Categories: Sales and Distribution
Back on March 3, we gave you 22 tips for creating better software demos. That was written mostly from the perspective of software companies doing in-person demos, and it revealed the most common gaffes that will bore your audience to death.
But software demos come in many different sizes and shapes, and are used for several different purposes. Today, with the help of two industry veterans, we'll share tips, tricks, and guidance for using software demos across your whole range of prospect and customer contact.
First up is Paul Turner, senior director of product marketing at NetSuite. Founded in 1998 and based in San Mateo, Calif., NetSuite (NYSE: N) has more than 1,000 employees across nine offices throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
The company develops and markets cloud-based business management software. More than 12,000 customers use NetSuite tools to automate and manage their operations and business information systems. Revenues last year were $236.3 million, and the company has $141.5 million cash on hand.
Obviously, NetSuite is a powerhouse player in the industry. But their market is mid-size companies, so ease of use and understanding is vital. Their budget-constrained prospects need to quickly grasp the benefits of the NetSuite solutions, which come in many different flavors and configurations.
Tip #1: You need to provide an overview of your offering.
NetSuite starts with an overview demo "tour” that breaks into eight product demos. This is where most prospects will start.
"I've worked on a bunch of demos," says Turner, "and this one is the most complicated I've every worked on. It's a huge product, with so many different audiences and industries and stakeholders.
"End to end, the demo runs about 35 minutes. We're catering to many different audiences, from controller to manufacturing executives, so we've made it process-based.
"We had to get a lot of feedback before we began. We focused on getting together as a team early on, to plan the whole demo at the outset rather than learning as we went along."
Tip #2: Then, create demos that speak to specific industries.
Further in, NetSuite presents industry software demos that show how the application might work in six different types of businesses.
"Our customers want to solve particular business processes," Turner says. "That's what we've heard from customers. It's addressing a complete end-to-end solution. That's a very strategic value proposition."
Tip #3: Then, create demos that speak to specific job titles.
From NetSuite's web Resource Center, there are additional software demos designed to show specific application -- and features and benefits -- for eight different job titles.
"Financial people can look at the portion relevant to their role, manufacturing managers can look at manufacturing, and so on," says Turner. "We'll put these in multiple locations throughout the site. They will be sprinkled through product pages as well as industry sections."
Tip #4: Then, create demos that feature real success stories.
Among the most powerful of NetSuite's library of demos are the customer testimonials: There were 17 when we spoke with Turner, but he says they're adding more all the time.
"Those customer videos are big for us," Turner says. "Customer testimonials are really key; that's an important part of our website.
"We take a couple of different approaches. At our user conference, we sit down with them right there and record the videos. We also have a customer reference team, and they'll go out and do the videos as on-site visits; we take our own crew there."
Tip #5: Let your customers create their own presentations.
In addition to the on-site visits, NetSuite also lets customers build their own presentations, right from the NetSuite website.
"Customers can dial in and record their slides on their own time," says Turner. "We use Brainshark to make those. You develop your PowerPoint presentation and upload it to Brainshark. The customer can then pick up the phone, dial in a code, and you're recording audio for each slide."