Demo Dilemma: Clone or Edit? How to chose the solution that fits your needs


Author: Barry Mueller

At Demostack, we know a product demo can make or break your deal. That's why we're so proud of our cloning technology. It revolutionized the demo platform landscape and fueled the company's early success. However, we didn't want to stop there.

This technology helps you clone and edit your product in an independent environment. But, it does not cover every demo use case. That's why we released our Overlay. Now, you can show your real product with an overlay of edits, so you're prepared for any customer questions.

In this blog post, we will discuss a few of the nuances and use cases of each feature. But before we start, we need to discuss the technology behind the curtain.

How does the technology work for each product?

In a web app, the browser helps you navigate between the front and back end. The front end contains static files, such as logos, fonts, and HTML. The back end consists of data sitting in your servers or on third-party apps like Stripe.

Let's say you're searching for a product on an e-commerce site. First, you’ll enter the query into a search bar. Then, the web browser will carry back the product information you stored in the back end. The product picture is on the front end, but the back end stores information about its store category. You need both to find what you need on the website.

A cloned app records a series of responses from the product’s real back end. So, the clone can access them in the demo environment, making it function like a real app. That way, when you click on various features in a demo, the clone can act as if it’s running a real query. But, it’s relying on a storage base it copied from the actual servers.

While it looks, feels, and acts like your product, it can only show data you cloned.

Overlay uses your live app with some simple masking. Your product functions as normal, but the app has edits overlaid so you can tell unique stories. Because it is your real product - you’ll have access to real-time product data.

Why would you use a cloned app?

A cloned app is a very stable environment for your demo. Not only is it free of bugs or glitches that may pop up in your real product, but it’s also very difficult to break. Plus, each salesperson gets a separate demo environment. So you’ll never have to worry about other team members interfering with your work.

A cloned app also lets you share a custom sandbox with prospects after a demo. So, champions can get buy-in from other stakeholders who couldn't join the call. With the clone, your lead will better understand how your product will help them. And you'll get access to exclusive insights about their priorities. So, it's a win-win.

Lastly, a clone app provides consistency. AEs can only demo pages that you already cloned, so their demos will all look similar.

And, because a clone will only contain pre-recorded pages, it has a built-in set of guardrails. That also means you can share the cloned app with partners and resellers who have never had a chance to demo.

Why would you use the live app in demos?

The live app is perfect if you need more flexibility during your demos. Not only will the product be up-to-date, but it can also pull data in real-time. For example, let’s say you need to enter a query into a search engine, speak with a chatbot, or generate a report.

A static demo environment will only be able to reference data you've cloned before. The live app though will be able to pull up any data as necessary, and the overlay edits will still help you tell a unique story.

Do you have to choose between a cloned app and your live app?

You don’t have to choose one or the other. In a complex sales cycle, sales might switch from the demo environment to the live app as necessary. For example, sales may want to start the demo in the cloned independent environment. But, then they may want to switch to the live app to show the chatbot function.

You can even switch between platforms with simple keyboard shortcuts so the buyer won’t notice the change.

Final thoughts

Regardless of what the sales cycle may throw your way, you'll have what you need to jump into action. You can present a consistent bug-free demo with a clone. Or, you can show real-time data and features with Overlay.

The beauty is in the flexibility. With both tools, you have more options. And ultimately, with a selection of tools at your fingertips, you can truly master the art of storytelling.

Watch this webinar to learn more about the nuances and use cases of each feature.

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