The art and science behind every great product demo

Blog

Amy Gesenhues

All too often, sales engineers charged with building necessary tools and resources must choose: Art or science.

They can either spend their time building generic but scaleable demos (but fail to deliver a personalized experience), or they must devote their efforts to producing a finite number of customized demos for their top-tier leads.

To be truly effective, sales organizations must find a way for sales engineers to integrate both art and science into their demo creation.

Why art matters: How personalized demos accelerate the sales process

By tailoring the demo experience, you speak directly to your prospect’s biggest challenges.

Per a January 2021 Forbes column, “When applied to the B2B field, digital personalization can transform your sales strategy. Instead of selling your product, you’ll start understanding your customers. And that’s what today’s marketing is all about: giving your users real value, not charming them with sweet sales talk.”

Unlike canned demos, a personalized demo delivers a highly-relevant experience that immediately pulls your prospect further into the sales cycle. In a webinar with Modern Sales Pros (downloadable below), Justin McManus from mParticle says, on the art and science of the demo: "People are often visual learners, and so they want to be able to digest and to process and to really envision themselves behind the steering wheel of the dashboard or the UI or the overall platform that you're positioning for them."

By enabling your sales reps to go straight to the heart of their prospect’s needs, personalized demos rapidly accelerate the sales cycle. They are also key to creating a balance between personalization and efficiency across your sales organization.

Don’t be creepy with personalization, be helpful

In 2019, a Gartner survey found that brands were at risk of losing 38% of customers due to poor personalization efforts. 

Instead of focusing your personalization capabilities on one-to-one sales emails that may come across as creepy, it’s more effective — and a better use of your sales engineer’s time — to personalize the sales demo. In the previously-mentioned Modern Sales Pros webinar, Michael Sindicich from TripActions says: "When [people] go buy cars…[they] do a test drive. When you sell an enterprise product, you need to show the product."

According to the North American Association of Sales Engineers, sales organizations, on average, employ one sales engineer for every four account executives. With sales engineers already spread thin, focus their efforts on personalizing in a tasteful, non-invasive way.

Maximizing your sales engineer’s efforts

Your sales engineers’ highly-valuable time should be spent on high-value projects. Personalized sales demos are among the most high-value sales tools you can create and a key ingredient of a successful sales experience.

Unfortunately, creating personalized demos at scale continues to be a primary challenge for sales engineers. Often tasked with multiple responsibilities, sales engineers must divide their time.

According to Built In, a sales engineer’s job often includes:

  • Building tailored product demonstrations.
  • Overseeing proof of concept initiatives.
  • Designing system integration processes.
  • Supporting the sales team with statistics and technical information.
  • Addressing and solving technical questions.

The number of sales engineers on a team is often determined based on the resources needed to hit a specific goal or quota.

“You ideally want to have one SE for every two sales reps. Some organizations even pair one engineer with each sales rep. However, assigning that kind of expertise to consultative selling may not be practical because of costs, especially when you consider that a skilled SE earns more than $100,000 per year,” reports MarketStar.

The science behind perfectly personalized demos

Sales leaders must balance their sales engineers’ time, optimizing their talents while ensuring they deliver effective product demos at scale.

Sales engineers need solutions that allow them to advance the demo development process. This is where science comes into play.

Delivering demos at the right time, at scale, is an even bigger priority considering Gartner’s 2020 research, which shows that B2B customers who received helpful product info from sellers were 2.8x more likely to claim a “high degree of purchase ease,” and 3x more likely to close with less regret.

Tying it all together: Using both art and science to create tailored demos at scale

It’s clear that effective sales demos must be personalized to your prospect’s primary pain points, and built at scale. But, according to Twilio’s 2021 State of Personalization report, only one in four businesses have the required technology to deliver consistent, personalized experiences across channels.

By adopting sales technology that enables quick personalization, you create a highly efficient and agile framework that maximizes your sales engineer’s time.

More importantly, you empower them to leverage both art and science in the demo-development process. As Demostack CEO + Founder Jonathan Friedman says in the webinar: "The art piece of doing demos is tailoring the story, telling the story of your product in a good way. And the science of it is actually the scaling of it, and making sure that people tell the story right."

With Demostack, you don’t have to choose.

Still, sales engineers continue to face massive time constraints and inadequate resources. Their demo-building options are often limited: Forced to focus on creating a finite number of personalized demos, or produce multiple generic scaleable demos.

It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone. Generic demos routinely fail to deliver the impact of a tailored demo, while personalized demos tailored for individual prospects take too much time and effort.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Demostack allows B2B SaaS companies to build demos at scale, shortening the sales cycle, boosting productivity, and increasing win rates.

With Demostack, there is no need for R&D or coding capabilities. The drag and drop interface helps you craft product stories that resonate. Your sales engineers can create carbon-copies of your product in minutes, editing data, charts, and info with one click.

The end result: Highly-tailored demos delivered at scale, free from bugs, WiFi freezes, and accidental deletions.

Demostack is the ultimate marriage of art and science, bound together to create the perfect demo experience.

See Demostack in action

Get a personalized demo with our team.