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Is Your Sales Cycle Too Long?

During what stage in your sales cycle are prospects given an opportunity to see your software in action? An extended sales cycle that distances your product from your prospects could be wasting your time and money on unqualified leads as well as losing sales revenue from hot prospects that quickly turn cold. The sooner you are able to show your product in action, the more likely you are to qualify hot leads and close sales.

Online leads that are not contacted within 24-hours by phone are less likely to call for more information or take a call from a company after four days. 96-hours—that’s less than a week for a prospect to go from “extremely interested” to “don’t call me.”  This confirms that the first hours of your sales cycle are the most critical. An automated demo can give prospects a high-level understanding of your product during this critical time period, plus offer an effective sales tool that they can pass around to other team members and decision makers.

Awhile back, the marketing director for a robust, comprehensive software solution came to us looking for a sales tool that would enable consistent communication and could be used across multiple platforms. After reviewing their sales process, it was obvious that too much time was being spent on the frontend of the sales discussion without showcasing the product itself.

Their five-step sales cycle didn’t get their product in front of their prospects until the very last step. Her sales team was spending countless hours qualifying leads and accessing their needs without ever showing the product.

We worked with our client to identify her product’s top three distinguishing features that set the software apart from the competition. We leveraged the product’s unique benefits to create a six-minute autodemo that showcased the product’s functionality, using screen shots of the software in action synced to a professional voiceover.

The link to the demo was given prime real estate on the product page of the company’s website, placed on marketing CDs, and used in emails to prospects. While the original sales process had kept prospects in the dark about how the software looked and functioned, the automated demo instantly changed the sales process by initiating the sales cycle for them and showing prospects the product within moments of entering the sales cycle.

Within days of using the demo, there was a noticeable shift in the company’s sales process. Instead of the lengthy five-step process the sales cycle became a three-step process because less time was spent qualifying leads. By putting a lead generation form at the end of the demo, many prospects immediately qualified themselves. The six-minute automated demo had not only shortened the sales cycle, but increased sales force efficiency by 20 percent.

An automated demo not only initiates and shortens the sales cycle, it adds numerous benefits to your overall marketing mix. It works as a multipurpose sales tool that can be used on multiple fronts. It’s an easy way to start a conversation with a prospect. Instead of emailing a lengthy message that lists all of your products selling points, you can send a link to a demo that engages the prospect on various levels by actually showing what your software can do.

People don’t buy want they don’t understand and the longer you keep a lead in your sales pipeline the colder the lead gets. By waiting to show prospects the actual product, you are most likely spending time and money on unqualified leads, while losing hot leads because they lost interest before ever seeing the product. Showing prospects your software early in the sales cycle results in improved sales force efficiency and higher close rates. The sooner you let prospects see what they’re buying, the sooner they will make a purchasing decision.

Read More In: Marketing and PR

This blog covers all things software demo-related. From content to technology, we discuss what works and what doesn't to help give you the competitive edge when it comes to building your software demos.

Tags : automated demomarketingqualifying leadssoftware demo

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