Demo automation software is a new category of products that enables sales and marketing teams to reduce the amount of effort required to create personalized product walkthroughs, demo environments, and POCs for leads.
However, within the demo automation category, there are significant differences in the technology each product is built on that can make certain types of products really great for some use cases and really poor for others.
Some of the tools in the space help at the top of the funnel by providing a lot more context than marketing copy on a landing page. Some let you personalize demo environments during live product demos. And some are better for automating the creation and management of demo environments and POCs.
So to choose the right tool for your team, it's important to first understand how the different tools work.
We've battled our way through the marketing copy of dozens of popular demo automation tools to understand how each one works and save you the trouble of having to figure it out for yourself.
Below, we’ve organized all of the tools into five different subcategories, explained which use cases and needs each subcategory of tools is best for, and finally, listed the nine best demo automation tools.
Demo automation software is a broad category with a number of tools that all work very differently. Below, we've divided all of the demo automation tools into five subcategories — listing the pros and cons for each — to help you decide which type of demo automation software you should shop for.
Tools in this category include Consensus and Omedym.
What distinguishes video demo automation software from simply recording yourself and your screen with a tool like Loom is that video demo automation tools have additional features that make the videos more dynamic for prospects.
For example, some tools in this category use natural language processing to make your videos searchable, making it easy for buyers to find the exact moment when you demo something they care about in a longer video. Others allow you to show specific videos to buyers based on how they answer questions you ask in a pre-video questionnaire.
If you don't already have a deep library of demo videos, it could take multiple quarters and thousands of dollars to create enough content to justify using one of these tools. However, if you have lots of demo videos already and feel like you're not using them to your full advantage in the presales process, these tools offer great ways to make the most of them.
Tools in this category include Navattic, Walnut, Tourial, Storylane, Vivun, Lancey, Arcade, and Reprise Replay, among others.
The largest demo automation subcategory by far is product tour software, often commonly referred to as interactive demo software.
Product tour/interactive demo tools work by using a browser extension to capture your product's front-end code. This makes your captures more dynamic than a traditional screenshot because it allows you to do things like add hyperlinks and change copy after the screen is captured.
While all product tour tools use browser extensions to capture screens of your product, different tools offer different capturing capabilities:
Once you've captured your product screens, you can use these tools' no-code builders to stitch captures together by manually adding hyperlinks, step-through modals, and/or tooltips to create guided walkthroughs of your product.
Product tours can be a great supplement to product and landing page copy, giving prospects a more in-depth look at your product before they commit to starting a trial or requesting a demo.
Tools in this category include Demostack and Reprise Replicate.
Product cloning tools are different from product tour tools in that they use a browser extension to capture both the front-end and back-end code for your product, whereas product tour tools only capture your front-end code.
The ability to capture back-end code makes tours created by these tools more dynamic than those created by tools that only capture front-end code. Because they capture the back-end of your application as well, you can include dynamic functionality like dropdowns, links, and filtering without having to manually make those features work using a no-code builder.
Tools in this category include Saleo, Reprise Reveal, and Olto.
Demo overlay software is software that's designed for teams to use during live demos. These tools use a browser extension to inject data into the front-end code of your existing demo environment, allowing AEs to demo different datasets to different prospects without the need for a sales engineer to build out custom demo environments for every industry or persona.
AEs and SEs can use these tools to create a variety of datasets to use during demos. Then, when it's time for an AE to run a demo, they can simply turn on the browser extension, select the dataset they want to show, and then hide the extension.
Any changes they make in the environment during the demo are reset after the demo is completed, so SEs and other AEs don't have to spend time going back into their demo environments before every call to clean up data added by another rep.
The only tool currently in this category is TestBox.
Proof of concept software lets teams create live product instances that can be used to:
One of the major benefits of proof of concept software is that it uses your live product, so it always reflects your most current features and UI. This is a huge advantage over the other types of demo automation software where massive revisions are required every time your product changes.
Additionally, there's never a reason to worry about protected data appearing in your POCs. This is a significant advantage over other demo automation tools that require sales engineers to create new data or scrub PII from existing demo accounts or product tours on a regular basis.
Because proof of concept software is so robust, it's best for teams with complex SaaS products who want to take advantage of its full functionality.
Now that you have a deeper understanding of how different types of demo automation tools work, you hopefully have a better sense of which type of tool is right for your team and needs.
Below, we've listed the nine best demo automation software in each of the subcategories to make it even easier for you to find the solution you're looking for:
Best (and only) proof of concept software.
TestBox's proof of concept software sits on top of a real, live trial of your product, so it not only includes 100% of your product's features and functionality, but it also always reflects the most up-to-date version of your product. That means that when your product changes, there's no work for your team to do to get those changes to show up in your TestBox demo playgrounds.
Prospects and leads that use TestBox demo playgrounds get much more than just what you offer in your normal free trial. Each TestBox playground is preconfigured with sample data and functional integrations, so they don't have to enter PII or connect critical company systems to fully experience your product — it feels as though they've already been using it for months.
Additionally, a quick links menu lists your top features, enabling prospects to quickly navigate to the features they care about testing the most, and guided walkthroughs explain what each feature does and how to use it. This saves your team time and eliminates the need for sales reps to hand-hold leads as they navigate your product.
Marketers can embed TestBox playgrounds on their website and G2/TrustRadius profiles, link to them in retargeting ads, and include them in email nurturing sequences to dramatically improve visit-to-trial and trial-to-paid rates. Sales-led companies can even use TestBox to add a product-led growth motion with minimal product engineering support.
AEs can run live demos using TestBox playgrounds. Unique playgrounds can be generated instantly and infused with data that's specific to a prospect's industry. Additionally, AEs can enable and hide specific features in the quick links menu — or hide the TestBox iFrame entirely — to keep sales demos focused on what leads care about most.
After a live demo, AEs can send unique POCs to leads as leave-behinds instead of static sales enablement slides and PDFs. Then, using TestBox's analytics, they can see which stakeholders accessed the playground, what features they tested, and how long they spent testing overall and on individual features to follow up with hyper-personalized communications.
The AE use case also helps your solutions consultants focus more of their time on closing deals by automating the creation and management of demo environments and POCs. This lets sales teams scale presales without having to hire ever more SEs.
Finally, because TestBox generates a clean product instance for each playground your team creates, there's never a reason to worry about protected data appearing in your demo playgrounds. This is a significant advantage over other demo automation tools that require scrubbing PII from existing demo environments or interactive product demos on a regular basis.
Want to learn more? Schedule a demo to see how TestBox can help you create on-demand, personalized demo experiences for every lead.
Best overall video demo tool.
Consensus is a great tool for creating more personalized video demo journeys. You use it to create a series of questions that potential buyers answer, then follow those questions up with videos that are specific to the answers provided.
This makes the process of watching video demos more personalized for leads, and it also provides sales teams with more information they can use to pre-qualify leads before a demo.
Questionnaires can ask about a lead's role, then follow up with automated product demos showing how your tool helps with that specific role. Then, they can ask about features the buyer cares about, following up with videos about those specific features.
Additionally, videos can be gated at any point in the process, so you can require leads to submit their contact information to proceed once they're already invested in learning more, allowing your team to reach out later to further nurture them or to schedule a live demo call.
Best video demo software for searchable video libraries.
Omedym is unique in that it can be used to create a searchable knowledge base of video demo assets. You upload all of your demo videos, and it indexes the content of every word spoken in every video you upload.
This allows potential customers to search for answers to their questions on their own time and get results pointing to the exact section within one of your uploaded videos where you answer the question.
If you currently have lots of video demo content but no way to share it with leads (or even customers — Omedym can also be great as a video knowledge base tool), this can help you get that content in front of leads in a useable way that requires less work from your team to create.
Best overall product tour tool.
In terms of product tour tools, Reprise is the most flexible. While all of the other product tour tools allow teams to do either screen capture or application capture, Reprise's browser extension lets you choose which option you want to use.
This is helpful if you want your tour to include more dynamic walkthroughs of certain features but just want to show individual screenshots of others. You can take application captures when needed and individual screen captures when needed, stitching all of those together using Reprise's no-code builder.
Reprise also has the most customization options of all of the product tour tools. If your team cares deeply about making sure your product tours match your brand's look and feel, your design team will be able to do deep customization of your tours to get everything to display just like your design team built it themselves.
Finally, Reprise is more flexible than the other product tour tools when it comes to catering to different use cases in the buying process. In addition to Reprise Replay — their product tour tool — they also have a demo overlay tool called Reprise Reveal and a product cloning tool called Reprise Replicate.
Best low-cost screengrab-based product tour tool.
If the cost of Reprise is too high for your organization, Navattic is a great alternative. It’s a little less customizable than Reprise, and it only offers screengrab technology — not application capture — so it can take a bit longer to build self-guided walkthroughs with Navattic. But in terms of other features, it’s a very comparable product.
Navattic is fairly intuitive to use, so marketers can easily create tours without any help from other teams. Plus, it has all of the reporting you’ll need to show the impact your tours are having: how many visitors have used your tour, how far people get into your tour on average, and how many have completed it, helping you separate qualified leads from tire-kickers.
Best low-cost application capture product tour tool.
Storylane is another Reprise competitor to consider if you’re looking for more affordable pricing. It uses application capture technology, allowing you to collect multiple screens at once by clicking through your product while the browser extension records your actions. This speeds up the demo creation process.
Another great feature of Storylane is its collaboration features. Teams can work on tours together in real-time without overriding each others’ work, similar to a tool like Google Docs. This can be really helpful if you know that building out your library of product walkthroughs is going to be a team effort.
Best product cloning software.
Demostack uses a browser extension to clone your entire product — both its front- and back-end code. It can be used to create functional product tours, but it's better for creating customizable demo environments and leave-behinds to send after demo calls.
A sales engineer or team leader can use Demostack to clone your product at a moment in time and then use that clone as a base for multiple tours and demo environments. AEs, SEs, and marketers can clone the base and then build their own tours that show off different features, datasets, and use cases of your tool.
For example, you could use the clone to build multiple tours showing features and data specific to certain industries or roles, or you could use it to build a personalized environment showing a lead's company name and share that environment with the lead after a live demo.
Best demo overlay software.
Saleo helps teams deliver more streamlined and personalized guided product demonstrations with its browser extension that lets sales reps overwrite the data displayed in an existing demo environment.
Teams can create one or more overlays inside of Saleo to show more personalized information while demoing. None of these overlays change the data in the actual demo environment; instead, they're just masks over the underlying data created by Saleo's browser extension.
If AEs make changes to the data while demoing, those changes are abandoned after the browser extension is turned off, ensuring that all sales reps have clean demo environments to work out of every time they start a new demo call.
Best demo automation software for API products.
If you’re selling an API product that doesn’t have its own user interface, Coast might be a great option. It connects your API to a functional UI template that you can personalize for each lead you talk to. When you demo, you can show both the UI and the backend code at the same time, giving leads a clear understanding of how your API will communicate with their products.
After the demo, the Coast demo environment can be sent to leads as a leave-behind POC, helping your first contact at the company get other decision-makers on board easily. Each Coast instance is on a custom link so that every lead gets their own experience, and each spins up a local database to ensure that the changes leads make in the workflows are saved.
Navigating the demo automation software market can be a challenging task due to the wide array of options available. However, by understanding the different subcategories and their respective pros and cons, you can make a well-informed decision that best meets your team's unique needs.
Each type of tool offers specific advantages and disadvantages depending on your team's needs and the stage of the purchasing funnel you want to improve.
Evaluate your team's goals, resources, and the complexity of your product to determine which demo automation tool is the best fit. By selecting the right tool, you can enhance the buyer experience, streamline the sales process, and ultimately increase the success of your go-to-market strategy.
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