How to Convert More Leads with a Free Demo…Even if you Don’t Offer One

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If you’ve followed our Capterra blog, or any B2B marketing blog for that matter, it is my hope that you have one concept ingrained in your long term memory- the need for a strong call to action (CTA).

We’ve said, and painfully repeated, that in order to increase the conversion rate on your website or landing page, you need a compelling offer. In our 14 years of experience, one of the strongest calls to action used to convert prospects is “Free Demo.”  By increasing your conversion rate, the number of sales opportunities increase and, as a result, your sales team spends less time prospecting and more time selling the product.

convert more leads no demo

To me this concept is rudimentary, yet I come across software companies on a daily basis who have not yet implemented a strong “Free Demo” CTA on their site. It never occurred to me that the reason they didn’t include these types of CTAs was that they wanted to be honest and maintain their product’s integrity.

A software marketer recently told me that their only barrier to implementing a “Free Demo” call to action was their lack of a recorded demo on their website. They did not want to make a promise on the website that they could not deliver for fear this would lead to negative feelings on the prospect’s end. As a result, they settled on a call to action of “Learn More” and subsequent conversion rates under 2%. Though I commend this marketer for being honorable, I implore you not to make the same mistake.

What this marketer did not take into account is that there is no strict definition of what a demo needs to be in the software industry. The purpose of offering a free demo is to give a potential buyer an opportunity to assess the fit and performance of your product. This can be done in countless ways!

Don’t let your lack of an on-website demo hold you back from using a “Free Demo” CTA and generating more leads. Below I’ve listed three alternatives to the “traditional” online demo that won’t make you feel like you’re pulling a bait & switch.

1) Product Video

This, I would argue, is most closely aligned with the “Free Demo” call to action. As mentioned, the goal of a demo is to provide potential buyers a deeper look at the product. This can be done through a simple YouTube or Vimeo video that highlights the differentiating features of your product! To avoid overwhelming your prospect, we recommend this video be no longer than 15 minutes in length.

PS – Capterra is now featuring product videos on our vendor spotlight pages.

Demo alternatives

If you’d like to have a YouTube/ Vimeo link embedded on your spotlight page, please contact your Marketing Advisor!

2) 1 on 1 Call with Screen Share

The 1 on 1 call allows potential buyers to ask questions about your product. Though you may not have the ability to provide a video demonstration, your team likely has access to the product themselves. Use a screenshare program such as Join.me to engage the buyer and walk them through your product.

Though I’m sure you’re painfully aware — not all buyers are willing/able to jump on a 45 minute sales call right out of the gate. To help reassure prospects that your product is worth their time, we recommend you send a few pieces of educational content their way- eBooks, case studies, blog posts, YouTube videos etc. This should help ease them into your first call!

3) Product Walkthrough aka Screenshots

Regardless of the type of software they’re searching for, all potential software buyers have one requirement in common- “ease of use.” Product screenshots are a quick and easy way to give prospects the opportunity to assess the look and feel of your product. Putting the screenshots into a slideshare presentation, providing feature highlights and product details helps to educate the buyer on your product. It may not be a full blown demo, but it’s a start!

Your turn– are you using any “non-traditional” methods to deliver a demo? How do they work for you?

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About the Author

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Kara Dawson

As a Marketing Advisor at Capterra, Kara serves as an outside marketing consultant for nearly 300 of our B2B software companies.

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