Demo requests are an essential part of your growth marketing strategy, but we all know that requesting a demo and scheduling a demo are two very different things.
Here are three steps you can take to improve the number of demos you schedule and make sure that you’re only scheduling demos for qualified leads who are likely to buy what you’re selling.
1. Convince prospects to request a demo.
The process of requesting and scheduling a demo starts with your lead form. There are a couple of things you can do to attract qualified leads and convince them to request a demo form.
First, show prospects what your product or service does. A short video demonstrating your product or service will give prospects enough information to decide whether or not they want to learn more. While it might seem like you’re “giving away” information about your product or service here, you’re really saving yourself time by only attracting leads who might be interested in paying you.
Keep your video short -- under a minute. This gives enough information to help a prospect decide if your product might be worth their time without giving away your whole demo. It’s a form of buyer-enablement content that will filter out people who are uninterested and engage those who are.
Second, make the form easy to fill out. Nobody wants to fill out a form that asks a dozen questions, even if they’re genuinely interested in what you have to offer. Keep your lead form brief by only asking the most important questions for you to qualify the lead: first name, last name, email address, phone number.
2. Quickly decide which leads are qualified leads.
You need a way to instantly determine who’s a qualified lead. Start by only qualifying emails that are business accounts. Automatically filter out email addresses that are generic (.gmail, .yahoo, .edu, etc.). People who are serious about your product or service will have business email accounts. Plus, this information will allow you to quickly look up a prospect’s business so you can determine whether or not they’re a fit for your product.
Then, only qualify leads with a phone number. People who are serious about scheduling a demo will put their phone number. Make that a required line on your lead form, and don’t respond to any demo requests that have fake numbers attached.
3. Shorten the time from requesting to scheduling.
I’ve found that shortening the amount of time a prospect has to wait between requesting a demo and scheduling a demo is the most important thing you can do to increase the number of demos you schedule.
Start by setting up a process to contact prospects within five minutes. Depending on what you’re currently doing, this might take a little bit of getting used to. It also might mean doing an overhaul of your current process. A lot of companies think they’re doing well when they contact a prospect within an hour or two, but in my opinion, that’s just too long. Having a plan in place to quickly qualify leads (like I talked about above) will help you shorten your response time.
Next, the best case scenario is to book same-day demos. This significantly reduces the time it takes to go from a demo request to an actual demo and makes it much more likely that a prospect will buy your product or service. Don’t let so much time pass in between the demo request and the actual demo that your prospects move on to your competitors or lose interest altogether.
Finally, don’t give too many options. Whether you reach out to a prospect via phone or email, don’t give them too many options for scheduling. Have a few times available for the same day and the next day, and only extend beyond 24 hours if there’s truly a conflict for your prospect.
By connecting with more prospects, how many more demos could you schedule, and how many more deals could you close? When you consider that some of your competitors may be taking this approach, you can’t afford a long time gap between a demo request and a sales rep reaching out. Improve your software as a service automation process, and work with your sales development team to set the goal of responding to leads within five minutes so you can connect with more qualified leads faster than ever.
This article was first published on Forbes.com and is reprinted here.