Self-Service Demo

If your sales team isn’t closing as many deals as they should, the problem might not be with your software — it might be your demos. Today’s IT buyers live in an incredibly fast-paced, hectic world. For many of them, setting aside time during the workday to sit through a sales demo is a tall order. 

Especially if that SaaS product demo doesn’t give them the freedom to explore and experiment

What is a Self Service Demo? 

Similar to self-service customer onboarding, a self-service demo allows prospects to explore your software on their own time. Unlike with a free trial, the SaaS demo takes place within a simulated virtual environment. It typically replicates the prospect’s ecosystem, giving them some idea of how your software might interact and integrate with existing tools. 

The end goal of a self-service demo is to give qualified leads an idea of what your software does — and more importantly, what it can do for them. 

The Benefits of a Self-Service Product Demo

Compared to traditional demos, the benefits of a self-service demo include: 

A Streamlined Sales Cycle

By providing self-service demos, you eliminate the need for prospects to schedule a meeting with your sales team. Instead, they can explore your software immediately and on their own time. This not only speeds up your sales cycle, but also improves productivity — instead of spending time and effort hosting demos, they can pursue other leads. 

Easy to Scale

Because self-service product demos are themselves typically enabled via the cloud, they scale much more effectively than a traditional software demo. This allows your team to target a much larger audience than would otherwise be possible. It also means less time spent on setup and implementation.

Smoother Onboarding

One of the most powerful benefits of a self-service demo is that it gives a prospect the freedom to experiment. It allows them to learn how to use your software through hands-on experience rather than requiring them to sit through a PowerPoint presentation or a series of videos. And if the prospect runs into any trouble during the demo, they can easily reach out to a member of your sales team for help.

As a result, once the prospect is ready to make a purchase, they’re considerably more familiar with the software than they would be with a traditional demo. 

Best Practices for SaaS Self Service Demos

Before you start hosting self-service product demos, make sure you take care of the following: 

  • Tweak Your Sales Cycle: Make sure your sales team can respond immediately and with personalized messaging to customer communication  This includes follow-up messages based on how a prospect used your software during the demo. Make sure your sales team knows not to be aggressive or pushy in their approach, as well. 
  • Create a Knowledge Base: If a prospect encounters a problem during one of your demos, contacting your sales team should be their last resort. They should have access to a wealth of additional resources to help them understand your software’s value, its use cases, and any potential technical problems. 
  • Choose the Right Tools: While it’s certainly possible to host your self-service demos internally, it may not be the best idea. Instead, consider working with a specialized vendor who can provide you with the necessary resources and expertise. 
  • Monitor Your Demos: Make sure you have analytics in place that allow you to monitor how prospects use and engage with your product demos, as well as automated communication flows to recapture potential lost leads.
  • Define Scope and Flow: How do your prospects go from demo to customer? What features and functionalities will be included in each demo, and how will demos be structured? 
  • Consider Your Business: Not every piece of software is well-suited for a self-service demo. If your product isn’t technical or complex, you may not need to provide self-directed demos to your prospects. Similarly, if you aren’t in a highly competitive market, prospects may even prefer a more traditional approach.


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