Product demos are critical in the sales process, especially in the SaaS field where products have quite a different nature compared to other industries and consumer markets. Oftentimes companies are making mistakes with SaaS product demos, which results in lower interest from potential clients and thus lower sales numbers.
So, in this article, we want to shed some light on this problem, identify when and why SaaS product demos don’t work, and how to fix that 🔧
- Why Do SaaS Demos In the First Place?
- Types of Product Demos in SaaS
- Common Issues With Demos in Selling SaaS
- How to Avoid Mistakes in SaaS Demo Production with Using of Animation
- Consider Blue Carrot Your Trusted Partner
- Final Thoughts
In order to answer this question let’s first take a look at the nature of SaaS apps. What makes these products different from others? They are intangible. Unlike physical products such as cars, mobile phones, appliances, etc. SaaS apps aren’t physical.
You can’t go to the store and ask a salesman to show them to you, so you can make a decision whether to buy one or not. So, there need to be some means that would allow you to experience these types of products. This is where SaaS demos come in handy.
Their goal is to demonstrate how the product works and show its interface, value, and advantages available to potential customers. All this should be done within a reasonable timeframe. In other words, SaaS demos are used to make potential clients trust the product enough to give it a try.
SaaS demos may come in different shapes and forms, however, the two main categories for these are Live and Pre-recorded. The live presentations occur during the physical meeting with a client, while pre-recorded — as the name implies — can be sent out as a follow-up to a phone call or showcased during conferences.
- On-screen demonstration — this is the most basic way of demonstrating your SaaS product to a potential clientele. Here, the sales manager shows app functionality on the mobile phone or tablet they’ve brought in. All features get demonstrated manually. The presentation can be also broadcast live to a larger screen (think of Steve Jobs presenting the iPhone in 2007, for example).
- PPT presentation with app screenshots — prospects are shown a PowerPoint presentation that uses app screenshots to demonstrate possible scenarios and ways of using the SaaS product. The advantage of this demo type is that the presentation done in PPT can be prepared beforehand. You don’t need to come up with it “on the go”, which may often be the case for some on-screen demonstrations.
- Video presentation — here the sales manager demonstrates to a client a DIY screencast that comes in the form of a video, or a pre-recorded professionally made video (more on that later in the article.)
- Client gets access to the app — one of the most engaging types of SaaS presentations is where a client basically is given access to the app (or demo version of it) and can experience it however they want to.
- Self-made presentation — quite a popular type of SaaS demo due to its relative simplicity in production. Self-made presentations come either as screencasts accompanied by the ‘talking head’ of a sales manager in one of the screen’s corners or as a pre-recorded screencast with a basic voiceover.
- Professional demo video — produced by a professional agency, such videos allow SaaS companies to demonstrate their products in the best light possible. These videos normally include app screencasts enhanced with animation sequences and a professionally recorded voiceover.
One aspect that sets professionally made demo videos apart from other types of SaaS demos is that they are able to generate a more powerful outcome for your presentation, demonstrating not only your brand image but also that you care about the quality of your communications with clients.
👉 To put that into perspective, compare the standard screencast to the Slack video. It very cleverly communicates the value of their product instead of just overloading viewers with dozens of app screens all at once:
One of the main problems with SaaS demos is that companies try to fit literally everything into their presentations. This often results in hour-long demos that probably nobody will be able to watch to the end. If we’re talking about live presentations, a 10-15 minute demo (speech+screencasts) is more than enough. When it comes to video presentations, everything should fit perfectly within a 1 to 3-minute time frame.
Even though the term “Software as a Service” implies dealing with some technical stuff, the demo itself shouldn’t be overly technical. Keep in mind that you may be presenting your product to people with limited or no technical knowledge. So, you need to make sure that they get all the necessary information from the presentation.
Another common issue with demos in selling SaaS is over or underestimating the importance of the information that makes it into the final presentation. This can lead to developers not including particular information in the product demo, believing that it may not be that important.
While in reality, it can be the other way around, and prospects may not get what they were expecting (even subconsciously). To keep this issue with SaaS product demos from happening, it’s necessary to have a demo structure built around the main pain points of your target audience.
Considering that not all your potential clients are tech-savvy, it would be wise to keep specific jargon and complex tech terms out of your presentation. Otherwise, you may end up speaking different languages with your prospects and they won’t be able to relate to the ideas or concepts you’re pitching.
Even complex tech topics can be explained in simple words when approached the right way. The following example from our portfolio proves just that:
If you’ve decided to proceed with an animated video for your next SaaS demo. Here are four tips to consider to avoid the most typical mistakes in SaaS product demo videos.
As with basic live presentations, you shouldn’t give viewers information they don’t need, nor should you miss the details that are actually important. The recommendation is quite simple, outline 2 to 4 core messages for future demos and build your video around them. The core or key messages are those that target the main problem(s) of your prospects, showing how your product can help solve or deal with them.
There are several ways you can produce your animated video. You can look up on Fiverr or Upwork for a freelance video designer or you can DIY by using dedicated video software.
However, if you want your demo to look professional, it’s best to partner with a reliable video production agency that can do all the ‘heavy lifting’ for you. When looking for one, though, try to select a company that has the relevant expertise in the SaaS field and knows how to produce animation for your niche.
This process will ensure that you won’t waste time and money on a video that may not work for your market. For more on how to choose an animation video production company, read our article here.
If you have hired a professional video company, most likely they already have a work strategy set in place. They’ll know how to pace the production process, which information to source from the client, which mistakes in SaaS demo production to avoid, etc. We recommend trusting their advice as they should know what will work best for your project and your budget.
Even when working with professionals it’s still important for a client to be involved in the production process. Because at the end of the day, cooperation is still a ‘two-way street’. No matter how big the project budget is or how professional your team is, commitment and cooperation are vital. Without proper client input, it is impossible to create a quality animated video that hits the projected targets.
If you want to learn more about potential mistakes during video production, check out another article from our blog.
Having worked with SaaS companies for years, we at Blue Carrot have established ourselves as a reputable partner. We’re always willing to step in and help no matter the challenge or complexity of the product or project.
We always strive to create the best SaaS explainer videos for our clients and aren’t afraid to share the results of our work. If you’re interested in our SaaS video production services, here are examples of some great projects that we had the opportunity to work on.
An 85-second video produced by our team for ProWriter. A platform that allows freelance writers to create and share their portfolios with prospective clients. The main goal of the video was to demonstrate how ProWriter can help writers cope with one of the main problems of freelancing — the time and effort-consuming process of finding new clients. The color scheme and all the visuals on-screen carefully follow the corporate style of ProWriter. The video also features the actual UI, enhanced with animation sequences to make the storytelling more vibrant and dynamic.
The video we worked on for Route4Gas perfectly demonstrates how you can explain to your audience a technical topic without going deeply into the technical stuff itself. Route4Gas is a platform created to consolidate information about gas transmissions across Europe. It allows gas traders to benefit from more efficient gas routes and pay less for capacity bookings. Even though the subject itself was a tricky one, our team managed to successfully complete the task, meeting the client’s needs and budget.
As you can see, the most common problems with selling SaaS demos occur when companies do not fully understand how to work with this instrument. With the right approach, however, coming up with a great-looking sales demo and a great-performing one is not that difficult. Just make sure to follow the recommendations above, and you are guaranteed to get a great demo for your SaaS project.
If you have any issues with SaaS demo production and need expert advice, or simply need a team to get your SaaS demo off the ground, contact us in the way that is the most convenient for you!
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