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The buyer benefits of 1:1 software demos

The buyer benefits of 1:1 software demos

See it in action before you buy

Graeme Farquhar

Most people wouldn’t buy a new product (depending on the type and price of product) without testing, trying, reviewing or receiving a demonstration of it first.

Specialist business software (such as accounting or expense management software) is no different.

Statistics suggest that when B2B buyers are considering whether a product is suitable for their requirements, a 1:1 real time demonstration is by far and away the most effective means of contact.

We should clarify that a 1:1 demo can mean ‘online’ as well as ‘face to face’. So long as it’s done real time. A demonstration carried out via video and screen sharing can mean hours saved on travel time, and a slightly less formal or pressured environment for the buyer.

A 1:1 demo can be customized around a specific customer requirement, focus on popular features and explain visually how most customers use it. It can walk through the user or admin interface and be an efficient way for the potential buyer to assess for him or herself whether the product is a good fit.

The value of a 1:1 software demo

According to the second annual State of Sales report published by Salesforce (a survey of over 3,100 global sales professionals), 79% of business buyers say it’s “absolutely critical” or “very important” to interact (during the buying process) with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor.

Sales or marketing materials such as brochures, data sheets or videos, while playing their part in informing the potential customer, cannot match the informative, 2-way process of a 1:1 demo given live by a knowledgeable product expert.

Questions, issues and challenges can be dealt with as they arise, and the confidence and knowledge of the person presenting the demo can be at least as important as the features and benefits of the product itself.

The value of this kind of interaction is increasingly recognised by software vendors and their sales teams, as evidence in the State of Sales report suggests:

  • 51% of sales teams want to increase customer retention through deeper relationships
  • 39% wish to become a trusted advisor to customers
  • 37% want to provide customers with a more personalized experience
  • 35% want to increase face time with customers

Why the 1:1 demo is so valuable to the buyer

From the point of view of a potential customer, the two-way, interactive medium of a 1:1 demo allows the product expert or sales representative to establish customer needs or pain points, and to tailor the demo around how the product can solve specific problems.

Instead of a ‘sales presentation’, the interactive demo is more like a real time conversation, where questions can be asked, answers given, and primary and secondary requirements be uncovered and addressed.

The buyer remains in control

The internet has changed the shape of the buying process because it means business buyers can create their own shortlist of suppliers based on their own extensive research into the solutions that will solve their problems.

Because of this, the 1:1 demo serves to confirm what a buyer has already established during the research stage. In other words, it gives the customer a way to test out and verify the claims made by the product and vendor marketing materials, and to see features that are of interest in action in real time.

Speeding up the buying process

As well as giving the buyer more control over product selection, a 1:1 product demo is an approach that can speed up the product selection and buying process.

Research by HubSpot found that 54% of customers now wanted to see a demo of the product in question during a first sales call.

Increasingly savvy software buyers value what they can see and experience over words and promises, so the added value of 1:1 interaction with a product expert while viewing the product itself can help them reach their decision with more confidence.

A final word

Business software buyers often come to vendors such as Equisys based on recommendations, because of an established track record and because they want to solve a problem.

Being able to see a product such as Zetadocs in action before they commit to a purchase is an invaluable way for them to confirm that the reality matches the reputation.

From experience, we know that a 1:1 demo of Zetadocs is the quickest, simplest and most effective means for customers to see how the product works to solve their problems and to satisfy themselves that it ‘does what we say it does’.

Book a 1:1 demo of Zetadocs today by clicking here.

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