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Improving Sales Through Better Software Demos

A softwareceo.comBlog

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.

Top 5 mistakes made when building a demo in-house

Many software marketers consider building their demo in-house to save time and money; but, here's the catch:

When you calculate the number of hours devoted to building your own demo---and the salaries of the employees who give up those hours---you spend more than you planned and almost always get less than you need.

As an organization that has been focused solely on building demos for more than twelve years, we know a lot about demos and can usually spot the ones produced in-house. 

How? They almost always include one--or more--of the following mistakes:

Mistake #1 - No professional scriptwriter
The first step toward creating a results-oriented demo is a professionally polished demo script. Without the right script, your demo suffers from the get-go.

Mistake #2 - No audio or, worse, poorly produced audio
An automated software demo should be narrated by a friendly and professional voiceover talent that is in sync with whatever is being highlighted--making it more engaging and helping reinforce the tone of your organization.

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7 Ways to Maximize Your Software Demo's ROI

With all the marketing initiatives you are managing, it can be easy to build your software demo, get it on your website, and then hope for the best. But, if you really want to maximize its ROI, you have to leverage your demo in more places besides your website.

Here are some ideas to maximize your demo’s results.

7 ways to get more from your demo:

  1. Create an email marketing campaign around your demo, leveraging an auto-play link within the email content so that every prospect’s inbox has a narrated demonstration that showcases your solution.
  2. Use the same auto-play link in each employee email signature to promote your solution across all departments.
  3. Create an Adwords landing page spotlighting your demo to enhance PPC campaigns and pull leads further into your sales cycle within the first click to your website.
  4. Put it to work at trade shows and conferences
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How mobile is your software demo?

Gartner Inc. predicts that in less than two years mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common device used to access the Web. This means that the first time prospects visit your website could very well be from their mobile phone or a tablet device (think iPad).

Mobile marketing efforts are often focused on optimizing a website so that it can be viewed from a mobile device. But what about your software demo or any other lead gen tool you use on your website? Is it optimized for mobile devices?

There is a lot more to mobile marketing than making your website mobile-friendly. More and more of your prospects are getting their first glimpse of your product from their phone. You see it all around you, people searching online while waiting to board a flight, standing in line at Starbucks, or wherever else they have time to browse from their iPhone, Blackberry or whatever Android device they keep within an arms-length at all times.

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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.

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What to avoid when building your software demo

No matter how great your solution, if your demo is anything less than stellar, your lead gen efforts will suffer.

A clear and concise demo that engages prospects from the start can keep your sales pipeline maximized and easily become your strongest lead gen tool.  But, to build a great demo, you have to know what to keep and, even more importantly, what to leave out.

To help you build a better software demo, here are common mistakes you an easily avoid:

  1. Too Much Noise – Use your demo to showcase features and benefits instead of reiterating too much marketing jargon.  Prospects want to know how you’re going to make their work easier and they want you to be quick about it.  Be succinct by replacing the bells, whistles, and marketing fluff with your software's key benefits. 
  2. Not Enough Personality – There’s a fine line between noise and personality.  Avoid useless demo material that only adds dramatic effect, but don
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Five Steps to Building Software Demos that Deliver Real Results

Many software marketers fail to realize the impact an automated demo can have on their overall marketing and sales efforts.

When done correctly, a professionally-produced, automated demo can be your most effective lead generation tool. An effective demo can be leveraged across multiple platforms and within various campaigns---on your website, at trade shows, in email campaigns, on social media networks and in your mobile marketing efforts---delivering maximum ROI. 

If you want a demo that will deliver real results, follow these five steps:

Step 1: Make it product centric.

Your software demo is not the place for marketing jargon and flashy animation. People don’t buy what they can’t see; show prospects what your software looks like and how it works.

Step 2: Keep it short.

Four to six-minutes is more than enough time to give prospects an overview of your solution. Narrow your content to include your solution’s three key selling features that set you apart from your competition and stay on message. Anything over six-minutes and you risk losing your prospect

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