A while back, we kept hearing the same thing from sales: “If we can get them to a demo, we can show them the value.” At first I wrote it off as a non-insight, thinking “Well, duh … someone who requests a demo is naturally more likely to become an opportunity because they’re self-selecting into a later stage activity.” But they kept pressing, saying that prospects often had an “aha moment” during the demo, somehow finally understanding what we did in a way they didn’t get from the website. So I started doing some digging. First I needed to validate that demos did in fact yield more opportunities. A chance to use our own analytics product – what a novel idea.
To start, I added connections to my Salesforce and Google Analytics accounts and chose the fields I wanted to bring in. In my first visual, I found that 41 percent of leads participate in a demo at some point in the sales process.
In my second visual, I found that leads who had participated in a demo were significantly more likely to become an opportunity (comparing the dark blue bar for participants versus non-participants). This result held steady when I accounted for the same lead score and trial leads versus demo leads (with the idea that a trial is also a late-stage activity, but might not result in the “aha moment” sales kept talking about).
Then I took a step back from leads and created a quick visual of all opportunities. Unsurprisingly, I found that most of the opportunities had a lower amount, with a few “big” deals in the pipeline.
Then I dragged Demo Status into the legend to see how demos affected Opportunity Amount. Below, you can see that opportunities with a demo are actually more likely to be higher-value opportunities than those without a demo.
At this point I’d proven there was something about demos that lead to more, higher-value opportunities. But having just seen the demo myself, I wondered if asking questions on the demo had any effect on opportunities as well. In a second or two, I found that just shy of 50 percent of demo participants asked at least one question.
I again dragged Lead Status into the legend and found that there was a dramatic increase in opportunity conversion when demo participants asked a question.
So all of this was well and good, but how can we drive more “aha moments” earlier in the process, without spending a lot of sales or engineering resources doing one-on-one demos? We decided to launch a new Weekly Public Demo, where we would invite non-new prospects to attend a public Web demo of our product – so we could encourage that “aha moment” without straining our SE resources.
After a few weeks of strong participation on the Weekly Public Demo, we re-ran the analysis and found that not only were we increasing leads, but the Public Demo participants were as likely to convert to opportunities as Live Demo participants. And we could integrate our webinar platform with Salesforce such that reps would have access to prospect questions in near-real time so they could follow up appropriately. Bonus! We actually kept iterating on the program – moving to a Tuesday/Thursday schedule, then every day, and then eventually to an on-demand format.
While this was a relatively simple example, it was great to use our own product to prove that we were making informed campaign decisions to generate more leads and drive sales. And if Sales is happy, Marketing is happy.