Yet More Auto-Demo Hell: A “Customized” Recorded Demo?

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Should a recorded or canned demo by “customized”? Interesting and tough challenge…!

By definition, recorded demos are not customized for any specific customer. However, an attempt to create a single recorded demo that embraces the needs and situations of a range of prospects with different job titles in differing markets is likely doomed to fail.

Example: Consider CRM demos that try to cover the needs of salespeople, sales management, and marketing. Sales management is most interested, typically, in forecast accuracy and transparency – which relies upon data entry by salespeople. A demo that shows a rep entering a pile of pipeline information (deal size, key players, likely close date, probability, deal stage, etc.etc.) will likely please the VP of sales but annoy the sales reps .

Similarly, the above scenario does little to help a marketing manager charged with executing lead generation campaigns – her demo needs to speak to the results and processes of campaign execution and management.

In summary, recorded demos need to be “customized” at least to address relevant market- and job-title specific situations. Recorded demos that show no apparent effort to customize are likely to:

1. Be perceived as insulting by the customer (“we are not all alike”)
2. Will result in more work for the vendor to get the same business (“I didn’t see what I needed in your demo – and it appeared to be inflexible”)
3. Violates nearly every customer-centric principle (and certainly the core principles of the Great Demo! method)

When I’m working with customers to help with their recorded demos (e.g., hosted on their websites), I recommend a Menu Approach to lead each individual prospet to the specific, generically-customized demo that matches that customer’s industry and job-title. That means, potentially, multiple recorded demos as opposed to a single demo that hopes to somehow embrace everyone.

Does this mean that you need to generate recorded demos for every target job title and market? Yes and no… Yes; in that the prospect should perceive that they has been led to a demo that is specifically relevant for them. No; you should expect that the situations for many job titles will be reasonably homogeneous across markets – providing the ability to leverage one recorded demo across those markets. (You’ll need to be careful/clever about what data is used). Often, you can apply different voice-overs to one demo to lend the appearance of a recorded demo that has been customized for a specific target audience.

The perception that a recorded demo has been created specifically for an audience can truly accelerate the sales cycle!

Copyright © 2008 The Second Derivative – All Rights Reserved.

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