Discover the powerful combination of self-service demos and live sales calls. Boost sales effectiveness with insights into benefits, optimization techniques, and best practices for implementing this hybrid approach in your sales strategy.

PLG let sales can be a little odd to the traditionally minded sales rep. When we marketers have done PLG right, by the time the prospect is talking to a sales rep, they've already got a pretty good idea of what the product can do, and what are the use cases where it will give them the maximum bang for the buck. 

How? Super custom interactive demo driven marketing campaigns, for one. Especially if we're using demo automation tools like SmartCue to supercharge our PLG driven marketing strategy. These MQLs come to the table well informed, and often, very well primed. 

For many sales folks, this 'pre-selling' can be a little disorienting. After all, they're used to 'demonstrating' these use cases in the sales demo. So, now what are they supposed to do? Well, since demo automation tools are already part of the tech stack, might as well make the most of it by combining interactive demos with live sales calls. 

The Hybrid Sales Approach: Combining Self-Service Demos and Live Sales for Superior Results

A hybrid sales approach is a way of delivering product demos that combines the advantages of both automated and live demos. Customers can view demos on their own time, or even in the sales meeting. 

Interactive demos let prospects engage with our products at their own pace, giving them both a hands-on experience that delivers key information effectively, as well as the joy of discovery. On the other hand, live sales calls offer a personal touch, allowing sales reps to answer questions, address concerns, and build relationships with customers.

This hybrid approach leverages the strengths of both methods. Interactive demos do the heavy lifting of showcasing the product's features and benefits, and the sales reps focus on building relationships and closing deals. 

The Benefits of Using Self-Service Demos With Live Sales Calls 

If you want to do self-service demos at scale, you need demo automation to unlock several multipliers: 


You can create use case specific super custom interactive demos that are relevant and engaging for each prospect, showing them how your products can solve their specific problems and address their unique goals.


You can invite prospects to explore products on their own, and then ask questions, provide feedback, and even make changes in real-time during the live sales call. The cleverest sales and marketing teams keep the relationship warm through this process of discovery and Q&As. 


You can demonstrate the product as it is, and the prospect is able to trust it. No more relying on screenshots or slides or videos to 'demonstrate' the look, feel, and functionality. 


Demo automation saves time. SmartCue, for instance, lets you create super custom self-serve demos at scale, in no time. It also lets you reuse and update your demos as needed each time you make product updates. Of course, this also lets you smartly manage your demo library and take a lego-like approach to creating super custom demos. 


You can deliver more demos to more prospects without compromising on quality or consistency. You can send out more targeted marketing campaigns which include demo snippets. You can also leverage your best-performing demos across your sales team and ensure everyone is on the same page. You can use these demos to better answer questions, and even use it on your website, alongside your website chatbot!

Unlocking Success with Self-Service Demos and Live Sales Calls: Best Practices

At SmartCue, we learn from our own experiences, and our many clients who are using SmartCue to level up their sales and marketing strategies in a PLG universe. Here are the practices that we know work 

Know your audience

You've got all this marketing research, use it. Understand the prospect's industry, company, role, pain points, goals, and expectations. Use this information to tailor your demo accordingly and focus on the features and benefits that matter most to them.

Set the agenda

Before starting the live sales call, send an email to your prospect with a link to the interactive demo and a brief overview of what you will cover during the call. This way, even if they've never seen your product before, you're giving them a chance to come prepared. 

Engage your prospect

Ideally, you have an interactive self-service demo for everyone on the sales call. Even if you don't, you can use the time you have with them far more effectively, by letting them fiddle with a self-service demo on their own, while you are available to answer questions, etc. In fact, if you're doing demos online, you can use this approach beautifully with breakout rooms. 

Show value

They can already see what the features are - they're playing with the interactive demo. What they need from you is context and possibilities. Talk about how to best use this or that feature to achieve this or that outcome. Share results and learnings from other clients who were chasing similar results. Tell the story, and show them the horizon they can sail off to, with your product. 

Follow up

Use your leave behinds effectively - summarize the discussion, and send them a link to your interactive self-serve demo. Encourage them to try this or that, and follow up with responses to their questions in the form of a self-service demo that shows them how. Use the insights you gleaned in the demo call to get back to them with use case specific demos that highlight aspects of your product they may not be aware of, but actually need. Keep the conversation going, keep delivering value. 


In the PLG era, both sales and marketing look a little different, but that is a good thing. As we focus on delivering real value to our prospects and customers, and aim to steer them in better decision making, pure 'selling' evolves from making a sale, to helping the prospect choose the right thing for them. 

If you want the 'right choice' to be your product, the process begins all the way back in the marketing process - when you're defining your ICPs, generating leads and qualifying them. Once you know that your product is the right fit for this prospect, then it's just a matter of time and exposure, that the prospect sees it the same way. What better way to show them than an interactive self-service demo? 

Seen from the PLG lens, selling and marketing take on a different hue - one where we all get to champion the customers' cause, from start to finish. Personally, I prefer being the person who brings a client a solution, than the guy who makes the sale. Thanks to PLG, I now live in a world where both of those things have come to mean the same thing.