The state of the economy right now can best be summed up as a little unstable and uncertain. Are we heading for a slowdown or an outright recession? We’re not exactly qualified to tell you that—even top economists disagree—but we can tell you how to prepare your SaaS business for whatever lies ahead.
Adding interactive demos into your sales and marketing mix can help you build a more flexible, adaptable, and profitable business, no matter what happens to the economy in the near future.
Here are four reasons you should start using or scale up your use of interactive demos now to prepare for an uncertain future.
1. Allow B2B buyers to self-serve
This tactic doesn’t only let you avoid adding even more headcount to your sales team to hit the numbers your business needs to survive. It’s also how buyers want to buy these days—when was the last time a prospect was dying to talk to an AE to make a buying decision?
Buyers today are independent and experienced at buying SaaS products, and many of them are eager to self-serve. In fact, McKinsey research has found that 65% of B2B customers prefer remote human interactions or digital self-service over traditional interactions.
Adding interactive demos to your website allows your prospects to explore your products themselves as they’re making their purchase decision, no matter what stage they’re in. They can get a hands-on product experience on their own time without pulling away your highly valued and already stretched-thin SE resources.
In a world where most website visitors bounce or never convert, this is pretty big. Customers who used interactive product tours saw a 60% uplift in average website interactions that converted to leads. The product tours captured prospects in the moment and increased the likelihood of converting at higher rates compared to users who didn’t experience an interactive product tour.
2. Increase your freemium and free trial conversion rate
Growth mode has been the name of the game for the last few years. VCs were all about growth, particularly user growth, and businesses prioritized it accordingly even if that growth wasn’t immediately reflected in profits.
But with interest rates skyrocketing, there’s less cash flowing through the SaaS startup world, and so there’s a much more urgent focus on profitability over everything else. This change in priorities makes sense, but it’s a huge and sudden shift for companies that were hyper-focused on growth.
Interactive demos are here to help you adjust. When they’re implemented strategically, they can boost your conversion rates for your freemium or free trials so that the user growth you’ve prioritized can fuel your profits now.
We’ve got a blog post that breaks down everything you need to know about increasing your freemium and free trial conversion rates, but it boils down to this: free is only a good selling point if you’ve also removed the friction from the user experience, and prospects can see the true value of your product.
The TL:DR if you don’t want to read the whole post:
✅ Create interactive product tours for a pre-trial sneak peek. This allows potential users to see what your product is like before they set up a free trial. Anyone who used Pendo's self-guided product tours converted at 2-3x times the rate of people who didn’t see the tour. They enable companies to effectively highlight their product's aha moments and shorten a prospect's time-to-value.
✅ Enhance your onboarding experience for everyone. Free users should have a great onboarding experience so they can jump right in and see the value in the product right away without being overwhelmed or distracted. Interactive demos are a perfect way to provide this guided introduction.
✅ Get your users unstuck and create upsell opportunities. Are your free trial or freemium users getting stuck at a certain part during their test drive? That’s going to hurt your chances of them converting into paid customers. Adding interactive guided demos for sticking points or helpful features can get them unstuck and improve the user experience.
Using interactive demos helps to remove friction from the user adoption and upselling process for your existing free users.
You don’t need to write endless emails or have a pushy sales approach to get users to pay, you can simply show them exactly what they’re missing and let them make the choice on their own timeline.
3. Reduce customer churn and increase retention
One of the biggest causes of churn for SaaS businesses that’s completely avoidable is a mismatch between what you sold to a customer and what they actually experienced in their first year of use.
Maybe you promised them features that were on the product roadmap but never made it to the light of day, or your sales team wasn’t clear on what their use case was and it wasn’t an ideal match, or they simply didn’t enjoy the user experience.
Whatever the reason, churn is damaging to your long-term success—and interactive product demos can help here too. They let your prospects experience the product itself so they can make a fully informed buying decision. They know exactly what they’re getting when they purchase your solution because they’ve gotten the full experience (minus the install and integration process), ensuring they’re a great fit from the start.
You can even increase retention by proactively sending existing customers self-guided tours of new features. This helps educate them about new features so they can start using them right away and see greater value from your product as time goes on. With a customer experience like that, getting the yearly renewal decision is a no-brainer.
4. Scale your presales process without adding headcount
Presales professionals are in super high demand, and with the scarcity of experienced solutions engineers, we don’t see this shortage going away any time soon. And they’re (rightfully) expensive to hire as well.
Fortunately, creating interactive demos with demo creation software can help you make the most of your existing presales pros. Since the demo creation process takes only a few minutes when you use a platform like Reprise, your SEs can spend more time on higher-value activities that align with their deep technical and business expertise. No wonder Reprise customers saw a 20% reduction in SE involvement!
And your SEs can also get out of the cycle of making more and more early-stage demos for unqualified buyers, which eats up their time and also makes them more likely to quit. Instead, they can build a reusable demo library that AEs can pull out as needed for buyer meetings in the beginning of the sales cycle.
Instead of using video demos for this purpose, which are expensive and time-consuming to make (and pretty boring to watch to boot), your reusable demo library can be updated easily as new features come out. Your buyers get a better experience, your SEs get to spend more time doing what they actually love, and your AEs get access to the automated demos they need for those early conversations—everyone wins.
Looking for a demo creation platform that lets your presales team create beautiful interactive demos in just minutes? Try Reprise today!