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Unlock the potential of self-service demos with expert follow-up strategies. Learn how to personalize your interactions, address prospect concerns, and deliver valuable content to drive conversions. Elevate your sales game and establish trust with effective demo follow-up techniques. Boost your sales and build lasting relationships.

For a moment, imagine that you're a bad cook. You like food, sure, but the kitchen seriously intimidates you. So you're subsisting on takeout, ramen, prepackaged meals, and the meager snacks you can put together (most of them involving bread, cheese, mustard and a boiled egg). 

Now imagine that a concerned friend takes you to a beginners cooking class. It's free, and only takes about 30 minutes, and you learn how to make a really good omelet. As you thank the friendly teacher and walk out, she points you to a QR code, and voila! You have a list of omelet recipes that help you build on what you just learnt how to do. 

Later in the week, you receive an email, with a tip on the best places to buy groceries cheaply. A week later, you're invited to the teacher's Facebook community, where she does Facebook Live Q&As for newbie cooks. The week after that, she sends you other beginner recipes, which you don't find as intimidating. 

Now, a month down the line, she gives you a call, asking if you'd like to come in for a paid class. It's perfectly priced, and you can afford it. Do you go? 

Of course you do. Because that's the power of a good follow up done well. 

The Power of Follow-Up: Elevating Self-Service Demos

In a PLG world, that class where you made the omelet was the self-serve demo, and everything else that followed after, was a well-timed follow up. But it didn't look like a follow up, right? Why? Because the teacher asked nothing of you, and instead, gave you something of value at each interaction. As you interacted more with her content, she established herself as both an approachable, friendly presence, and an authority in her field. She also built tremendous trust in her offering. 

From a marketing POV, a well-timed and personalized demo follow-up has several advantages:  

  • First, it shows that you value the prospect's time and interest, reinforcing their positive experience with your demo - the omelet recipes let the fledgling cook significantly expand their repertoire, with just the one technique! Show your prospect your self-service demo library, if you have one. Let them explore, and find things that interest them. 

  • Second, it provides an opportunity to address any questions or concerns that might have arisen post-demo. Your analytics already tell you what the common questions are, so don't hesitate to reach out and pre-empt your prospect. Nothing shows them you're on the ball than a self-service demo on an email, answering the question they've been mulling over, but been too busy to ask. 

  • Third, delivering value to your prospect in the form of insight, content, or connections morphs you from someone who is asking for money, to someone who is interested in their growth and success. Send them infographics, case studies, and white papers you have access to, link them to blogs that are relevant to them, connect them to creators and experts in their field. There's plenty of ways to enable someone, without spending too much time and effort. 

  • Finally, a well-executed follow-up can propel prospects further down the sales funnel, turning their initial interest into concrete action - this is value selling at its core. You've identified the prospect's pain point, demonstrated your solution, answered their questions, armed them with data, and been in enough conversations (be they over email, messenger, chat or phone, that your prospect is ready. 

a person having some trouble with his emails

Mastering the Follow-Up Cadence and Timing

Let me just preface this by saying that I don't have a formula for you. Each prospect is different. Your approach also changes when you're doing account based selling, because you don't want to be in too many ears too frequently. In PLG, you may start from scratch - especially when it's an organic lead coming from your website landing page (and the self-service demo you hosted there!) 

However, there are some general guidelines I stick by: 

  • Don't let more than 24 hours go by without a connection. 

  • Follow up on the channel they most prefer. 

  • Let their level of engagement guide you - the more engaged, the more frequently you can connect. 

Crafting Effective Follow-Up Content

While cadence is an individual thing, the guidance for content is pretty standard - you want to deliver value at each interaction. In my book, that boils down to: 

  • Personalization: Unless this is a lead from your website, you know *something* about the prospect. Use all the information at your disposal to talk directly to this prospect. Address their pain points, give them information that gives them an edge, pre-empt questions. 

  • Address and pre-empt questions: This is the easiest, and most natural way to get a conversation going. Offer to get on a call. If they can't get on a call, send them self-service demos and other content that answers their questions. Then follow up once they've played with the demo or opened your attachments. 

Pro tip: Use an email tracking tool. It pays for itself several times over. 

  • Ask questions: Only, keep them on point, contextual and easy to answer. A well aimed "I know other users of application xyz often struggle with abc, can you help me understand how you work around it?" can elicit some useful responses. However, be careful not to ask about something that hovers close to what the prospect considers confidential information. 

  • Educate and inform: Again, follow ups that don't *sell* tend to be far more effective in building a relationship. Use your knowledge of the prospect to guide them to things they should know or would benefit from. 

Measuring Success: Analytics and Metrics for Follow-Up Strategy 

I am a firm believer in analytics, and I set up metrics for everything. Follow ups are no different. Once you measure something and have a baseline, you can A/B test and improve

Here's what we measure at SmartCue

  • Time spent on Demo: Are prospects responding to your follow-ups, and if so, how much time are they spending on that demo you sent? 

  • Engagement: Are prospects clicking on the links you provide and interacting with the additional resources?

  • Conversion: Are your follow-ups leading to further actions, like signing up for a trial or scheduling a sales call?

Rome wasn't made in a day, and neither will your PLG strategy for each ICP. Measuring the right things and focusing on continuous improvement is the way we get there. 


I know there are various different schools of thought here, but for me personally, the value of good follow up lies in relationship building; not in getting the prospect to the super custom, sales led demo. Once we do the former, the latter happens automatically. By putting the prospect's needs first, by delivering value in every interaction, we become trusted consultants who guide them through the sales process to make an informed decision to best suit their needs. 

That way, even if this particular sale doesn't work out, you have a relationship. As people grow, your network of relationships grows in value - the power user from a decade ago is now heading their own division. And they know you, and they trust you to play on their team, even when you're selling to them. 

To me, that looks like an excellent place to be.