Originally published on www.elearningindustry.com
Are you making it super-easy for your prospects to see your product without getting locked into a one-on-one sales pitch? In this article, I’ll discuss the benefits of offering product demos for large groups and tips on how to get the most out of them.
Why Offering Demo Webinars is a Great LMS Marketing Strategy
Saba was one of the first LMS companies to do what is commonly referred to as “Demo Days” where they periodically show off their product or new releases to large groups of buyers. There are several reasons why demo webinars are so effective, and some of those reasons might be surprising:
- These webinars tend to generate higher quality leads than other types of webinars. Any prospect who invests an hour of their time looking at your product must have something in the works.
- A lot of buyers who want to be anonymous. They don’t want to schedule a one-on-one demo with a salesperson. So, this gives them an alternative way to see your product.
- You can reach many buyers with open-forum demos. They may even be influencers at companies where one of your salespeople is already working an opportunity. These prospects either missed the one-on-one demo or they came late to the party and are now a surprise part of the purchase decision. You probably wouldn’t know about them if it weren’t for the webinar!
The last side benefit is that demos force you to identify the most important aspects of your product and how to message them. It forces marketing, sales, and the product team to collaborate to make some important decisions with a pressing deadline. Without it, some of these important decisions may never get made.
Here are some tips to help you reap these same rewards by offering free demos.
Concentrate on Benefits and Use Cases Instead of Sales Pitches
Prospects are attending the live demo because they want to know how your product will benefit them, not simply to explore the unique selling points and specs through an elaborate sales pitch. For this reason, you must convey how your software will help them achieve their goals and address their current training pain points. Focus on the problems you solve and the practical advantages of ownership instead of merely showing the features.
Invest in a Top-Notch Recording/Editing Tool
You must be able to record the demo for those who are unable to make the live event and to get a lot more mileage out of the time you spent producing the webinar. It also serves as a great selling tool for those who are in attendance but need to convince other stakeholders; for instance, L&D managers who require upper management buy-in to secure the funds. Most of the major webinar tools like GoToWebinar, Webex, etc. has this built-in and makes it easy to record and easy to distribute the recording, but not all do.
Create Unique Marketing Materials for Each Demo Event
Every type of demo you host should have its own set of marketing materials that are custom tailored to the target audience. For instance, next week’s demo webinar might be intended for HR reps from pharmaceutical companies who are in the marketing for a new LMS. As such, the corresponding landing page, spec sheet, and tutorials should align with their unique needs, instead of exploring every aspect of the platform and briefly brushing over the features/functions they require. In addition, the webinar itself should be personalized for them so that they get the most out of it.
Promote the Demo Day on Social Media
People get busy and distracted. So, it’s easy to forget about your demo webinar, even if they’ve been looking forward to the sneak preview for weeks. Thus, it’s wise to promote the event on social media consistently to refresh their memory. This also allows you to generate more buzz for the demo and attract a wider audience. Another way to boost attendance is to pair it with a Twitter hashtag: participants can chat about the software and share their opinions before, during, and after the event.
Get Attendees Actively Involved
The most common misconception about demo webinars is that they’re merely a presentation, a chance for you to highlight your selling points and wow prospects with your standout features. However, it also gives you the opportunity to get buyers involved and interact with them directly. Of course, invite them to ask questions, but you should also encourage them to share experiences and voice their concerns. You can engage with them in real-time to discuss their concerns about your learning system.
Follow-Up with Hot Leads
After the demo webinar, make a point to follow-up with attendees who expressed interest in the product. Though it’s still a good idea to send a brief email to everyone just to make sure they know how to proceed; for example, how to sign up for a free trial or links to your landing page so that they can learn more about the specs.
For hot leads, you may want to personalize your follow-up. Make sure your pre-event form includes questions that will identify whether they will be a hot lead.
Demo webinars generate high-quality leads and critical side benefits. However, there is one word of warning about them: They will not generate the large audience that marketing likes to see in typical webinars. You’re more likely to have twenty people than two hundred in a demo webinar. But keep in mind that those twenty are probably the better part of the two hundred that will sign up for a bigger webinar.
If you want to get more tips and tricks for LMS marketing, download the free eBook 10 Marketing Strategies That No Learning Tech Vendor Can Live Without.
About the Author
Gordon Johnson has been a marketing leader in the corporate L&D industry for over twenty years. His specialty is developing transformative marketing strategies that generate qualified sales opportunities, employing the latest digital marketing channels, coupled with traditional techniques to achieve industry-leading brand awareness, widespread web presence and high-impact value propositions. Other marketing concentrations include content marketing, messaging, social marketing, positioning strategy, analyst relations, events, account-based marketing (ABM), email marketing, customer success and lead-generation. Contact Gordon.