How Does a Cloud Demo Work?
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Meet Karen, a salesperson who has been working on a prospect for the past month. After sending emails, an initial phone call, and a white paper, the customer is ready to view your software. But here’s the problem: the customer is based abroad and, due to travel restrictions, you cannot send Karen to demo the software in their offices. You are therefore forced to build a demo environment on your own in-house servers, and then try and do the demo over Zoom.
Besides being time-consuming and technically complex, there is a real chance of technical glitches using this traditional and inflexible approach. And of course, the customer can’t try the demo out either. These challenges explain why 75% of companies now believe video and cloud demos are just as – if not more – effective as in-person sales.
What is a cloud demo?
A cloud-based sales demo is just like a traditional software demo, but it is conducted remotely over the Internet. The customer follows a link to an environment where a salesperson presents the product, shows how it could be used to solve some of the customer’s problems, and answers any questions. You can also choose to provide a demo environment where your customers can securely play around with the product.
How does a cloud demo work?
Spinning up a cloud demo environment is normally straightforward. With CloudShare you can very quickly generate a sales demo environment that your teams can use whenever they need:
- You rent out space on a cloud server that is specialized for cloud demos
- You upload an instance of your software to the environment
- You then send your customer a link to the software demo
- They connect to the environment from any device
- You talk them through realistic and personalized software demos
- You can also provision demo templates that are tailored to different industries or specific use cases – which makes provisioning the demo even faster for your sales team
- Cloud demo solutions allow you to hand over the reins to the customer, meaning they can explore the software for themselves in a secure environment
- You can set rules about what they can do in the environment and how long the demo will last
What’s behind the popularity of cloud demo solutions?
Over the past 18 months, the B2B and B2C sales process has changed dramatically, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic. But that isn’t the only reason that sales cloud demos are rising in popularity:
- Lockdown restrictions and social distancing
The coronavirus pandemic had a major impact on the number of companies looking for sales demo environments that would allow them to keep selling without meeting leads in person. A cloud demo allows you to present your product to customers while maintaining social distancing and minimizing the spread of disease.
- Costs of travel
Before the emergence of cloud demo solutions, many salespeople would have to travel far and wide to present demonstrations of your software. All this business travel was very expensive and not always justifiable – especially if customers were not in fact interested in your product. A cloud demo allows you to present the product to prospects without days of traveling.
- Grow customer base without needing more staff
In the traditional business model, when a company expands it must take on more salespeople to demonstrate the product to more customers. However, with a cloud demo solution, you enable your salespeople to become far more productive. The cloud demo environment allows them to fit more demos into a single day, meaning your business can grow without having to hire many more people.
- Avoids hardware issues
Another major benefit of cloud demo solutions is that you avoid the kinds of hardware issues that typically emerge when you ask customers to connect to a demo on your inhouse servers. As long as the customer has a connection to the Internet, they can simply view and explore your demo over the cloud without any specific requirements for their own hardware or operating system.
- Overcoming scheduling problems
Today, 70 – 80% of your customers say they prefer an entirely remote sales process. If you can simply view a product over the Internet and try it out, why go through the added complexity of scheduling a meeting during working hours, setting aside a meeting room at your company, and hosting a salesperson – especially if you can just watch or interact with the demo in your own free time?
Ready for the era of cloud demos?
For companies running B2B and B2C software demos, using a cloud demo solution makes so much sense. To get a feel for what this looks like with a real sales organization, read our new case study with Infindat who can now quickly spin up thousands of cloud demo environments to support their sales process.
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