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Live vs. Recorded Demos [+8 Best Product Demo Tools]

Live vs. Recorded Demos [+8 Best Product Demo Tools]
Sarah Wisbey
August 17, 2023

There’s no doubt that product demos help boost conversion rates.

Because when customers have the chance to actually see your products and services and understand how they can benefit, it’s a lot easier for them to believe in the returns they could get on their investment.

Want to know which type of product demo converts best, and how you can implement it into your business?

Keep reading as we explore the pros and cons of live vs. recorded product demo tools and some of the best solutions for both.

  1. Demodesk (Live)
  2. GoTo Meeting (Live)
  3. Zoom (Live)
  4. Whereby (Live)
  5. Walnut (Recorded)
  6. Wistia (Recoded)
  7. Loom (Recorded)
  8. Vyond (Recorded)

Let's dive in!

What Is a Product Demo?

A product demo demonstrates your product’s key features and use cases to prospective customers in order to give them a better idea of how they could benefit from it.

A live product demo is when a team member hosts a live call or meeting with the potential customer in order to walk them through how the product works.

Recorded product demo videos are prepared beforehand so customers can watch the product demonstration in their own time.

The demo is usually done by a member of the sales team. And the primary goal of most demos is to convert prospects into customers and make a sale.

Offering a product demo is best practice for software products and SaaS tools.

The Product Demo Guide
The Product Demo Guide

Benefits of a Live Product Demo

When you showcase your product live, it allows you to engage and interact with your customers in real-time.

Let’s look at some of the other benefits of hosting a live product demo.

Real-Time Interaction and Engagement

  • Live demos enable immediate interaction with prospects. This helps with fostering rapport, creating a sense of engagement, and building long-lasting personal connections.
  • You can have real-time Q&A sessions with your prospects and instantly address any questions or concerns.
  • In live demos, sales reps can tailor their presentations to their prospects’ specific needs.

Dynamic Demonstration of Unique Features

  • Live demos bring products to life by allowing prospects to experience the product’s features in action. This can leave a longer lasting impression on potential customers.
  • By navigating through the demo together, sales reps can provide a guided experience that enhances their prospects' understanding and excitement about the product or service.

Instant Feedback and Adaptability

  • Sales reps can receive immediate feedback from prospects during live demos. This helps them better identify pain points and hone in on the value that can be provided.
  • The adaptability of live demos empowers sales teams to pivot and customize their presentations when necessary.

Downsides of Live Product Demos

There are a lot of upsides to giving live product demos. But there are also a few downsides to be aware of.

  • Offering prospects a live, interactive demo is more time-consuming.
  • Live demos may require more resources. For instance, if you have a lot of inbound leads who are keen to learn more about your product, you may need to hire more staff to run the live demos.
  • It’s possible to experience technical problems with real-time live demos.

5 Best Practices for a Live Product Demo

Many SaaS product buyers say that the majority of live product demos they join are poor quality and feel like a waste of time.

If you want to incorporate live product demos into your sales funnel, here are some best practices that will help you give your prospects a great demo experience and leave a strong impression.

Know your audience

Knowing your prospect’s goals and pain points will enable you to host a product demo that addresses their particular needs.

It’d naturally be ideal to have the inside scoop on their specific challenges beforehand. But if that’s not the case, you should take the time to thoroughly understand the persona that you will be addressing and familiarize yourself with the kinds of problems that companies in your prospect’s industry are likely to experience.

Applying this knowledge to your prospects will enable you to make the demo as personalized and helpful as possible.

Be concise and specific

You don’t want to waste your prospect’s time. So be as succinct and to the point as possible.

Showing them features that aren’t relevant to their business, or giving them too much information can cause them to feel overwhelmed and result in a lack of engagement.

Make the Live Demo Interactive

If you ask someone to sit and watch you walk them through your product in a show-and-tell kind of way, chances are high that they’ll get bored quickly and feel turned off.

A live product demo is an opportunity for your prospect to get a real feel for how your solution works and picture themselves using and benefiting from it. So you should demonstrate your product with enthusiasm and involve your prospect in the meeting as much as possible.

To create more engagement during a product demo, try letting them test out the product for themselves during the live demo. You can also use animations, visual aids, and multimedia to make the product demo more interactive and memorable.

Better engage prospects with interactive product demos
Better engage prospects with interactive product demos

Save Time for Questions

As you progress through the demo, your prospects will likely start having some questions they want to ask. You should set aside time during the demo to ensure you get the chance to address their questions and concerns.

Doing so will give your prospects a sense of reassurance. It will also benefit you by providing you with insight into what is top-of-mind for them.

Use a Reliable Product Demo Tool

There’s nothing worse than a glitchy or unresponsive demo platform. To avoid bad tech reflecting badly on your brand and product, make sure to use a demo platform that you can rely on.

Then you can reallocate your attention from things like worrying about the platform you use to perfecting your demo’s content and how it is presented. Resulting in both happier sales reps and happier prospects who are more likely to convert.

Advantages of Recorded Product Demos

Recorded product demo videos are usually less time and resource intensive than live demos. As a result, they are easier to scale if you have a fast-growing business.

Here are some other reasons it could make sense to record a product demo video:

Convenient and Flexible

  • Product demo videos offer prospects more flexibility, allowing them to learn about your product at their own convenience.
  • Sending prospects a thorough product demo video is a convenient way for reps to introduce the product and provide in-depth explanations that are easier to digest than blog posts or manuals.
  • A recorded demo video can be used for multiple purposes including video marketing and prospecting.

Consistency and Standardization

  • Recorded product demo videos ensure consistent messaging, delivering a uniform experience to all prospects.
  • A product demo video can be fine-tuned until it's perfect, eliminating the risk of human errors or unexpected mishaps.

Efficient Scalability and Accessibility

  • Prospects can rewatch recorded demos if they need to refresh their memory of your product.
  • A recorded product demo video is easy to share with colleagues and relevant decision-makers.
  • Prospects from various time zones or with busy schedules can easily access and view recorded demos, expanding the reach of your product.

Social Proof

  • With a product demo video, you can easily include feedback or reviews from happy clients to boost your credibility.

Downsides of Recorded Product Demo Videos

While creating product demo videos can be a valuable asset for both marketing and sales, there are some limitations.

  • A product demo video is made for a general audience, which means it won’t be personalized to address the specific needs of individual prospects. A one size fits all approach does not always convert as well as a live demo and can put the prospect off.
  • There’s limited engagement with pre-recorded demos. This can result in a more limited understanding of your product’s features and functionalities.
  • It’s difficult to track the level of interest and understanding that a prospect has of a product from receiving and watching a recorded product demo video. It’s often the case that marketing and sales teams need to rely on insights and data that only indirectly measure a prospect’s intent from watching product demo video examples.
  • Demo videos need to be maintained and kept up-to-date as the product evolves and new features are added. It may even be necessary to make completely new videos if the update is big enough.
  • If you want to produce a really high-quality product demo video, it may be necessary to outsource the project to professional video creators and editors. Which can be expensive.

5 Best Practices for Recorded Product Demo Videos

The best product demo videos know who their target audience is, have a clear goal, and have a concise narrative.

Here are some best practices to help you record a product demo video that your prospects won’t be able to stop talking about.

Have a Clear Goal

Are you trying to educate your audience with your video or drive sign-ups and subscriptions?

Defining both the goal of your demo video and the audience you are creating the video for will improve the chances of the video resonating with them.

A clear call to action at the end of your demo video will increase the likelihood of your video converting your prospects and driving sign-ups or sales.

Describe the Product in Simple Terms

When you make a demo video, you don’t want to overwhelm your customers with information.

Explaining the tool in simple terms and keeping the tone and language conversational will help keep them engaged and help you educate your prospects without putting them off.

Use Your Product Demo Videos to Bring Your Product’s Value to Life

A great product video demo brings the value of your product to life and shows the customer exactly how it can help resolve their problem.

Whether you use animation, humor, high-quality images, or (ideally) all of the above, you ultimately want to create a demo video that leaves your audience with a strong feeling of brand recognition and wanting more from you.

Write a Demo Video Script

A product demo video should be as short and to the point as possible.

If you’re filming your own product demo video, you should write a script first. This will keep your story organized and prevent you from rambling or going off course.

Use High-Quality Video and Audio

If you’re on a budget and need to make your own product demo video, make sure you use tools and devices that are able to capture high-quality video and audio. #

There’s nothing worse than a DIY demo video that looks like it’s been made on an old phone or broken camera.

When Does It Make Sense to Do Live Product Demos vs. Recorded Product Demos?

Incorporating live demos into your sales process may be a good idea if your sales cycle is long and it’s usually necessary for you to involve many different stakeholders in the decision-making process.

In such a case, it’s important to build a good relationship with your prospective customers and you shouldn’t expect that just sending them recorded video demonstrations will be enough to convince them of your product’s value.

If it’s important for your business that you offer a high level of personalization when demoing your product, and you have a more complicated product that isn’t easy to understand, these are also indications that providing a live product demo would be the better option.

A product demo video is likely a better option if you have a B2C business and your product is relatively easy to explain.

B2C businesses tend to have more customers with a lower lifetime value than B2B businesses. So it makes sense to keep the acquisition costs lower by using recorded demo videos over live demo videos.

In some cases, you may want to try a hybrid solution.

You could start by showing a generic product demo video on your website that helps increase leads’ interest. If your video demo makes a good impression, they can book a live demo with you for a more personalized demo experience.

4 Best Solutions for Live Product Demos


Solutions for live product demos: Demodesk

Demodesk is designed specifically for sales and customer success teams to provide prospects with an interactive and personalized product demo experience.

It offers features such as real-time collaboration, meeting analytics, and integrations with CRM systems.

Interactive screen-sharing features make it easy for potential clients to truly get a feel for how your product works in real-time.

You can also upload standardized scripts, sales plays and FAQs to support your sales reps as they demonstrate your product or service in live demos.

GoTo Meeting

Solutions for live product demos: GoTo Meeting
GoTo Meeting

An easy-to-use video conferencing platform that allows you to engage in real-time conversations with your customers while sharing your screen.

The intuitive interface makes it simple to host a quick demo with your potential client. You can also integrate GoToMeeting with your CRM and existing tech stack.


Solutions for live product demos: Zoom

The well-known meeting platform is also an option for a straightforward, one-to-one live product demonstration.

You can share your screen, showcase product features and integrate the tool with other platforms you currently use as part of your sales stack.


Solutions for live product demos: Whereby

Whereby allows you to embed calls into your browser without the need for any downloads. It makes it extremely simple for your lead to instantly join a demo call with you.

The fully customizable software lets you embed the platform into your website with a few lines of code.

4 Best Solutions for Recorded Product Demos


Solutions for recorded product demos: Walnut

You can fully integrate Walnut with your existing tech stack to create product demo videos that wow your audience.

With Walnut you can create a walk-through of how to use your product. You can also edit video footage, images, text, captions, colors, graphs, and even code.

The platform allows you to add some simple personalization to a recorded product demo video by uploading the prospect’s information (i.e. name or role) into the video. The recorded demo video can also be embedded on your website, sent to prospects via outreach, or used in live calls.

Advanced analytics tools within Walnut allow you to track and analyze how prospects interact with your demo videos. So you can continue making improvements to your recorded demo videos that help improve your conversion rates.


Solutions for recorded product demos: Wistia

This tool is more than just demo recording software for video marketing. It’s also a sophisticated analytics tool that helps you analyze what is and isn’t working.

You can use it to collect leads directly from the video and personalize forms to trigger at any point during while the video is playing.


Solutions for recorded product demos: Loom

Loom is a very simple solution for making low-budget demo videos. You can use it to record your screen and yourself at the same time in order to give a simple explanation of your product.

If you send a Loom link directly, you can see when the prospect has viewed the demo video. In response, they can ask questions directly on the platform.

The other bonus of Loom is that the viewer doesn’t need an account to watch the video.


Solutions for recorded product demos: Vyond

If you want to create an engaging, animated product demo video, Vyond could be a good option.

The templates and ready-to-use animations are easy to adapt to your own content so that you can create engaging explanations and sales videos for your prospects.

Invest in Demodesk Meet for Streamlined Sales Success

When it comes to a robust product demo solution for live demos that ensures your team follows best practices and provides an overview of what is and isn't working in your demo process, Demodesk Meet has got you covered.

With its live product demo capabilities, Demodesk Meet will revolutionize your sales process.

Streamline your sales process:

Demodesk Meet helps your salespeople become more productive, efficient, and effective, leaving no room for missed opportunities.

Gain valuable insights:

With Demodesk Meet, you'll always be aware of what is and isn't working during your sales reps’ product demos. These invaluable insights will enable you to coach your reps more effectively and help them to continue improving and developing their sales skills.

Stand out with interactive demos:

Demodesk Meet allows real-time interaction and engagement through revolutionary screen sharing technology that allows prospects to interact with the host on any webpage at the same time. Creating a unique personalized experience that captivates their attention and imagination.

Demodesk Sales Coaching Guide
Demodesk Sales Coaching Guide

Final Thoughts

In the battle of live product demos versus recorded product demos, both approaches have their merits.

Hosting live demos is preferable when more engagement, customization, and real-time feedback are the priorities. On the other hand, a recorded product demo video offers more convenience, consistency, and scalability for your sales team.

Ultimately, the decision depends on your team's objectives and target audience.

If you find that giving live demos makes sense for your team, and you want to streamline your sales process, deliver impactful demos, and gain valuable insights, a tool like Demodesk Meet could be a good solution.

Take advantage of the opportunity to take your sales team's performance to new heights. Try Demodesk Meet today and witness the power of a truly engaging and effective product demo solution!

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