3 Costly Mistakes That Can Sink Your Interactive Video Demo

Garret Erickson
Buyers spend, on average, less than 20% of their total buying time with all the vendors they’re considering according to research data provided by Gartner. That means you, as a sales rep, will get maybe 5% of their time if you’re lucky. You can work around this if you can deliver demos on demand with some form of demo automation. It gives your prospects the freedom to view the content between meetings, during a coffee break, or even while walking their dog. Just be careful to avoid some common demo blunders that make viewers lose interest. In previous blogs, we have discussed some of the qualities of a great demo. Today, we want to focus on three things you need to avoid at all costs when making a demo. Accidentally making any one of these mistakes can seriously delay or even deep-six your potential sale.

Mistake #1: Endless Editing

No presentation, visual or otherwise, should ever move forward without a quality assessment process. But once you’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s, there comes a time when someone has to step forward and say, “Enough!” Everybody from your marketing department to your subject matter experts (SMEs) will have an opinion on what works and what doesn’t. The draft of your video demo could spend an eternity bouncing from inbox to inbox with suggestions on how you should tweak this or that. The longer it takes to get the finished sales demos in front of customers, the more sales opportunities you miss out on. You can avoid this by appointing team leaders who usually allocate presales to opportunities, collaborate with their teams to create a content outline that fits what’s needed to scale where they need the most, and set deadlines for content creation. Once the lead determines the draft has gone through enough revisions and passed any quality assessment steps, the demo is ready to go. Having these QA steps shared throughout the team means individuals can create content that’ll fly through assessment and get into the hands of customers faster.

Mistake #2: Just the Facts, Ma’am

Try to avoid long intros to the meat of the demo. For starters, your video demo is not a dating profile where your buyer only wants to know who you are and what you do. Those facts matter, yes, but only if they provide context to your offering. Your customer isn’t looking for the highlights of what your product or service does. They likely collected most of that information before they contacted you from your website or review sites. When creating content for buyers at the early stages of their learning journey with you, keeping it short and relevant to specific pain points is really valuable for them. For content helping them through later-stages like researching, comparisons and de-risking before committing to purchase, more detailed explanations can be very helpful. Customers can tell when you’re giving them a canned intro demo. If there’s no context to provide relevancy to what you’re showing them, they’ll likely tune out your presentation. A demo that covers a laundry list of features doesn’t help the buyer get closer to making a purchase decision. What they’re looking for is some proof that your solution has helped other organizations in similar situations such as links to videos, webinars, or interactive features curated to cover the subjects the buyer is interested in. These can even be sent automatically with an automated sales demo. This gives the customer further control to select information they’re interested in and disregard the things they’re not. Including social proof in these demos gives the added benefit of showing how the product benefited someone and how it will do the same for your client. Every product or service has a story – make sure your video demo tells yours.

Mistake #3: Don’t Sweat the Small (Technical) Stuff

This is one area where you NEED to pay attention to the details, but just like with editing, don’t focus so much on the details that you never get a finished product. Large errors, such as an improperly synced voiceover, shaky camera angle, or extended pause on a static screen, can distract or irritate your buyers. But before you go spend thousands on filming equipment, remember the phrase “YouTube, not Hollywood.” Most customers are looking for authenticity and detail way more than they’re looking for over-produced presentations. They’ll definitely forgive “um” and “like” as long as they’re getting the information they need. In fact, it’s these human traits that help win the hearts and minds of real viewers. Just be aware of things that will cause too much distraction. On the audio side, watch out for too much background noise, such as pets or people talking. Microphone placement too close or too far away from the speaker can also cause sound issues on playback. Consider excluding background music since most viewers think this detracts from the demo. And use professional recording equipment if you have access to it. A static screen will kill your demo’s energy in terms of visuals. Try highlighting certain areas when you’re discussing them, zooming in or darkening the rest of the screen. When on camera, be sure to look into the lens and talk naturally as if to a friend or colleague. You can also intersperse your use-case with overlays or bring other screens into view to highlight some of the more technical aspects of the product. We recommend arranging the flow of your visuals first and writing the voiceover script second, as you want the narrative to back up what you’re demonstrating to the customer.