Free Trial vs Product Demo: Which Is Right for Your SaaS Company?

Are you confused about going for a free trial or product demo for your B2B SaaS company? If yes, this blog will help you make the right decision.

Free Trial vs Product Demo
Free Trial vs Product Demo

A customer chooses to partner with a company because of the product. SaaS companies either choose freemium or product demos to sell the product to customers. But which one is better? Free trials are considered the best way to get the product sold. However, some consider paid product demos better. This article examines how SaaS companies can prefer demonstrating the product.

SaaS Free Trial

SaaS free trial means when the customer tries the product for a limited period of time. This time is usually free and pre-decided by the SaaS product company. The user needs to see the product’s value and know its features beforehand. This will ensure they know what the product offers and hopefully sign up for the product towards the end. This is an extension of the product-based growth business model where time instead of the features limit the product.

In a freemium model, the product is limited by features, so if the customer wants to use all features – they need to sign up.

Benefits of free trials

Here are the benefits of free trials-

  • Your potential customers get an idea of the product immediately. They are well aware of what to expect next.
  • Customers can learn about the software and play around with it. They can explore the product and its features in a succinct manner.
  • Customers or users also see how the customer service or product queries segment is.
  • Help users with pre-purchasing decisions.

Cons of free trials

While free trials are great for some companies, there are certain drawbacks as well.

  • Setting up a free trial is not easy. One needs to invest decent time and effort into setting it up correctly.
  • Your user needs to understand the software and how to use it. If they do not have any prior experience or idea, they will simply not use it.
  • Some SaaS products may not interest customers as much. It may not catch users’ attention as much as expected. This will make them leave the product when the trial is over.
  • SaaS products may not need a free trial, while others might. Knowing which companies need training and implementation must be carefully considered.

SaaS Product Demo

A SaaS product demo allows you to display your features to the customer on their demand. This product demo ensures sign-ups happen. SaaS companies must qualify to perform a product demo so that they can display their potential to customers. The product demo must show what the product does and its usefulness.

Benefits of product demos

There are certain benefits of product demos. Here are some of them –

  • Product demos help explain the product and its complex features. Product demos make it easier to help customers understand features of value.
  • A one-to-one demo lets you focus on customizing the product to meet customers’ specific needs. This allows you to know what they want exactly and deliver that to increase your chances of success.
  • You can get an idea of potential questions that can be asked about the product. This will help you get the feedback necessary to improve the product or explain to customers of specific needs.

What are the negatives of a product demo?

A product demo is usually free. However, there are certain disadvantages of a product demo.

  • Sales professionals or founders usually give product demos. This requires them to block several slots in a calendar due to their busy routines.
  • If sales leaders are not enabled to provide adequate material during a demo, it may be a problem.
  • A demo requires people to use the product and sign up. In many cases, they may not even sign up.
  • If a free demo is offered, chances are prospects may decide immediately about the complexity of the product or usage value.

Which is better for your SaaS Company?

Now that we have seen the types of product previews, we can look at what works for which company and why. Whatever SaaS product presentation method is chosen depends on five principal factors –

  • Product nature
  • Sales cycle
  • Target customers
  • Type of company and its ability to take on costs
  • Product longevity

Some companies offer a product demo and then move to a freemium model. Others choose a free trial first and then set up the product demo. A product demo works better if-

  • The product needs one to be a medium expert in the matter
  • The product needs a change in primary business matters to gain value
  • The free trial needs one to learn for value realization

A product demo can be through a sales presentation, video format, or a product walkthrough. All this must be in an environment where the listener can ask questions and know the true value.

Ideal Case Scenario: A product demo showing the tool and how the aha moment will occur will be helpful. This can be followed by a 7-day free trial or a freemium model. A product demo gives you feedback on whether you are fit for the user or not.

Asking yourself some questions can help clarify whether the product demo or free trial will be helpful.

  • Is the product easy to use and set up?
  • Does it require a lot of data?
  • Is the product going to generate value for them?
  • Does the product provide a quick win for users?
  • Will the customer have any questions while using the product?

Finding answers to these questions will help analyze whether the product demo or the freemium will make the deal.18

Bottom Line

Choosing the product presentation mode depends on user requirement, product type, product category, and sales team capacity. If the product requires help from the IT team for setup, it would be great to do a demo. If the product has short implementation times, it is better to choose freemium models.

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