal is to push the visitor to purchase a plan, start a free trial, or request a demo. They can be animated, text-based, or show real-life use of the product. They’ll in general show the product value while explaining how it solves the specific pains of the target audience. Since these videos address a wide audience (which iss what marketing is about anyway), they’ll usually have an entertaining aspect and will be easy to understand even for people who aren’t familiar with the industry/technology.
Pros of marketing product demo videos:
- Easy to understand
- Address a large audience: Since the goal is to hit wide
- Re-usable and multifunctional: You can use them on the website, for user acquisition/lead generation purposes, email marketing, and more.
- Benefit brand awareness (when done right)
Cons of marketing product demo videos:
- Not personal enough
- Not precise enough: Most prospects would want to understand the product more in-depth and even try it
- Expensive: Since they require (generally) a full production
To summarize, this kind of video is great to attract the attention of the prospects, explain the value of the product, and create awareness. They’re a great asset for top-of-the-funnel leads but aren’t the most efficient tool to close deals that require financial commitments. Advanced stages in the sales process require more advanced demos that the sales team will handle - see our full product demo guide.
What’s a sales pre-recorded demo?
To stay in the video universe, a lot of sales professionals will use sales pre-recorded demo videos during their call with prospects. The goal of this kind of videos is to demonstrate the product value while showing it on the screen. In other words, it’s kind of a “product walk-through” that explains how some of the product features solve a prospect’s pains and bring them value. During these software demos, the sales rep’ will focus on the value verbally while illustrating how the software enables it.
Pros of sales pre-recorded demos:
- Less expensive: Doesn’t require a full production and can be done in-house
- Focused: Zeros in on the specific pains and needs of each prospect
- Failure-free: Since the demo isn’t happening live, there are no risks of bugs and updates
Cons of sales pre-recorded demos:
- Time-consuming: Needs to be re-created over and over again
- Not personalized: They generally won’t include the prospect’s brand assets
- Not interactive: The prospects don’t see the product live and can’t try it
If this kind of video is more appealing for the prospect, their main issues are personalization and scalability. In addition, the prospect would usually expect to try the product and to see it live at some point in the process.
What’s a product presentation?
A cheap and efficient way of presenting a product is a good old Powerpoint or GoogleSlides presentation. This allows the sales rep to create templates for each vertical or use-case of prospects that they can edit by themselves. Presentations also allow a more readable and easy-to-digest format. They’re meant to be scalable and straightforward.
Pros of sales product demo presentations:
- Time-saving: Presentation tools are easy to use and duplicate
- Resource-saving: Everyone can do it. No need for technical help
- Personalized: Each prospect gets a personal presentation featuring their brand
- Focused: Each prospect gets a tailored answer for his needs
Cons of sales product demo presentations:
- Not showing the product in action: Well, you’ll obviously show screenshots and even GIFs of specific features, but it’s not covering the full scope.
- Not allowing interaction with the product: What can we say? You can’t win everywhere
Basically, presentations have a lot of good s(l)ides but there is one major downside: The prospect doesn’t get to know the product - and this can feel not reliable. In other words, the problem is that product demos are about demonstrating a product/software not presenting it. A small nuance that means a lot. That said, they can be a great tool to use between the cold outreach stage and the live demo stage - but they can’t replace the demo itself.
What’s a live product demo?
Oh, now we’re talking. Live product demos are one of the most standard ways to demonstrate a product/software. Sales pros simply explain the value of their product’s features while using it real-time in front of the prospects - via a conference call tool or face-to-face. This kind of demo allows you to actually walk the prospect through your real interface, at your rhythm. In addition, it generates more trust to see a live product than a video or else. But here again, this solution presents both benefits and pains. Let’s go over them:
Pros of live product demos:
- Create trust: The prospect see the actual product in action
- Time-saving: You just have to show the product as is, no need to record or customize anything
- Encompassing: You can show all the features the prospect want to see
Cons of live product demos:
- Not personal enough: If you want to customize your product for each prospect you’ll need to require help from the dev and design team which is time and resource-consuming
- Bugs and updates: Sh*t happens. If your product crashes in the middle of a demo, it’s hard to recover from it
- Overwhelming: Rich software can be overwhelming for prospects looking to answer specific needs
Tailored interactive product demos
Think there’s no perfect solution? Think again. By using demo software like Walnut, you can create interactive and customized demos for your prospect - following 5 simple steps. Plus, since the demos happen in an encapsulated environment, they won’t bug, crash, or update. Even more interesting, you can share your product demos with your prospects and collect valuable insights or even embed them on your website as a marketing tool. Then all you have left to do is optimizing and duplicating your demos according to your needs.
So to sum it up:
Pros of demo creation using dedicated software:
- Personalized: Codeless platforms like Walnut let you customize your demo without coding
- Focused: You can tailor your demo to meet the customers’ pains
- Scalable: Once you’ve created one demo “template”, duplicate (and edit) your demos easily
- Time and resource-saving: No dependency on other teams. No time wasted on recording and other technical aspects
- Interactive: Your sales demo is fully interactive and your prospects can try it at any time, anywhere. Share a link with them or embed it in your marketing materials and let them play with your product
- Insightful: Collect insights about your demo usage and optimize it for each prospect
- Failure-free: Since the demos happen in an encapsulated environment
Cons of demo creation using dedicated software:
- Couldn’t find one. Maybe their marketing is a bit too humble.