How to Speed Up the Adoption of Demo Automation

Changing from Disruption to Adoption in 3 Steps
TJ Macke Consensus Guest Blog

You’ve done it! You’ve spent the past several months building the business case, navigating the necessary approvals, planning the implementation and now the day is finally here. Your team is now the proud owner of a demo automation platform – the Teslas of the sales automation world.

However, once you’re out of the initial training and a few months down the road, you realize that the work isn’t done. Despite the attractive interface, the thoughtful onboarding programs, your clever use of gifs during the weekly team meetings – you need help getting your teams to truly adopt the platform.

Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. The rise of the “sales cloud” has introduced a tidal wave of sales technology that many folks now can’t imagine living without. That wasn’t always the case,  however. These solutions, which are now accepted parts of everyday life, were once the shiny new toy that people needed convincing to even try. 

Introducing a new platform always presents hurdles, and Demo Automation Platforms (DAPs as Aragon research calls the category) are no different. Disruption of attention, efficiency, and confidence – all of which make it difficult to introduce this powerful new solution in a way that sticks. Let’s dig into some of the challenges you are likely to face and how you can address them (without yelling at your team over a zoom call). 

Disrupting Attention

Disruption of attention is exactly what it sounds like – we all have demands from people, technology, and interests that tug at our attention and they’re always increasing. The information economy has only exacerbated this issue over the past decade. Even though a platform like Consensus can give your team meaningful time back – it takes time to learn upfront – which is a disruption from what they are already thinking about. 

Beyond the natural limitations of our attention, we also have to navigate a disruption of efficiency. Any time we learn something new, we have to do something that most of us hate – slow down. Before you can run you have to walk, and new technology takes realtime to build the confidence it takes to speed back up. This time is always worth it, if it serves as a force multiplier of your previous efforts, but it still feels uncomfortable. 

It also takes time to overcome our confidence disruption. When solutions are tried and tested, we have confidence it’ll work the way we expect. Trying something new can be scary since we don’t know if the outcome will be positive. Beyond slowing down, or negotiating our attention, we are all creatures of habit that naturally seek the path of least resistance towards our priorities. 

When someone changes the field and turns our process upside down – it can rattle our confidence and our drive to achieve. This can feel like a self fulfilling prophecy when we see that we have to slow down at first to learn. Rebuilding the confidence in our new process and habits takes time and more importantly a clear mental reward for our efforts. 

Overcoming Disruption

With all of this laid out, it might sound overwhelming and more of a problem than it’s worth. Why should we adopt any new technology when there is so much risk and work needed? We are all looking for that competitive edge and other companies are willing to take the work of adopting new technology so that they can outrun you in the market. Remember, your neighbor doesn’t have to outrun the bear, they just have to outrun you. It’s up to you if you think you’ve earned the luxury to sit back and enjoy your time in the sun. For the rest of us, it’s time to lace up the running shoes. 

The good news is that fostering adoption with your new tool is simple, if not easy even with something as innovative as demo automation. You need to provide your team a north star. 

You need to be able to answer 3 key questions to provide clarity:

  1. How does this fit into what matters most? You’ve already established the KPIs and core responsibilities for your team. Unless you are willing to change those, you need to communicate how those priorities tie back to this new tool. If creating a new monthly pipeline is a goal – how will a platform like Consensus help? If “selling above the line” is a focus – how does a demo automation tool help us bring executives into the deal? Being able to speak to how the team should prioritize this change will give them the confidence to navigate this change in their day-to-day schedule. 
  1. Why does this matter to you (leadership)? Why are we disrupting our workflow for this change? Are we seeing a decrease in traditional email engagement and need to leverage video to catch our buyer’s attention? Does the added engagement allow us to better multi-thread our buying committee?  Being able to give a rational business case empowers your team to reconfigure how they think about their workflow and why this change matters. The key here is being clear, concise, and honest – your team will know (and rebel) if your change has an undefined purpose. 
  1. What’s in it for me? This is critical for driving adoption. How will this affect my compensation? What does this mean for my daily workload? Will this make me more effective or just more burdened? Give your team the motivation that they need by clearly showing them how this change helps them get what matters most to them. 

Changing From Disruption to Adoption

So you’ve provided guidance by answering the key questions and your team is motivated to make the change. How do you convert that motivation into truly changed behavior? You should enable their  efforts and make the new workflow smooth for those using it. 

Here’s a few tips to help your team remove hurdles and increase their confidence in using a demo automation platform.

Keep it simple.

  • Make sure your team knows exactly how they should be using the tool – and maybe most importantly when. What step in their usual process has changed? For example, instead of sending an automated email template, now the team needs to use a manual email template and include a snippet with a link to a demo board. Resist the temptation to add anything but the essential steps or to launch multiple use cases at once. Once the team sees the impact and benefits from this initial change, they will be even more motivated to try additional workflows. Also, make sure this process is clearly documented and simple to find. Everyone learns differently, so provide multiple ways so everyone understands the new ask. 

Practice makes progress.

  • It’s one thing to attend a live training session or to have a reference document in front of you; it’s a whole other thing to have tried something multiple times on your own. Too many teams struggle because they undervalue practicing the new changes to their workflow. Gamify the approach and have your team use Consensus to send out an appreciation video to the wider team celebrating someone specific on the team – and have them track who has/hasn’t viewed it. For those who are especially struggling, managers can have their team members practice during their 1:1 meetings to make sure they truly got it down. 

Show the wins.

  • We all love winning, but too often we disconnect our wins from the process and only celebrate the number or the person. Put extra effort into tracking the impact of using this powerful new tool and make sure you know (and communicate) what you want to see. Are you using demo-boards to prospect – how’s our conversion rate changing? Are you using demo-boards to increase demo efficiency? If so, how many hours is that  saving your presales team? Whatever the target outcome, make sure to call it out up front and then celebrate once you start to see the results come in. Don’t wait months to create a peer-reviewed case study, the goal is to build the team’s confidence in real time to ensure they continue adopting.

You’ve purchased a powerful demo automation tool (hopefully you were savvy enough to grab Consensus), you’ve created a plan for a focused rollout that builds confidence and focus in your team, and you are ready to accelerate your sales process for this year. The world is your oyster! And remember, this is only the beginning! 

Once you’ve demonstrated clear success to your team (and your leadership) the real fun begins. As you start to explore where additional upsides can be found in your process, you continue to drive adoption. Once you have a strong foundation, you can start finding use cases that are less obvious. Should you experiment with EBR follow-up demo boards for your Account Managers? Is there a way to increase deal sizes by sending executive summaries to your buying committee post-demo? Should your CRO start prospecting with exclusive CXO targeted videos? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves… yet.

Consensus is Intelligent Demo Automation that scales your presales function.