A demo environment refers to the virtual surroundings that software demos take place within.
Much like an IT environment, which is made up of a collection of software tools, the demo environment features tools that dictate how your prospects can use the software during the demo. If you get the environment right, it should clearly demonstrate all the strengths and capabilities of your solution that are specific to your prospect’s needs.
Why are demo environments important?
The demo process is a chance to stand out; to show what your software can really do. This is best done using hands-on sales demos. Demos where you give the prospects the keys and let them take your product for a spin.
To extend the test drive metaphor a little further, a product demo without a demo environment is a little bit like test driving a car, but only being able to do it inside the showroom. The prospect can’t get a feel for how your software works day-to-day and they won’t get to see how it solves their problems (e.g. how it handles 70mph on the highway or parking in tight spaces).
With a product demo platform that can build automated virtual demo environments, you can create realistic scenarios that your prospect might encounter in real life. They can then see how your software deals with the problems they face firsthand.
How to create a realistic software demo environment
Realism is key when hosting hands-on software demos. The more immersive the experience the more likely your prospect is to make a purchase. Here’s how you can create a more realistic demo environment to showcase your product.
Personalize, personalize, personalize
Knowing your prospect, what they want to see, and the climate they work in, is a must. It informs how you build your demo environment and mould it to their needs. Gather as much information on your prospects as possible before you begin to create your demo environments, then use this information to showcase parts of your product that apply to their situation best.
Set challenges and tasks
Just taking a look at different dashboards and interfaces within your product doesn’t show off its features. Your product may look nice, but it also needs to work when the pressure is on. By creating a demo environment that engages prospects with real-world challenges to overcome (even better if they are personalized challenges that the business deals with regularly), you won’t only engage them better in the experience, you’ll show them that your product can live up to your promises.
Don’t call it a demo
It may be a product demo, but the word ‘demo’ itself holds some connotations that you might not want prospects to associate with the experience. To many with misconceptions, a ‘demo version’ of something usually means a watered-down product with limited features that can only be accessed when you buy the full thing. Instead, consider using words like ‘testing’ or ‘training’ when speaking about your demo to prospects and try to reiterate that they are using the full version of your software, it’s just housed within a demo environment.