Which Demos Can You Automate?

John Cook Director of Demand Gen | Consensus
John Cook

Now that you’ve learned the basics (the importance of scaling presales, methods to determine gaps in the current systems, and the 6 types of demos) , we can take an educated look at how to implement real change: by deciding which demos should be eliminated and which demos should be automated.

Demos to Eliminate

How many of the demos your SEs deliver are unqualified? More than half of the respondents to the Consensus 2021 Sales Engineering Compensation and Workload survey said 30% of all the demos conducted were unqualified. One in five respondents said that more than half of their demos were unqualified. This is both a huge problem and a huge opportunity.

What we want to eliminate are unqualified demos. If we could eliminate those unqualified demos, that would free up an enormous amount of time.

But how exactly do we eliminate them?

Better Qualification: The Demo Qualified Lead (DQL)

Most go-to-market teams have their own qualification gates through which buyers must pass before they get assigned to other resources. Marketing has the MQL (Marketing Qualified Leads). Sales has the SQL (Sales Qualified Leads) and SAL (Sales Accepted Leads). What about presales?

Don’t just add new gates for the fun of it. But where you have presales bottlenecks and waste, the right kind of gate for accessing presales resources and time could shorten sales cycles and increase win rates. We recommend using the Demo Qualified Lead (DQL).

At least one key qualification is whether or not the lead will first engage with either an interactive video demo or a shorter introductory demo that you delegate to your sales team to deliver. If they’re not willing to do that, then we should ask the question, “Are they really qualified enough to soak up presales’ time?” By filtering out unengaged prospects, you don’t reduce the amount of work presales has, you just increase the amount of qualified, impactful work they have time for.

Demos to Automate

The next principle of scaling is to automate what we can. Five out of the six demo types are good for automation:

  • Vision Demos
  • Micro Demos
  • Qualifying Demos
  • Closing Demos
  • FAQ Demos

Don’t automate your custom Technical Demos. We’re not even sure how you’d do that. Not every prospect is going to engage with an automated demo, but many will. When they do, it frees up sales engineers to do more proper discovery and to personalize their technical presentations for qualified buyers. With the demo types automated, SEs can focus on what they’re uniquely capable of doing: strategic solution consulting.

Intelligent demo automation using Consensus starts with sales engineers making screen recordings of their software. These recordings get loaded into an interactive video demo format through an easy-to-use online process.

At that point, they have created a reusable library of interactive video demos. Then the sales rep chooses which pre-built interactive video demo they want to send to particular prospects with a custom link to track who engages with the content.

As those prospects engage with a demo, they identify themselves as they enter the demo, or if they’re new viewers, they can add themselves and register for the demo. Consensus’ automated interactive demos will automatically personalize the demo content to each prospect’s unique interests.

Prospects are asked to rate each topic in the demo as very important, somewhat important, or not important. The demo automation platform dynamically pulls together video clips and documents based on these responses, and it delivers them through an interactive video demo player. This allows each prospect to experience the demo in the way that is most relevant to them.

The system notifies the sales team as different stakeholders engage, and the sales team can look at different types of engagement analytics, including whom the demo was shared with, to discover other stakeholders.

Research from Gartner shows that buyers are spending only 17% of their buying activities with vendors. This means that we have to figure out how to be part of the conversation even when we’re not there. Demos can be sent between appointments to help qualify prospects and shorten sales cycles.

If determining which demos should be eliminated or automated is overwhelming to you, reach out to us. We can help you make your sales team as efficient as possible.