1500 demos eliminated from Presales workload in 2020

580

FTE hours gained through demo automation

1500

demos eliminated from the presales team’s workload since 2020

40:60

Ratio of standard demos to configured demos after Consensus (down from 60:40)

The Challenge

Transforming the Buying Process to Become a Product-led Experience

A Fortune 100 software company saw that they needed to change the way they merchandised their
product for 21st century buyers. They saw that many of their smaller competitors had the distinct advantage of getting their product in front of the buyer earlier in the sales cycle, and they sought a solution to bring that concept to the Enterprise level. As they evaluated their sales processes and buyer’s journey, they saw a clear need to scale the presales function.

While they were able to maintain a manageable AE:SE ratio of 4:1, they struggled to balance activities between standard demos that clogged the presales calendar and configured demos that were meant to be consultative meetings that benefit both the customer and the seller. This coupled with the number of underqualified or totally unqualified demos sales engineers were brought into was a source of frustration across the organization.

“Customers wanted to do more research without talking to a sales rep. They wanted access to the product, to do trials… On the presales side, we ran a number of different experiments, most of them failed.”
Eric Lopez | Director of Presales

The Solution

Improved Buying Experiences with Intelligent Demo Automation

Prior to rolling out Consensus, Eric Lopez and his team had run an experiment on creating a library of vignettes and videos that would answer frequently asked questions or even replace the harbor tour demo. They tested with traditional video hosting platforms (VHPs) but found that while they were good for recording and storing videos, they could not match how Consensus could improve the buying experience by scaling presales.

After selecting Consensus as the ideal solution, Eric and his team focused their implementation efforts on one persona. Presales built videos specific to that persona and then gave the sales reps associated with the presales creators access to the demo library and began to send demos as part of a pilot. Once the pilot gained traction, they expanded the rollout to other presales and sales teams.

“The approach I took was to take my presales teams for one persona and get their buy-in. Then we brought in their sales reps. You want your heavy hitters involved to champion it, so that was a lesson learned.”
Eric Lopez | Director of Presales

The Results

Early Adopters See Immediate Success

In the first three months of using Consensus, the company’s presales team gained time that was the equivalent of 76 demos that would have otherwise been executed by sales engineers. These were mainly standard demos that would not have met qualification criteria and were considered to be in early states of the buying process.

Eliminating Repetitive Demos with Scale

In two years, this Fortune 100 software company has reduced their number of live demos from 3,500 to 1,600. Using demo automation, their sales engineers are doing less than half of the standard demos they were doing, which has saved them valuable time and energy for more impactful activities. In 2021, the company automated 580 hours worth of demo activity, representing work that would have been done by 3-4 full time presales employees on low-value demos.

Another driver for success was how the company changed their qualification process to incorporate automated video demos. Instead of getting on the presales calendar for every question, sales reps have been empowered to send current information regarding integrations, solutions, and standard product demos to prospects and customers without the need to engage sales engineers before the deal has been qualified. This has helped both buyers and sellers by simplifying the buying process.

“It’s allowed our inside sales reps to provide access to the product at an early stage and qualify out the wrong opportunities. It also helped us get to the configured demo faster because we spent less time doing just the standard demo.”
Eric Lopez | Director of Presales

A Better Buying Experience

Customers of this Fortune 100 software company gained instant access to product demos and other content that communicated the value of a solution without having to have three initial calls and waiting days for a customized demo. Sales reps now use BDR call recordings and basic information to send the right Consensus demo to inform the customer on what they really want to see, all within hours (or minutes) of the customer asking for it! Presales teams use the analytics (or Demolytics) inside of Consensus to drive their efforts in building the custom demo to provide extra context and information to the customer based on what they viewed and identified as priorities for them.

“It’s a much smoother experience for the customer. We know we’re armed with better information about what the customer needs. We’re getting to the configured demo a week and a half sooner.”
Eric Lopez | Director of Presales

Transforming the Sales Process and Relationship

Using intelligent demo automation to eliminate low-value demos and demo lag time has had a profound impact on how the company generates revenue. Instead of constant tension between sales and presales due to pushback on low-value opportunities and repetitive unqualified demos, sales engineers come into opportunities at the right time with the right information, and are able to focus on configuring consultative solutions that move deals forward. Today the company views its demos as a 40/60 split between standard demos and configured demos, whereas before Consensus it was actually the inverse.

Removing ten days from the sales cycle has given sales teams time back to focus on prospecting while automated demos give them a tool to sell between meetings and provide crucial product information stakeholders can share across the buying group. Using Demolytics, presales and sales teams discovered more than 1,650 new stakeholders they would not have otherwise known about, which allowed them to engage new stakeholders earlier with a knowledge of their priorities and key areas of focus. This has helped the company continue to exceed revenue goals, even in uncertain economic conditions.

Key Takeaways

  • Companies who use intelligent demo automation can accelerate their sales cycles by eliminating demo lag time
  • Focusing on buyer enablement makes for happier customers who want to purchase more often from a vendor
  • Presales and sales teams that use demo automation are more harmonious and are more likely to achieve and exceed revenue targets

See More

How Coupa got in front of prospects at a scale equal to having 4 additional full time SCs.
How Trintech reduced unqualified demos by 89% with Consensus
How AdvancedMD increased their lead-to-close rate by 44%