With new products, services, websites, blogs, programs and apps being developed as frequently as mom-and-pop stores are closing down, finding a competitive edge is more important than ever. We’re spoilt for choice and have developed a resistance to commitment, in addition to having an expectation to try, try and try before we buy. For companies fighting in the red ocean space, more of them are willing to offer potential customers the chance to witness their product in action, and have their questions answered by an expert without any delay.
So What Does It Mean to ‘Schedule a Demo’?
Scheduling a demo is a free service offered by a company, whereby they offer potential customers, clients and users the opportunity to view a live demonstration of the product, in a more in-depth way than a typical ‘free trial’ experience would allow. Rather than simply trying the product for a few days, potentially failing to understand its features and feeling unsure of how to use it, customers are able to view a live demonstration of how the product runs, understand its key features and ask questions in real time. Companies are then able to show:
- How the product can be customised and personalised
- How the product can be tailored to the needs of specific companies
- How the product addresses typical customer pain points
- Their competitive advantage
- Exactly how the product should be used to achieve optimal results.
Pro Tip: If you haven’t rolled out all of your product’s features yet, let your prospective customers know about what they can expect in the future, and offer them a chance to tell you how these features could work for them. Eventually, you’ll start to build a customer profile which will prove invaluable as you adapt your upcoming features.
What A Demo Should Not Be
- A blatant sales pitch
- A chance for you to push upgrades and irrelevant features onto a prospective client
- A lazy, non-personalised, one-way demonstration with no opportunity for questions, comments or feedback.
How It Works
Typically when a customer arrives at your site, they’ll find themselves on your home page or, depending on how they got there, a page that tells them a little about the product. Some companies may have a ‘schedule a demo’ form or a tab dedicated to finding out more, where customers can input their contact details, preferred demo time and questions they have about using the product. From there, someone from the company sets up a demo for a time that suits both parties.
Pro Tip: Scheduling demos with people in different time zones on a regular basis can be incredibly time-consuming, resource-draining and frustrating. Try using a scheduling app like Cogsworth to manage this process, which among other things will manage multiple time zones at once.
The Advantages of Scheduling a Demo
- Customers are not required to provide their credit card details
- Customers are able to see a product in action, have their questions answered live and determine quickly if a product is right for them. This in turn allows those afraid of commitment some space to consider all of their options before making any decisions
- You obtain an email address for your database, one belonging to a prospective and interested customer who already recognise the value in your product. If they don’t sign up to your service after the demo, you’ll have plenty of future opportunities to convert them
- It gives you the opportunity to showcase the best of your product, learn more about potential customers, and communicate your message in a direct and clear way
- It gives you the invaluable opportunity to receive candid feedback, as well as fix any bugs that are brought to your attention
- Your prospective customers have the opportunity to ask specific and in-depth questions and raise concerns that you can respond to immediately.
Things To Watch Out For
- Many people find it difficult to schedule in time that suits both them and the person running the demo. Using an app like Cogsworth can make this process seamless
- Just like being afraid of committing to a new product without first testing it, many people are hesitant to commit their time in advance, even for a demo. Give them a compelling reason to do so by listing what examples of what you can cover on your booking form
- In some cases, not all questions that come out of the demo can be answered immediately. Make sure you follow-up within 24 hours, and provide a temporary solution in the meantime.
Pro Tip: While you might be tempted to schedule in a demo for the first time suggested to you by the client, make sure it fits in with your schedule. Even if you’re willing to to run a demo at 3:00am you won’t be at your sharpest, so try to avoid it.
Before You Start
Once you’ve set up a time to show an interested party how amazing your product is, rest assured that the hard part is done! You know your product is game-changer but raising awareness is no mean feat, so you’ve done a great job at marketing it to customers who now want to find out more. Make it count and convert the lead by being confident, knowing you product inside and out, and most importantly, being prepared. Our top tips are:
- Determine how long your demo will be - some companies offer a one hour demo, but not all customers can commit to so much time. Run through a practice demo with a colleague and decide for yourself how much time you need to show your product’s key features and answer questions, without going into unnecessary detail and wasting anybody’s time.
- Once you’ve set up a time, do some research about the company in question. What are the industry pain points, how are they most likely to use the product and what can be customised to make operations more efficient? Showing you’ve conducted research and making relevant, specific suggestions will demonstrate how personalised your system really is, and will give you an opportunity to discover gaps for future iterations of your product.
- During and after your demonstration, ask for questions. You’ll be able to reassure, explain and expand on what you’ve outlined, and get some valuable feedback about what your product is missing/how it could be improved.
- If someone takes time out of their day to watch you demonstrate your product, you should feel confident that they’re interested. They want your product to be a good fit, so don’t waste the opportunity to sign them up. Make the process simple by having everything ready for them to get started, and begin the onboarding process.
- Ask the customer if there is anything holding them back from signing up, and be prepared to make assurances.
- Send them a follow-up email after the demo, detailing what you went over, why the product is necessary for their business and how you can support them as they start integrating it into their current systems.
Pro Tip: Offer your potential customer a special discount for signing up after the demo. Don’t give them a chance to talk themselves out of your product - give them a compelling reason not to miss out.
Who’s Doing It Well
- Freshdesk - offers a thorough, one hour session: https://www.freshworks.com/freshsales-crm/demo-request/
- Fuze - prompts prospective customers to ask questions prior to the demo, to allow the team member responsible a chance to prepare in advance, with examples and specific features: https://www.fuze.com/demo
- Ecreators - offers case studies and best practice examples: https://ecreators.com.au/schedule-a-demo/
- Zen Desk: https://www.zendesk.com/demo/
- App Dynamics: https://www.appdynamics.com/lp/schedule-a-demo/
Scheduling a demo is a fantastic way to showcase your product to a receptive audience, and gives you a chance to better understand your customer and how they'll use your product. Schedule a demo with us so we can demonstrate how easily Cogsworth can integrate into your business and change the way your manage day-to-day operations, with fast, efficient and easy scheduling solutions.