The Failure in Demo Sales and Marketing Automation

A demo car with its hood open and smoke coming out, indicating a mechanical failure.
Sales and Marketing automation is similar to the separate-but-unified parts of a car engine. They have to work together to go forward.
[Updated 10/12/2023]


Sales and marketing automation is evolving at a breakneck pace.  Each automation system is getting more complex by the minute, and being able to decipher what each one actually does is becoming more and more difficult.  When I talk about demo automation, a question I hear often is, “How is demo automation different from sales and marketing automation?” It’s a great question and one I’d like to address by comparing the different types of automation to cars.

The Sales & Marketing Automation Engine

One of the best ways to think about sales and marketing automation is to think of it as the separate-but-unified parts of a car engine working together to drive the car forward.

The Sales and Marketing engine is also comprised of many different parts: email marketing, SEO & SEM management, content marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), sales pipeline management, lead scoring – just to name a few.

Though separate, they work together to acquire new customers; by collecting, qualifying, and advancing leads through the sales funnel.  Pretty straight-forward so far?

An Everyday Failure: Yugo Parts Don’t Belong in Your Engine

Say you buy a brand new Hennessey Venom GT with a 7L, Twin Turbo V8, 1244 horsepower engine.  Sounds great, right?  SURPRISE!  The person who sold it to you decided it would be a good idea to switch the fuel injector with one from an old, blown out, 1980’s Yugo 45 (one of the worst cars ever built).  This old fuel injector is the current live product demo in your sales and marketing engine.

Within the entire sales and marketing engine, there is one critical point where the process slows down to a snail’s pace.  This point inhibits the rest of the sales and marketing engine from operating at peak performance. What is this point? The demo.  

Why is it so bad?  The process for demoing requires that a salesperson get the prospect on a screen-sharing platform, or even worse, in person, and perform a demonstration of the solution for 45-60 minutes.

To add insult to injury, many product demos need to be repeated 4-5 times for each company’s buying panel of decision-makers. Live product demos, while useful later in the sales cycle, limit the performance potential of your sales and marketing engine.

The New Turbo: Demo Automation Software

As we see sales and marketing tools become more sophisticated and automated, it makes sense to look at how demo automation can enhance the effectiveness of the entire system. Demo automation will help you in three primary ways.

  1. Better qualified leads:

By sending an automated demo to leads immediately after they enter the sales and marketing automation system, you can better educate and qualify them, much earlier than if you did a live demo.  When you do talk to the leads, their level of product knowledge and sense of solution fit will allow your salespeople to engage them in more progress-rich conversations, faster.

     2.  Add scale to your sales:

One purpose of automation tools in general is to inject scale into your sales and marketing processes.  Consider a SaaS company with a 30% demo to closed-deal conversion percent.  That same company then, is spending 70% of their sales team’s demo efforts on prospects that don’t convert.  Tally up the hours and cost-per-hour for your team, and then consider how demo automation can add scale.  It’s time for change!

     3.  Get more insight into customer behavior:

Demo automation provides you valuable data that can better direct your sales efforts. One of the big shortfalls of live product demos is that there is very little data that can be collected during the process. Demo automation tools show you how each lead interacted with your demo, what’s important and not important to them, who they shared the demo with, and how they socialized a demo throughout an organization. This rich data helps direct your individual sales conversations, as well as your overall approach to demoing your product, and even product development.

Demo automation is an essential piece in realizing the full potential of your sales and marketing automation engine, and will enable you to scale your sales efforts effectively and efficiently.  Want to learn more about demo automation?  Check out our post: what is demo automation?

Consensus is Intelligent Demo Automation that scales your presales function.