Live product demonstration: What to do when you can't demo from production


Author: Barry Mueller

Presales teams still struggle with the potential risks of a live demo, the alternative being a standard demo video with slides or images depicting features, which is not as effective.

Tailoring product demos to customers’ unique needs has become crucial to winning deals. Successful demos also require cross-functional effort between sales engineers, account executives and other presales team members to help customers visualize your product’s impact.

In this blog, we discuss reasons why you may be unable to conduct a live product demo and some alternative demo platforms to consider.

Why you can’t conduct a live product demo

While live product demos are more engaging, they may come with a bulky backend that may contain glitches, make your demo slow, and affect buyer experience. With an uninspiring demonstration, sales teams must put in extra effort to remain competitive.

As B2B buyers in a Salesforce report point out, personalizing buyer experiences is crucial to drive buyer engagement. Yet, customizing a demo from production can be costly and time-consuming. This drawback increases the length of the sales cycle, which may give competitors a chance to target your pre-qualified and primed leads — even if they offer a non-personalized demo.

Imagine that you’ve conducted a discovery call and understand the gaps in your prospects’ process that your product can fill. You want to create a demo experience that makes conversion easy. But your product isn’t ready for a live demo because a feature is yet to be released or  bugs still show up, however sparingly.

Still, you need to showcase a specific feature because it's the ideal solution to your client's pain points. So what do you do when you can’t demo from production?

That’s where a sales demo environment, which is a controlled virtual atmosphere to demonstrate how your product works, is helpful. Demo environments reduce the risk of bugs and come pre-populated with data to prevent revealing confidential information or incomplete features.

See these four alternatives to consider when you can’t conduct a live product demonstration.

4 alternatives to a live sales demo or in-house demo environment

Live product demonstrations can take multiple forms depending on customers’ preferences, company goals, and the state of the software.

Here are examples of sales demo environment tools for when you can’t demo from production:

1. Figma as a product demo tool

If you can’t conduct a live product demo, creating a Figma prototype is a short-term solution to consider. Turn your static design files in Figma into a prototype that feels like the real experience. With a Figma prototype, you can craft a compelling story for your buyers.

Figma also allows you to toggle between design files and your live prototype so that backend changes are not instantly visible to viewers. In addition to designing and creating a prototype, you can share and collect feedback within Figma by embedding comments. However, conducting a demo of a comprehensive tool can be inconvenient since you’d have to replicate your entire dashboard in Figma and switch between multiple design files to communicate your products’ features with a prospect. And most importantly, it is not your real product.

2. Tampermonkey for your sales demo

Tampermonkey is a browser extension that allows you to run custom scripts on websites, which can help you modify and customize the way your website looks and behaves. You can use this to showcase your product and highlight the features and benefits that are most important to your audience.

While Tampermonkey scripts allow you to simulate real-world scenarios and demonstrate how your product works in various situations, these scripts can potentially access and modify sensitive information. They may also introduce security vulnerabilities, which can raise questions about the security and privacy of your product.

3. Using the inspect element tool for product showcase

The inspect element tool allows you to modify code in real-time. You can use this to demonstrate the full range of capabilities offered by your product and show precisely how it works. With the inspect element tool, your team can also identify and resolve problems that arise during your demo, ensuring that your demo runs smoothly and without any interruptions.

However, all inspect element edits are temporary and will erase once you close or reload the page. The changes after refreshing the page are only available on your computer if you can save them, but you’re no longer editing in the live environment. This setting denies your prospect the ability to interact with your product after the demo.

4. Demostack for an intuitive, user-friendly, and secure demo environment

Looking for a platform that eliminates the shortcomings of the tools and combines their perks too?

Enter Demostack, your Demo HQ.

Demostack is a SaaS sales technology solution that clones your production environment, maintaining the quality of your visuals and level of interactivity of your platform. Our tool allows you to clone your platform and spin up a demo in minutes, make edits to your demo, and save changes instantly.

In addition to mirroring the interface and user experience your solution provides, Demostack empowers your presales team to build deal momentum after the demo with a leave-behind sandbox that prospects can interact with.

As an intuitive, code-free demo experience platform that shields personally identifiable information (PII), Demostack is your go-to tool for scaling demo operations, and crafting product stories that resonate with your prospects.

Ready to tell a narrative and not just present slides? Request a demo today.

Frequently asked questions

How do I host a product demo?

Hosting a successful live product demo requires careful planning and preparation.

Here are simple steps to consider in hosting your product demo:

  1. Define your goals and tailor your presentation accordingly.
  2. Choose a sales demo software platform, such as Demostack, which aligns with pre-defined goals.
  3. Start the demo with an introduction of yourself and your organization.
  4. Engage with your audience by encouraging questions and answering them.
  5. Conclude the demo with a summary of key points and emphasize the value of your product.

What is the importance of a live demo?

Live product demos are an effective way to showcase the value of your product and engage with your audience, making them a critical tool in your product marketing strategy.

Some benefits of a live product demo include:

  1. Engagement. Actively engage with your audience and increase interest and involvement in your product.
  2. Credibility. Build trust and credibility with your audience as they can see how your product works and ask questions to clarify doubts.
  3. Personalization. Tailor your presentation to the specific needs and interests of your audience.
  4. Opportunities. Gather valuable feedback, identify potential objections, and enhance the sales process.

Are pre-recorded demos better than live demos?

Pre-recorded demos offer consistency and the ability to edit and perfect the message. They can be easily shared or reused, but they lack the human touch and immediate interactivity of live product demonstrations.

Live demos allow for real-time interaction and the opportunity to respond to questions and objections on the spot, which can be more engaging and convincing. However, they come with the risk of technical difficulties, so it’s best to choose the format that best aligns with your goals.

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