How to Create Better Interactive Product Demos for Software?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a compelling demo is worth ten thousand. And there are few things more compelling than interactivity. It’s the reason so many software companies are starting to rely on interactive product demos.

And it’s the reason why your company should be, too. 

Delivering an effective interactive product demo isn’t simply a matter of putting your software into the hands of a prospective customer, however. There’s a lot more that goes into it. We’ll go over how to create interactive product demos and sales demos that engage and convert — including how (and why) to automate the process.

The Benefits of Interactive Product Demos

Compared to a traditional product or sales demo, an interactive product demo is beneficial for a few reasons: 

  • It lets prospects experience your product features firsthand. 
  • It cultivates a better understanding of your software in early-stage leads, making it easier to qualify them as they move through your funnel. 
  • It gives you an in-depth look at how people use and interact with your demos through analytics. 
  • It allows your sales team to dedicate more time and energy to relationship-building. 

First Steps in Planning an Interactive Product Demo

Before you start developing an interactive product demo, there are a few things you need to understand. 

Know Your Ideal Customer

First, who is this demo for? Why are they interested in your software, and what key features will generate the most value for their use case? If your business serves multiple industries or niches, you’ll likely want to generate a few customer profiles at this stage.  

Map the Buyer’s Journey

For each customer profile, you’ll want to know the touchpoints and friction points at each stage of their journey, including typical sales channels. While you map out this journey, you should also identify what each buyer wants to know at each stage of their journey. This will allow you to not only deliver more effective messaging but also tailor your demos more effectively. 

Define Indicators of Product Adoption

Product adoption is colloquially known as the “Aha!” moment — the point at which a prospect truly converts into a satisfied customer and experiences everything your software has to offer. Each of your buyer personas will have different indicators of product adoption and likely different features that contribute to adoption. This is crucial information for the development of your product demos. 

Choose Your Demo Style

Not all interactive product demos are the same. Some are best delivered in the form of an interactive video, while others are more effective in the form of a guided walkthrough. For certain niches, you may even want to create custom sandboxes in which prospects can explore your software. 

Choosing the Right Interactive Product Demo Tools

You’re relatively spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing an interactive product demo solution. With that in mind, rather than a list of vendors, we’ll provide a list of key features you should look for in your demo software: 

  • Ease of use. Your team should be able to spin up new demo environments with a few clicks and with minimal coding required. 
  • Analytics. This will allow you to assess the effectiveness of your demos and potentially gain insights into pain points in both demo and software. 
  • Scalability. The best product demo solutions are delivered via the cloud and allow you to scale resources and spin up new instances as needed. 
  • Transparent pricing. Ideally, you should look for a product demo tool with an all-inclusive price with no hidden fees, overage charges, or feature tiers. 

Automating Your Product Demos: How and Why

Once you’ve started creating your own interactive product demos, automation is a natural next step. Rather than requiring your team to manually create and configure demos, you can spin up on-demand environments with a single click for early-stage leads. Qualified prospects, meanwhile, can be provided with custom environments created via pre-built templates. 

Automating your demos also allows you to automate both outreach and follow-up, saving even more time for your sales and marketing teams. 

So that’s the why. As for the how? That’s easy — you can simply use a platform like CloudShare.