The pandemic-driven shift to buying things online, without direct guidance from a sales assistant or customer support agent, isn’t confined to B2C sales, and B2B businesses need to keep up.
As consumers, people prefer to “do their own research,” and that doesn’t change when they step into their B2B buying shoes. Research from Gartner reveals that 80% of B2B sales interactions are expected to take place in digital channels by 2025, cementing a buyer-centric, non-linear, digital buying model that’s been on the horizon for a while.
B2B buyers sample your whitepapers, read your blog posts, and perhaps sit in on a webinar or two, all without once picking up the phone or sending you an email to make a direct connection. But one element of the traditional sales journey isn’t dead, and that’s the sales demo.
In many ways, the freemium model for SaaS tools is a kind of extended demo for the self-directed buyer. Leads can test drive your solution for as long as they like before they decide to commit to the paid version.
The desire for a demo (or a free basic plan) is unlikely to ever go away. There will always be some aspects to your solution that can’t quite be adequately explained in words; you need to show the lead just how easy it is to use that interface, or how fast they get responses to their queries. Leads need to be the one in the driver’s seat to really experience it.
As Kristen Baker, marketing manager at HubSpot, puts it, “With a sales demo, you’re showing a prospect exactly how your product or service meets their specific needs and can mitigate any pain points and issues they’re experiencing. This makes your prospect want to buy your product or service (or at least want to learn more about it so they can convert later on).”
But if sales demos are so important, why do so many demo platforms flop? Here are three of common issues with demo platforms — and advice for how you can avoid them with the right tool.
1. No protection from connectivity issues
We’ve all been there: you’re in the middle of showcasing your product when suddenly, you become a victim to the frozen screen. Although such issues are often out of our control, prospects expect these not to take place at all. “Don’t take more than five minutes of your prospect’s time to rectify the problem,” advises Meg Prater, managing editor of the HubSpot blog.
If your demo can be affected by any backend issues that may be occuring, you’re running the risk of this happening to you. You’ll risk losing the deal or you’ll have to end the demo, reschedule for another time, and hope for the best.
How can you avoid tripping over this obstacle? Use a cloud-based platform like Walnut. Because it stores your demos in the cloud, there’s zero downtime or loading issues, removing the stress that this could happen to you at any moment.
2. Non-customizable demo templates
It’s harsh, but true. Far more B2B sales are lost not because the salesperson made a mistake, but because the prospect doesn’t feel that your company cares about their needs. Research found that 68% of B2B customers are lost because of indifference or perceived apathy, not because of a mistake.
This means you need to invest more time in discovery, but it also places higher demands on your sales demo. Generic demos that showcase every feature equally have had their day; today’s leads want customized demos that relate directly to their concerns. Otherwise, you risk coming across as indifferent and uncaring, and nothing pushes customers away faster than that.
Walnut’s codeless platform allows you to swiftly duplicate demos and then tweak them according to each prospect’s specific business pain points, making it quick and easy to produce customized, or branded demos that speak directly to each lead.
3. You can’t access any analytics
Analytics are the backbone for success today, no matter what you’re undertaking, and sales demos are no exception. But with most sales demos it’s difficult to track the impact of your presentation and response of the prospect.
If you lose a lead after a demo, you want to be able to drill down into the demo experience, identify what went wrong, and make sure it doesn’t happen a second time.
You need automated data gathering and analytics like those built into Walnut’s platform, so you can access insights about your performance, improve weak points and double down on the parts that work.
Don’t let your sales demo solution let you down
With a customizable, cloud-hosted sales demo solution, you won’t need to worry that all your hard work nurturing a lead could be torpedoed by a boring demo, unstable internet connections, or a lack of insight into what went wrong last time. Sales demos aren’t going away, so there’s more need than ever to get it right.