Putting Product Marketing Back into Product Demos


Author: Barry Mueller
Last updated: Published:
Product marketing's role in product demos

It's a common belief that product marketing and sales operate in different worlds. But, it couldn’t be further from the truth! Product marketing teams that work closely with sales have outstanding results, especially in demo operations. After all, demos are tools for storytelling, not just for showing off a list of features–and storytelling is where product marketers shine.

We sat down with Yael Macias, Head of Product & Corporate Marketing at Hunters, and Noelle Bloomfield, Global Marketing Director at Gloat to discuss how product marketing is essential in making demos effective and engaging. In this post, we’ll cover it all. We'll look at how these teams help train sales and presales staff, use storytelling to connect with prospects, and leverage tools like Demostack to bring software solutions to life.

Ready to hear more? Let’s dive in!

Making product demos stand out with storytelling

As a product marketing manager, your main job is to figure out what makes your product special and make sure others see it too. You want people to notice right away what's different and better about your solution. That’s why Noelle calls the product demo, “a storytelling tool and an educational tool.”

With so many sales meetings happening online through Zoom, good storytelling is more important than ever. This means making sure sales reps and presales understand how your product can meet customer needs and how it's different from others they might be considering.

How does that happen?

Effective training strategies for sales and presales teams

When you train sales reps to use your messaging, the key is not to have the sales team repeat your script word for word. Instead, the goal is to make sure the main points about your product's value come through in every product demo naturally.

So how do Yael and Noelle do that?

Their sales and presales team training is all about mixing different techniques and tools to make the team more effective.

For Gloat, a knowledge base is essential. A knowledge base isn't just a place to dump info though; it's a way to interact and learn. Say your product has cool features like career pathing solutions or an internal talent marketplace. It's important to show off these features in a way that's fun and easy to understand. You might need to make videos or record short product demos that clearly show what your product can do, so everyone can get the big picture.

Another key part of training at Hunters is getting team members to check out product demos and maybe even get certified to give them. The product marketing team at Hunters also prioritizes enablement sessions to inform the team on key messaging points any time there is a new feature. These sessions let the team see how these updates change the story of the product and decide if they should be part of the main product demo or shown on their own.

It's also important to make sure the main points about the product stay the same across different assets, like blog posts, social media posts, and sales presentations. When the sales team uses the same key points that are in the marketing materials, it makes the product's value clearer and unifies the entire go-to-market team, adds Yael.

Storytelling is at the heart of marketing and presales. For presales, the storytelling is more personal, meant for one-on-one chats, while in marketing, it's for a bigger crowd. But in both cases, the focus is on showing off the value of the product, not just listing what it does. This way of telling the story doesn't just explain the product better but also makes people more interested and involved.

As Yael explains, “Everybody adds their own flavor to how they present the product, but there has to be some sort of common storyline paired with the messaging work we are doing in parallel.”

Who is steering the product demo?

When deciding who should lead product demos, a big question comes up. For a PMM, it might seem obvious to lead the charge, especially in smaller companies without a specific presales team or when that team is busy with other tasks like POCs.

But what about other times?

Teamwork is key here. If only the product marketing team controls the demo without working closely with the sales or presales teams, the demo might not show its full potential.

On the other hand, product marketing teams spend a lot of time figuring out what makes their product stand out and how to share that with others. So, they need to bring these insights to the table.

As Noelle puts it, “I think you really need joint ownership here. If product marketing alone owns the demo, but they're not the ones actually bringing it to life with sales, I think you're going to lose some luster...People like me and my team are spending a lot of time trying to figure out what your differentiators are, what your key stories are, how you break through and really best convey the value of the product that you deliver. And there's so much goodness that can come from infusing that data and perspective into how you're demoing.”

So, ultimately, a product demo's planning group should have people from sales, presales, product development, and product marketing. This mix ensures the demo hits the mark with customers and truly reflects what the product is about.

How Demostack changes the game for product marketers

Both Hunters and Gloat are loyal Demostack customers, so they use the product regularly.

For Yael, Demostack’s focus on the product can be a real game changer. It allows product marketers to really showcase what the product is all about, which is especially important in an industry like cybersecurity. As a result, when potential customers talk to the sales team, they often already have some familiarity with the product, like from a detailed tour on the website. This pre-existing knowledge leads to better and more informed conversations during sales calls.

For Noelle, the best aspect of Demostack is its adaptability. For large B2B products, showing how your product can be used in different ways is crucial. For example, you might demonstrate how a product functions for someone in HR vs. data analysis. Tailoring the product demo to fit these different scenarios is vital because it helps tell a more meaningful story.

Final thoughts on putting product marketing back into product demos

From building a strong knowledge base for new team members to making sure the same key points are used across all marketing materials, to figuring out who should lead a product demo, it all comes back to one thing: telling a great story as a team. By focusing on what the product offers and how it solves problems, and making sure everyone is working together, product marketing can make demos much more than just show-and-tell.

Looking ahead, let's remember how important it is to bring product marketing ideas into every part of making a demo. This way, we not only make our demos better but also connect more with our potential customers, leading to better talks and, in the end, more deals closed.

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