How to Create Effective Product Demos and Walkthroughs

How to Create Effective Product Demos and Walkthroughs

Are your product demos and walkthroughs falling flat? Have you ever felt like your demos just aren’t connecting with your audiences?

As a product manager, spending hours creating demo content for users to tune out or get confused before you can show the real value is frustrating. We have all been there – it feels like you’re talking to a brick wall sometimes.

You slave over the slides and script, hoping to clearly illustrate your features, but end up with blank stares instead of excited customers.

So, how do you make your demos effective? How do you turn disengaged viewers into enthusiastic supporters? In this article, we’ll cover the common pitfalls that cause demos to fail and share strategies to create engaging demos that resonate with your audiences. 

By the end, you’ll understand how to capture attention, communicate value, and move people to action with your product walkthroughs.

What Most People Do Wrong When Creating Product Demos and Walkthroughs

While the eagerness to showcase a product is understandable, the representatives must recognize that poor execution of product demos can negatively impact potential clients. Here are the common mistakes you need to be wary of:

Not Vetting Prospects Thoroughly

Don’t just hand out demos to anyone who asks. Take time to understand your prospects’ business size, budget, and needs. A lengthy demo may overwhelm a small company. Ask questions, like a focused webinar, tailored demo, or training materials, to determine the best format. Respect everyone’s time.

Failing to Establish Value

Brian Tracy once said, “Your ability to communicate with others will account for fu?ly 85% of your success in your business and in your life,” and we cannot agree more.

Communicate why prospects should allot time for a demo. Explain how it can save them time and help determine fit. Stress the presenter’s ability to showcase benefits. Make sure they walk away knowing their time was well spent and how your solution adds value.

Using Demos as Training

Demos are for selling, not training. Tell your company’s story and highlight advantages vs. competitors. Keep it brief and focused on what matters most to the prospect. Leave detailed onboarding for after purchase.

Rambling On Too Long

Respect prospect’s busy schedules. Understand their workflows and needs to customize the demo accordingly. Fifteen minutes maximum on critical features, then Q&A. Help them succinctly sell your solution back to their team without dragging on.

Getting Lost in Features

Features aren’t the biggest draw – it’s improving workflows and business outcomes. Ask questions to identify goals and better understand how your solution fulfills needs. Build trust through empathy and clear problem-solution fit.

Failing to Engage Attention

Attention spans are short, so keep audiences engaged. Highlight truly important parts and use language like “this is key” to grab focus when drifting occurs. Check for understanding along the way.

Forgetting Next Steps

Don’t leave prospects hanging with unresolved questions. Set clear expectations for onboarding before ending. Bring a laptop to schedule follow-ups while interest is still fresh. Go for the commitment and move discussions forward.

Steps to Create Product Demos and Walkthroughs That Convert

  1. Craft Detailed User Personas
  2. Unravel the Customer Journey
  3. Visualize Your Insights with a Storyboard Template
  4. Tailor Demos to Specific Personas
  5. Measure and Enhance Your Demo Effectiveness
  6. Engage Prospective Customers with Personalized Demos

1. Craft Detailed User Personas

As per research, companies that surpass revenue and lead objectives are more likely to possess documented personas, with 71% having them, compared to 37% for companies meeting goals and 26% for those falling short.

The research highlights the potential correlation between having well-defined personas and achieving higher revenue and lead generation success levels.

User personas are fictional representations of your target audience based on real data and research. They help you understand your audience’s needs, goals, and pain points so you can create demos and walkthroughs that are relevant and engaging.

Here are the recommended steps to create effective product demos and walkthroughs targeted at your customer personas:

  • Develop well-defined customer persona profiles. Use data from surveys, interviews, sales interactions, and analytics to understand your key persona types based on factors like industry, job role, company size, and so on. Create profiles detailing their goals, pain points, motivations, and expectations.
  • Map your product features to persona needs. Analyze how your solution addresses each persona’s unique challenges and helps them achieve their desired outcomes. Use use cases and scenarios to illustrate how your product would work for each persona.
  • Customize your demos for each persona. Tailor the demo script, presentation style, and delivery based on the persona’s interests, priorities, and preferred communication style. Focus content on aspects most pertinent to that persona.
  • Incorporate persona feedback into demo improvements. Measure each persona’s metrics like attendance, engagement, satisfaction, and conversion. Also, solicit input from sales, management, and demo attendees to identify strengths and weaknesses. Make targeted refinements based on performance and feedback.

Gaining deep insight into your distinct customer profiles and aligning your demonstrations accordingly can enhance relevance, build credibility, and increase sales effectiveness. Regular refinement further strengthens demonstration impact and conversion rates over time.

Chisel's Idea Box interface, showcases a neatly organized space for storing product feature requests and ideas received through feedback.
Chisel’s Idea Box is a robust solution for storing and managing product feature requests and ideas generated from valuable feedback. 

You need a great feedback management tool to help you create a great user persona. Chisel is one such amazing product management tool that has an exclusive feedback pillar that helps you collect and manage feedback from team members, customers, and stakeholders alike. 

Sign up for Chisel’s Free Forever version here!

2. Unravel the Customer Journey

The second step in paving a path for effective product demos and walkthroughs is to outline a customer’s typical journey when evaluating your product category and solution. This step may include:

  • Awareness stage: The customer recognizes a problem/opportunity and begins researching possible solutions. Your demo could highlight industry trends, common challenges, and how your product compares to competitors.
  • Consideration stage: The buyer evaluates options by checking reviews, trialing demos, and consulting peers. Show how users can easily sign up for a free trial on your website. Demonstrate key features in the trial environment.
  • Trial stage: The user tests functionality to verify fit and value. Provide trial support and documentation. Observe pains and collect feedback.
  • Purchase stage: Compelling trials drive buyers to purchase. Demo how teams can quickly get started with implementation best practices.
  • Onboarding stage: New users are adopted and ramped up. Highlight onboarding materials and success services.
  • Adoption stage: Features are learned and optimized over time. Showcase expansion/upsell opportunities uncovered during use.

By choreographing your demo’s message and flow according to these typical journey stages, you lay the foundation for prospects to envision themselves as future users. It boosts relevance and builds the case for your solution throughout the decision process.

A snapshot of the Feedback Portal interface, illustrating a user-friendly platform for customers to share, store, and prioritize their ideas through a simple link.
Chisel’s Feedback Portal is an innovative platform enabling customers to seamlessly share, store, and prioritize their ideas.

Chisel’s Feedback Portal can be a great wat for you collect feedback from your users with just a single link. You can collect their ideas, inputs and recommendations without much effort. 

Sign up for Chisel’s Free Forever version here!

3. Visualize Your Insights with a Storyboard Template

The third step towards effective product demos and walkthroughs is an effective storyboard that helps prospects visualize the user experience, keeps demo presentations structured, and engages the audience through a relatable narrative. It also ensures your demo conveys the right messages about features and their impact.

To effectively visualize your product insights using a demo storyboard template, follow these key steps:

Outline the Core Narrative: Define the central storyline that captures the user’s journey from the initial problem identification to its resolution. It could involve describing key personas, their challenges, and their goals.

Feature Storyboarding: Break down the narrative into individual scenes or steps. Associate each step with a core feature that addresses a user’s pain point. Visually represent features through illustrations, screenshots, or video snippets.

For example, a SaaS helpdesk storyboard could show:

  • John, a customer support manager struggling with long queue times (problem intro)
  • A new AI-based bot handling basic queries, reducing queue (feature 1)
  • Sophie, an agent noticing stats and resolving issues faster using a knowledge base (feature 2)
  • John checking reduced wait times and happy customers (resolution)

Add Flow and Context: Arrange scenes in a logical flow that tells a coherent story. Narrate each scene to explain the context, user actions, and how the featured elements alleviate pain points.

Gather Feedback: Present the storyboard to target users and colleagues. Refine based on input to improve understanding and resonance before developing the whole demo.

An illustrative image representing Chisel AI's synthesis of thousands of related feedback tickets.
Streamline your product feedback process by leveraging Chisel’s advanced AI capabilities.

It is no easy feat to collect feedback from multiple users. That is where Chisel comes in. Chisel AI excels at synthesizing thousands of related feedback tickets, allowing you to consolidate and identify new features or user stories when customers submit feedback on similar topics.

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4. Tailor Demos to Specific Personas

When potential customers visit your website, they must understand their unique needs and pain points. Rather than showing everyone the same generic product tour, take some time to learn about your visitors.

Ask them questions to determine their role or industry. Are they a small business owner? A manager at a large enterprise? An individual contributor looking for a tool to improve workflows?

Tip: A quick survey can surely come in handy here.

Based on their answers, surface the most relevant part of your demo. For example, if they work in marketing, they focus on features for campaign management and analytics. If they’re an IT administrator, dive deeper into setup, permissions, and integrations.

This level of personalization shows you understand your prospects and care about solving their specific challenges. It prevents demo fatigue and keeps them engaged longer.

For a help desk tool, you may have personas like:

  • Small business owner looking for simple ticketing
  • IT manager at a mid-size company who needs to delegate access
  • A large enterprise that needs to integrate with other systems

By detecting which persona matches their needs, automatically start the demo at the right place to showcase solutions for their use case. This targeted approach is sure to capture their interest and showcase value faster.

The key is personalizing the experience based on who they are, not just showing everything to everyone. Focus on truly understanding each visitor’s goals.

5. Measure and Enhance Your Demo Effectiveness

To maximize the effectiveness of your demos, you need actionable insights on what’s working and what needs enhancement. Set clear KPIs upfront to define success.

For example, track how many demo visitors sign up for a free trial or purchase an entry-level plan. Monitor completion rates to see if users are dropping off at specific points.

Consider adding polling or feedback questions throughout the demo. Ask visitors what features they found most valuable or what additional topics would be helpful. Their input can guide future refinements. Customers also feel seen this way. 

Test different demo structures and flows with subsets of your audience. If you are a help desk tool, try rearranging the order of features or modifying the script’s language. See if specific demos drive better conversion rates.

Analytics will also reveal which pages or elements are most engaging. Focus your efforts on polishing areas with room for improvement.

Don’t be afraid to retire demos that prove ineffective. Continually launch new iterations based on testing and data.

You can scientifically optimize the demo experience over time with the right measurements. Stay attuned to feedback from real users – it will light the path toward demos that truly resonate and drive more success for your business.

6. Engage Prospective Customers with Personalized Demos

Now that you’ve created your polished product demo, it’s time to put it to use by engaging prospective customers through personalized demo sessions. Here are some tips:

  • Schedule dedicated demo times with qualified leads so you can focus the discussion. Kick things off by asking about their current workflows/challenges to personalize the experience.
  • As you walk through the demo, pause periodically to ask questions, get their feedback, and have a dialogue. For example, at an appropriate point, you could say, “What are your thoughts on this feature so far?” or “Based on your use cases, how do you think it might help your team?”
  • Tailor which aspects of the product you highlight based on their business and identified needs. Don’t try to showcase every feature – focus on the most relevant ones.
  • Offer to do a follow-up call or meeting to dive deeper into any areas they want to learn more about after the initial demo. It builds rapport and allows for additional questions down the line.
  • Collect feedback after each demo through a quick survey. Ask what customers liked, if there are any remaining questions, and what their interest level is in the next steps. Use insights to refine your approach for the next prospect.

For example, if you have a company invoicing software, focus on discussing how streamlining processes can save time and boost productivity for clients’ accounting teams. 

Highlight case studies of similar businesses that saw ROI within the first six months of use. Ask questions to gauge how much pain points like manual data entry currently cause. Personalizing in this way shows you understand each prospect’s unique needs.

Chisel's User Survey tool highlights the flexibility to create surveys from scratch. 
Empower your survey creation process with flexibility. Whether starting from scratch or utilizing preexisting templates, Chisel provides a user-friendly interface for seamless customization.

Chisel’s User Survey tool is tailored for you to collect feedback on your demo from your users. Be it with the help of a pre-existing template or by creating surveys from scratch, Chisel has it all. 

Sign up for Chisel’s Free Forever version here!

Key Takeaways

The challenge of creating effective product demos and walkthroughs has been a persistent concern for many in the product management space. However, a one-size-fits-all approach often fails to resonate and appeal to different types of buyers.

The key challenge is understanding that not all customers are the same – they all have unique goals, pain points, and preferences based on their roles and industry. By taking a generic stance, demo creators risk overlooking important audience segments.

In this article, we explored how to tackle this issue through audience segmentation and personalized experiences. For those seeking a comprehensive solution, Chisel emerges as a top-notch product management tool. 

Chisel not only streamlines the process of creating impactful demos but also excels in roadmap planning, fostering collaboration, and managing feedback efficiently. One of its standout features is the integration of AI for classifying bulk feedback, allowing users to synthesize thousands of related feedback tickets seamlessly.

Your journey to more effective product demos starts with Chisel. Discover the tools and insights that will empower you to successfully navigate product management challenges. 

Sign up for Chisel’s Free Forever version here!

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