Virtual Product Demos: Changing the Game in Product Marketing

February 4, 2022
By
Jomel Alos

Virtual product demos are an integral part of every sales strategy these days. Its popularity grew immensely because, one, the pandemic made in-person demos challenging for the sales force. And secondly, the convenience of doing virtual events made it easier to record or go live even while working remotely.

What is a Virtual Product Demo?

A virtual product demo is a virtual presentation that showcases the value of a product or service to prospective customers, either through one-to-one or one-to-many interactions and can be either pre-recorded or delivered live.  It is a unique opportunity to create a user-led experience, crucial in generating qualified leads, closing deals, and creating engagement and loyalty.

As it typically involves a demonstration of the core features and capabilities of a product, marketers make it compelling by sometimes incorporating 360-degree photography and videos. And when added with virtual world enhancements, the virtual reality product demo can imitate the real-world experiences that resonate well with customers. 

Who Can Benefit from Virtual Product Demos?

product demo virtual
Photo by George Milton from Pexels

One of the most challenging parts of selling is making sure that your prospects understand exactly what your product or service is all about. This is particularly true for SaaS companies that create virtual and intricate solutions. Many SaaS companies are struggling when it comes to promoting their products that is why virtua product demos have become their bread and butter-- helping them to create powerful demonstrations of the solutions they are offering. 

The advent of virtual product demos is not only beneficial for SaaS companies, tech vendors, law firms, and those that provide complex services-- it also has tremendous benefits for consumer retailers and their customers. Virtual product demos are not just attention-grabbing tools, they can also create a highly interactive and immersive user experience for lifestyle brands that require realistic simulations.

Virtual product demos have undeniably changed the marketing landscape, especially during these days. Sales teams take advantage of this cutting-edge technology to improve their customers’ experience, and ultimately, generate sales. But aside from marketing products and services, virtual product demos have also made significant impacts on other fields, particularly training and customer support. 

This tool has been valuable in creating and maintaining a positive learning environment during training. From tutorials to step-by-step walkthroughs, trainers find it easier to reinforce key takeaways and improve knowledge retention by using virtual demonstrations. Examples of this include mock sale demos where employees are given virtual and visual examples on how to conduct product presentations. Through this, internal and external teams discover new techniques and apply them in real life, as well as explore the product’s features and practical uses in greater detail. 

Alongside training, employing virtual product demos is a practical approach in assisting customers with their concerns. By utilizing this tool, customer support becomes more effective in creating engagement with the customers through a sound demonstration on how to handle products at their own pace, as needed.

Why Use Virtual Product Demo?

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash 

Virtual product demos have been a significant tool in marketing products and services even before the pandemic started. And since then, it has been advantageous to both companies and consumers. But why use virtual demos? Here are the key reasons:

It Increases Product/Brand Confidence 

Customers often have built-in distrust for people in sales. In fact, roughly 80% of customers have already set their specifications before talking to a sales representative, and about 35% have a vendor preference before talking to one. 

But the beauty of virtual product demos is that you can build brand confidence among your clients by showing tangible proof of how your product works even virtually. Giving customers visual evidence that supports what you say is necessary for building trust in you and the product or service you are selling. Simply put, a virtual demo can quickly help you steer clear of your customers' doubts regarding your product.

For instance, you are selling a makeup brand that claims to make the skin look flawless. Through a virtual demo, you can demonstrate how this product blends seamlessly into the skin, giving an impeccable, radiant glow to the user. By increasing product confidence, you could eventually build a stronger rapport with your prospect, and a more enthusiastic buyer in the end. 

It Drives Prospects Faster To The Next Stage

Virtual demos can engage the customers in ways that text cannot. It allows you to tell your brand’s story and your products’ key functionality without having your customers read extensive manuals. 

You know the feeling of reading through long texts, right? It’s highly technical and to some, downright boring. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to engage with your prospect by having them read through numerous documents. You need to drive them faster to the next stage, and how do you do it? Yes, virtual product demo. According to the HubSpot Research Global Sales Enablement Survey, 63% of sales leaders believe that virtual meetings are just as or more effective than in-person meetings in helping customers move to the next deal or pipeline stage. Let your prospect take hold of their customer journey through your expert guidance. 

63% of sales leaders believe that virtual meetings are just as or more effective than in-person meetings

After all, customers feel more inclined to purchase after an engaging and immersive brand experience. 

It Makes Selling Products More Personal

One thing to love about virtual product demos is that you can create personalized experiences based on your prospect’s pain points and how your product can solve those.  Helping prospects' connect with your product or service on a more personal level is an important step to persuasive selling.

For example, it’s one thing to say that your app is easy to use and can solve one’s dilemmas. But when potential clients can experience that through your demo, they tend to gravitate towards you and your products. Also, demonstrations are a two-way conversation. If your client has a question during the demo, this is a chance for you to help them understand the product in such a way that manuals and product guides cannot. 

It Allows Schedule Flexibility

Virtual product demos don't demand as much time. It gives you flexibility because you don’t need to travel as much-- you just need a webcam, a laptop, editing software, and voila! You can do the virtual product demo in no time. Because virtual demos are hosted online, it’ll only take a few minutes to set up. You also get to choose from a selection of times available to book one around your schedule.  

For customers, they can book a live virtual demo at their most convenient time. According to a global survey conducted by Bain & Company and Dynata, 92% of B2B buyers prefer virtual sales interactions.  Because they can schedule time with a salesperson on their own through your website, instead of calling your store and setting it up, the conversion rates are higher, and the sale? Even greater. 

92% of B2B buyers prefer virtual sales interactions

It Provides Insightful and Useful Feedback 

Feedback is a virtual product demo’s ally. Knowing how well you’ve presented your products will translate to customer engagement. And getting feedback as early as possible can help you figure out what your next steps should be, may it be adjusting the product demo or closing the deal.

Also, another form of feedback you can use is in the form of analytics. When hosting a virtual demo, you get access to extensive video data which will help you take corrective actions if necessary. Analytics don’t lie and can give you an overview of the following aspects:

  • The average time your prospective customer spends watching your virtual product demo; 
  • The exact points where they dropped off; and
  • The points where they stopped to examine the product.

Knowing these salient points will help you develop a better version of your recorded product demo video.

It Helps Cut Down on Expenses

Sending a sales representative for a face-to-face demonstration entails a lot of costs. However, doing virtual product demos can help you save up on these expenses, especially if your client is in a different country or region. In fact, more organizations are investing on technology than in the previous years in order to cut down the geographic and logistics barriers that they encounter in face to face demos. Virtual demos can be an alternative to costly onsite visits, eventually giving you more financial freedom on things that matter.

Mastering the art of Virtual Product Demo

A lot of sales representatives think that they can ace any product demonstration. The thing is, they can but that does not guarantee conversion. If you don’t prepare, chances are, you are going to fail.

Virtual product demos are a catalyst for companies to make a lasting impression among their customers. Gone are the days of handing product sheets to customers. Today more than ever, customers demand interactive, engaging, and personalized experiences. So how do you make your virtual demo effective? Let’s look at these best practices:

Collect Data 

Before your presentation-- and this applies to both recorded and live demos-- you need to do research and collect data about your prospects. Learn all you can about the person, team, or persona you’re demonstrating to before your virtual presentation to personalize your approach.

One example is knowing the names and designations of everyone attending. Checking their LinkedIn profiles ahead of time will help you with that. Also, you can contact them and send out pre-meeting questionnaires to learn about your prospects, their current issues that need resolution, as well as their expectations about the demo. The more data you collect, the more you will be able to tailor the demo specifically fit for them.

For recorded demos, create a profile of the target audience. What positions do they commonly hold? What industries do they belong to? What problems do they commonly face?

virtual product demo lasy
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Prepare a Clear and Distraction-Free Setup

Being professional is essential in doing  live virtual product demos. To ensure that you have a clear and distraction-free setup, here are a few easy steps:

  • Make sure that the people in your house or office won’t be able to interrupt you while you are presenting. Inform them ahead of time so that your clients won’t get distracted when people appear out of nowhere on their screens.
  • Even if it’s a virtual presentation, dress professionally. You can never go wrong with dressing up for your clients.
  • Ensure that your background is professional-looking. A neat and clutter-free home office or a neutral-painted wall with ample lighting is ideal. But, if you don’t have these, a virtual background can do. 
  • Clean up all of the applications on your desktop and your toolbar. Close the unnecessary ones to reduce distractions if you accidentally share your desktop screen.
  • Turn off all your device notifications. Nothing is so distracting than hearing notification sounds in the background.

Know Your Product

Knowing your product and service from the inside out spells the difference in doing virtual product demos. It also means that you have to know your product more than just memorizing and relying on a script or a technical manual. Brush up on your product knowledge ahead of the virtual product demo and use it yourself so that you can be prepared with your prospect’s questions. This way, you won’t find yourself running out of words when an important question pops out that you weren’t expecting.

Knowing your product like the back of your hand is an essential part of developing credibility. 

Make the demo personalized and relevant

During a virtual demo, your product is not the one you should focus on-- your customer is. Your virtual product demo must be relevant to your customer, and being able to tackle all their pain points and provide a solution for that will lead you to close that deal. You have to provide an opportunity to help the prospect see themselves in the solution, and not just the product alone. And the most effective way to personalize and make your virtual product demo relevant is to customize it as fully as possible. 

Remember: Keep your demo customer-centric, not product-centric. 

Focus on the Value, Not the Features

Even if you are selling the best product in the market, if your prospect does not see its value, you will never be able to pique their interest. Who you are meeting with has an issue that needs to be resolved. They attended your demo not to see your product features but instead, how your product would help them reach the desired outcome. Your job as a presenter is to sell them a solution and not just to demonstrate its features.

Answer Questions

What’s a virtual product demo without entertaining questions? Even if you are presenting live, do not forget to pause and answer questions. This way, you can keep your prospect engaged in the conversation. 

For recorded demos, you can still do this by stopping and asking yourself things that a prospect would ask. Also, you can encourage your prospect to write down their questions and answer them via email. 

If you need help remembering when to stop, leave yourself a note to do so in between your subtopics. And if there are unaddressed questions, consider using a Word document to capture all of them so you can answer afterward.

Establish a Clear Next Step 

Your virtual product demo should end with a sales pitch and a call to action. You should be able to establish what you want your prospective client to do next. These steps should be actionable, and it will depend on where they are on their consumer journey. For instance, your client needs time to think things through. You might agree to call them after a week to follow up. Or if they are ready to make a purchase, your next step is to send them a contract or set another meeting to discuss it more.

Never end a demo without establishing a clear next step. 

Follow Up

Your virtual product demo is only as good as your follow-up. 

Whatever your CTA is, you should be able to do some follow-ups within 24 hours, ideally. Send a thoughtful email and ask for their feedback about your demo. You can also send a recap email to set up another meeting for the things you weren’t able to cover during the virtual demo. Don’t let them get lost in the sales pipeline. You must be able to steer them towards the direction you intend them to be by doing follow-ups. 

Virtual product demo kinds & examples

Virtual product demos might take a lot of time to create. But once you’re doing it, it can be an effective piece of your company’s sales strategy. 

Want to create your product demo? Here are the types of product demos and what they do well. You might also want to check out video samples so you’ll see how it works:

One-to-Many Demo

This type of virtual demo is regularly scheduled and is delivered by one or more representatives who give a detailed overview of the product to their prospects. Prospects often have to register online to attend this kind of demo which can be live, pre-recorded, or hybrid. 


Virtual product demo one-to-many sparktoro
Source: SparkToro

A perfect example of a regular one-to-many demo is SparkToro’s masterclasses called Office Hours. Here, SparkToro shares valuable insights from marketing and content creation to amplification and market behavior analysis. These live sessions, which happen twice a month, help their prospects achieve specific goals depending on their needs. 

SparkToro’s virtual demos are simple yet impactful. They focus on what their prospects need and then segue at the end what SparkToro can offer. 

One-to-One

While the name suggests that One-to-One demos are done for a single person, it can also be done in front of a group. The main difference between One-to-One and One-to-Many is that the latter is broadcasted on multiple devices for people belonging to different organizations or are not affiliated with anyone. 

One-to-one product demos with a group audience is typical for B2B products wherein the prospect company has multiple decision makers involved. 

Interactive Demos

Giving your prospective clients control over their consumer experience is the main goal of interactive virtual product demos.  By allowing them to interact with your content, you get to create a completely custom interactive experience for your clients which is proven to be more memorable than traditional video content. 

virtual product demo ford
Source: Wirewax

A case in point is this demo of the Ford Bronco family. This ingenious interactive virtual product demo features world-renowned adventurer, Jimmy Chin. Instead of putting the car at the forefront of the demo, the viewers were taken to a breathtaking narration by Jimmy Chin of his adventures-- you’d forget that you are watching a product demo! By being able to pick their adventure, customers are allowed to see the car in different locations and weather conditions. The three-minute interactive demo would want you to click ‘Watch More’ after seeing how delightful and powerful the subtle narration of the important features are.

virtual product demo interactive ikea
Source: Wirewax

Another is IKEA’s interactive video series called ‘Bedroom Habitats’ with National Geographic. The first, ‘Small Bed Battle,’ depicts a couple fighting over space in their tiny bed. The narrator gives a documentary-style narration of this struggle which ended after getting a bed from Ikea.

Throughout this video, there are noticeable motion-tracking hotspots that showcase the Ikea piece to perfectly create a space that is conducive for living. By simply clicking these icons, the product details are shown as well as how you can get it. The super-impression of these products using a 60-second delay makes it easier for customers to checkout and buy Ikea items conveniently, and not to mention, engaging. 

Live Selling

Live virtual product demos are one of the most standard ways of doing product demos these days, especially if brands want to reach as many audiences as possible. These can be done on a single social platform or multi-streamed at once using a live shopping platform. One example of this type is this live demo of Bad Gal Bang! mascara hosted by Birchbox and Benefit Cosmetics.

vrtual product demo live selling birchbox
Source: Birchbox

In the beginning, the hosts gave the viewers context on why they were doing this live demo. Then, the brand representative delved into the mascara, discussing its unique selling points to the makeup aficionados watching the live-streamed demo. Then, they proceeded with a tutorial so that viewers would see what the representatives were talking about the product. Also, the hosts shared tips on how to use the product so viewers would know just how easy it is to add to their beauty routine.
As the demo went on, viewers were able to ask questions that the host and the brand representative answered. To create more engagement, the hosts also asked trivia questions, which the viewers answered. It was interactive and effective. This is the kind of engagement that marketers should take note of-- organic, spontaneous, and dynamic.

Apart from that, this is a great example of a cost-effective product demo. The video needed no editing and did not feature celebrities or influencers. But, the marketing team was able to deliver what was asked: a clear and relevant product demo on how the mascara works. 

Time to make a killer virtual product demo!

Virtual product demos are a vital tool in generating sales, allowing your customer to experience your products’ features and benefits on a whole new level. And in today’s competitive world in selling, marketers often go above and beyond the traditional demo to make their virtual demos stand out and deliver what is expected from them.

Now that you have a solid foundation on what virtual product demos are, you might be thinking: what’s next? Well, stay ahead of your game and turn your virtual demos into an experience-driven, sales-generating one that your prospects won’t ever forget!

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