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The Demo Engineer: A Key Player in SaaS Revenue Teams

 min read
Demo Engineer

In many sales and presales teams, one of the primary friction points is the preparation of demos. Most teams designate a sales engineer for the many responsibilities involved in creating and preparing demos, but sales engineers are not a demo resource, as noted in a recent post from Semir Jahic: 

‘​​Someone called my SE a “demo resource”. I wasn’t pleased.’

A demo can make or break a deal, which is where demo engineers come into play. Demo engineers are dedicated team members who provide sales teams and sales engineers with technical expertise to create tailored and solution-oriented product demos to engage customers and show the value proposition of the product. Demo engineers don’t only produce demos, they also plan the demo processes and map out and embed the tech stack needed to embed the best in class demo process. They  play an integral role in SaaS companies, working to enable sales teams and drive product-led growth with optimized demo environments.

Here at Demoboost, we provide the ultimate presales enablement demo software. It allows your team to efficiently build quality demo libraries that you can easily personalize for any prospect and persona. In this article, we define the role of a demo engineer, discuss the difference between a sales and demo engineer and outline the integral contributions of demo engineers to SaaS companies.

What is a demo engineer?

A demo engineer is essentially a technical sales enablement role. They work closely with sales professionals, collaborating with sales engineers and customer success teams. They craft tailored and solution-oriented demos specific to market segments and targeted personas. A demo engineer could be an entry level role for the presales team or it could become a career path on its own. With SaaS organisations starting to think about demo operations, demo engineers play a crucial role in operationalising this key element of the sales process. 

Demo engineer vs. solution engineer

There might be confusion between a demo engineer and a sales engineer as both roles create demos. The primary difference between the two roles is that a sales engineer is a customer-facing position, while a demo engineer takes a back-end approach to demo creations. Demo engineers typically have extensive knolwedge of computer and web programming languages, such as CSS, HTML and JavaScript. They focus mostly on the technical aspects of demo creation and usually create a demo under the guidance and instruction of a sales engineer, who is trained in translating buyers needs into specific product solutions.. Presales or solution engineering applies a whole range of deal progressing tactics, on top of demo creation. These tactics can include workshops or discovery sessions. A demo engineer who expresses excellent customer-facing skills might have opportuntiies to enter a sales engineering position. They can also choose to stay in the demo roles and evolve as the leader of the demo operations teams. 

The importance of a demo engineer

Below, you can review several reasons a demo engineer is important in SaaS companies:

Reducing time-to-demo

The primary benefit of utilizing a demo engineer in your sales team is that you can drastically shorten the time it takes to produce high-quality demos. A sales engineer can produce demos, but they’re a multifaceted role with many responsibilities. When complex products require equally complex demos, having dedicated reasources ensures timely delivery. With the assistance of a demo engineer, you can experience rapid development of complex demos that can effectively showcase your product’s features and solutions.  

Standardizing demo quality

One of the largest issues facing SaaS companies is an unstandardized methodology for creating demos. In many companies, you might have several individuals in the revenue team using their knowledge of market segments and personas to create demos for prospects and clients. The issue with this is that it's difficult to create demos with consistent narratives, branding and technical showcases. If you employ demo engineers and allocate them with ownership of creating demos, they can collaborate with revenue teams, utilizing their expertise and knowledge to create effective demo environments.

Enabling buyers

A crucial strategy for converting leads and closing deals is to enable buyers with the information they require to make a purchase. Prospects and leads want to identify the product's relevancy, ease of operation, usefulness and credibility. This is where demo engineers come into the limelight. Demo engineers can create tailored demos for marketing teams who can market the products in all their glory, enabling buyers early in the sales process and increasing lead conversion. There is a relatively traditional thought process that demos are only useful for supporting sales functions, but marketing teams are now experiencing the benefits of incorporating live demos into their marketing strategies

Shortening the sales cycle

The sales cycle involves many steps, from qualifying leads and nurturing prospects to overcoming objections and closing deals. Demo engineers play an integral role in the sales cycle by enabling sales and customer success with high-quality demos. A well-crafted demo can accelerate almost every aspect of the sales cycle. For example, product marketers can incorporate demos in webinars to engage and convert leads and showcase product functionality. Sales teams can use demos to overcome or completely avoid sales objections by providing demo environments perfectly tailored to the prospects segment. 

Enhancing customer success

Customer success is a vital part of the revenue team, responsible for fostering and maintaining relationships with clients. Touching on the misconception mentioned before about demos only being useful for sales functions, demos can actually be an excellent tool for customer success teams. Demo engineers can help produce high-quality demos for customer success teams to use, showcasing new features and addressing common user challenges. Customer success team members can take clients on guided tours through a product perfectly tailored to their needs, effectively showing the clients how to get the most out of the product. 

Standardize and enhance demo processes 

A demo engineer can standardize and enhance demo processes by establishing a clear and consistent framework for delivering product demonstrations. This may involve creating a set of standardized demo scripts, templates and checklists that cater to various target audiences and their unique pain points. By incorporating best practices and lessons learned from previous demos, demo engineers can continually refine and update demos to ensure optimal quality and effectiveness. A demo engineer can also leverage technology to automate repetitive tasks and streamline the overall demo experience. By combining a structured approach with the right technological tools, the demo engineer can optimize the demo process, ensuring an exceptional experience for both the audience and the organization.

Enabling the entire revenue team

Demo engineers are becoming an increasingly popular role within sales teams, particularly as the market for SaaS product demos explodes with popularity. They benefit not only presales teams but the entire revenue team, including marketing and customer success. Demo engineers play an integral role in enabling revenue teams with the tools and resources they need to generate leads, convert prospects, close deals, and nurture client relationships. 

Boost your presales with Demoboost

Demo engineers can benefit SaaS companies in more ways than one. They play an excellent role in enabling your revenue team, but who enables your demo engineering team? Demoboost, that's who! With Demoboost, you can provide demo engineers with the tools to create and personalize demos quicker than ever before. Gain access to real-time analytics, provide optimal support to each presales deal, save time and money and create the most buyer-friendly experience possible!

If you want to elevate your sales performance and experience presales success like never before, book a demo today!


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