June 14, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Using ‘Request a Demo’ to Boost Conversion Rates

Requesting a demonstration is one of the best ways to evaluate and commit to a new product or service. By filling out a request form and scheduling time to see a product in action, prospective customers gain clarity, have their questions answered, and ultimately have higher conversion rates. The challenge is making customers aware that a product demonstration option exists and encouraging them to take the next step by requesting one. Here's an ultimate guide to using 'request a demo' to boost conversion rates.

Optimize Your Request Form

An optimally designed “Request Demo” form is simple yet captures all the necessary information from potential customers to prepare for a productive demo. To maximize conversions:

  1. Keep fields to a minimum. Only ask for critical information to follow up and prepare for the demo. This may include name, email, phone number, company name, and job title.
  2. Use large, visible submit buttons. Place the submit button to the right of the form fields so people read the fields first before submitting.
  3. Clearly state the purpose. Explain exactly what customers will get by filling it out at the top of the form - i.e., “Schedule a demo to see a live product walkthrough.”
  4. Avoid form fatigue. Keep the form to one page if possible. Customers have short attention spans and may abandon multi-page forms.
  5. Include scheduling options. Allow customers to select potential days and times that work for them directly on the request form. This prevents follow-up emails.
  6. Use simple, plain language. Avoid jargon and explain what you mean by “demo.” Customers come from different industries.
  7. Add progress indicators. As customers fill fields, update the progress bar to indicate they’re almost done. This increases conversions.
  8. Optimize for mobile. Many phone demos are requested, so make sure your form is responsive and intuitive on smaller screens.
  9. Test and tweak. Run A/B tests comparing different form designs and field options. Optimize based on what generates the highest conversion rates.

By thoroughly optimizing your “Request Demo” form, you can resolve common pain points that cause customers to abandon the form and increase the number of high-quality demo requests that convert into engaged customers.

Reduce Friction in Scheduling

Once a prospect fills out your “Request Demo” form, the next challenge is finding a time that fits their schedule. Customers want a demo experience that’s:

Convenient: The easier you schedule a demo, the more likely prospects are to convert.

Flexible: Offer various options like live demos, pre-recorded, or group webinars. Customers have different preferences.

Quick: The faster they can see a demo, the likelier the sale. Defaults should be in the next 1-2 days, not next week.

To reduce time-to-demo, consider implementing:

Self-Scheduling Tools: Allow prospects to select a time slot that works for them from a calendar. They can then confirm directly within the tool. This speeds up the process versus coordinating by email.

24/7 Availability: Offer demos at varying times of the day and during weekends to accommodate different schedules. Use an automated service for “off-hours” demos if needed.

Pre-Recorded Demos: For those who can’t make a live meeting, provide an on-demand demo video they can watch whenever is convenient. Then follow up after to discuss.

Group Webinar Sessions: Run weekly or bi-weekly webinars showcasing your product. Customers who prefer a lower-pressure group setting can take part.

Quick Response: Aim to confirm demo times within a few hours versus days. The faster prospects receive a response, the likelier they are to follow through with scheduling.

Self-Service Booking: Most effective. No back-and-forth is needed. Customers can simply select an available time that aligns with their schedule from a calendar.

By making it as easy for prospects to schedule and experience a demo, you’ll maximize the number that ultimately converts into paying customers. Focus on flexibility, convenience, and quick turnaround to drive higher conversion rates from your “Request Demo” forms.

Highlight the Demo in Messaging

Once you have an optimized “Request Demo” form and scheduling process, the next step is driving awareness of the demo option through your sales and marketing messaging.

Highlight the Demo in:

Website Copy: Make “Request a Demo” a prominent call to action on your landing, product, and website pages. Consider including next to:

  • Solution descriptions
  • Feature lists
  • Customer testimonials
  • Pricing pages
  • Contact forms

Email Subject Lines: Include “See a Live Demo” or “Schedule a Product Walkthrough” in the relevant email subject lines to pique interest.

Email Body Copy: Mention the option to request a demo multiple times within relevant marketing emails. Make it a clear call to action at the bottom of the email.

Paid Ads: Target prospects searching for your product or similar solutions and include a “Demo” call to action within ad text and headlines.

Sales Collateral: Add “Request a Demo” as a highlighted option within:

  • Datasheets
  • Case studies
  • White papers
  • eBooks

Social Media Posts: Occasionally include a “Click here to see a demo” CTA within relevant Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn posts.

Use Trigger Words Like:

  • See a live demo
  • Experience a product walkthrough
  • Schedule a no-obligation demo
  • Get [X number] of questions answered
  • Uncover how [solution] can help you…
  • Discover how [solution] works in action

By consistently including the option to request a demonstration within your marketing messages, you raise awareness of the demo option and condition prospects to take that next step. Repetition and highlighting the key benefits of seeing a product in action will increase the number of prospects who convert through a demonstration.

Enable Multiple Demo Paths

Different customers prefer to learn about new products in different ways. Some want a live, interactive demo where they can ask questions in real-time, while others prefer a pre-recorded option they can watch at their convenience.

To maximize the number of prospects who ultimately experience your product through a demonstration, consider offering:

Live Demos:

  • Interactive option where prospects can see your solution in action and ask the representative questions.
  • Best for complex sales where prospects want to discuss specific use cases and requirements.
  • Require allocating representative time during specified times.

Pre-Recorded Demos:

  • Video walkthrough of your solution that prospects can watch at their convenience.
  • Ideal for prospects with busy or non-traditional schedules.
  • Representatives can prepare thoroughly and ensure all necessary information is covered.
  • Does not require real-time representative availability.

Group Webinars:

  • Similar to a live demo but with multiple prospects attending. This a good option for prospects who prefer observing versus participating.
  • Representatives can answer common questions at the end.
  • Requires less intensive preparation and representative time.

Pair Multiple Options For Maximum Flexibility:

  • Allow prospects to choose any combination that fits their preferences and schedules.
  • Enable prospects to experience a pre-recorded demo first, then schedule a live follow-up for specific questions.
  • Offer group webinars every week in addition to live demos during business hours.
  • Customers appreciate having choices that fit their particular circumstances and constraints.

The more exposure prospects have to your solution through different demonstrations, the higher the chances they’ll ultimately convert. Enabling live demos, pre-recorded and group webinars provide the necessary flexibility to accommodate a wide range of customer preferences and behaviors.

The key is determining the right mix of demonstration options based on your ideal customers, product complexity, sales team availability, and budget. Then promote all relevant options within your “Request a Demo” messaging to maximize conversions.

Showcase Demo Benefits

The most effective “Request a Demo” calls-to-action communicate the specific benefits prospects will gain by signing up for a demonstration.

When highlighting the demo in your marketing messages, focus on how prospects will:

Save Time:

  • See a real example of how the solution works in minutes
  • Have questions answered immediately versus wasting hours researching

Remove Uncertainty

  • Get a firsthand look to determine if the solution is right for their nee
  • Experience the solution interactively to build confidence before purchasing

Exceed Goals Faster:

  • Learn how other customers have successfully achieved similar objectives
  • Get guidance customized to their specific KPIs and requirements

Mitigate Risks:

  • Identify any potential roadblocks or issues up front
  • Walk through integration requirements to avoid future headaches

Position Your Value:

  • Meet the team and assess cultural fit before making a large investment
  • Hear success stories directly from the vendor to build trust

Customers are most motivated by how a demo can help them solve their specific problems and achieve their goals. Demonstrate this value through:

  • Real customer examples
  • Quantifiable results
  • Specific capabilities
  • Insights they couldn’t gain elsewhere

For instance:

“See a live demo, and we’ll show you exactly how we helped companies like yours cut costs by 15% within the first six months.”

“Request a demo, and our team will identify three areas where you could reduce billing errors by up to 50%.”

Focusing your demo value propositions around prospects’ core objectives, challenges, and key results will significantly increase “Request Demo” conversion rates. Prospects are likelier to take action when they understand the benefits they’ll gain from interacting with your product.

Incentivize the Request

Beyond optimizing your “Request A Demo” experience, another powerful tactic to boost conversion rates is incentivizing prospects to submit a demo request in the first place.

Common Incentives Include:

Early Bird Discounts: Offer a discount (usually 5-20% off) for customers requesting a demo within a certain period. This creates a sense of urgency around submitting the request.

Free Trial Extension: Prospects that go through a demo are automatically enrolled in an extended free trial or money-back guarantee compared to non-demo customers.

Expedited Implementation: Customers that go through the full sales process upfront - including a demo - are prioritized for quicker onboarding after purchasing.

Gamification Techniques: Award “points” or “badges” for completing a demo request form. Make it a contest among peers or departments within an organization.

Giveaway: Hold a drawing for a prize (e.g., an Amazon gift card) for everyone that schedules a demo within a specific time frame.

Special Offer: Offer access to an additional resource (e.g., whitepaper, eBook, or consultation) for free to demo customers.

Priority Support: Provide customers that have experienced a live product demo with priority support channels after purchasing.

To Incentivize Effectively:

Communicate: Inform prospects of any incentives for completing the demo form.

Have a Deadline: Set a time limit (e.g., the next 30 days) for the incentive to create a sense of urgency around submitting the request.

Make it Relevant: Incentives work best when they’re directly related to prospects’ core challenges and motivations for considering a demo in the first place.

Prominently Display: Feature incentive information prominently on your website, in emails, and marketing materials (e.g., “Request a demo within the next two weeks for a guaranteed 15% discount!”).

Test and Improve: Continually tweak the incentives you offer and communicate based on what generates the highest conversion rates.

By pairing an optimized “Request Demo” experience with relevant incentives that address prospects’ core pain points and motivations, you can significantly boost the number who ultimately move forward with a demonstration - bringing you one step closer to closing more deals.

Follow Up On Requests

While optimizing your “Request A Demo” form, scheduling tools, and marketing messaging is critical, how your sales team follows up on incoming demo requests can make or break your overall conversions.

To maximize results, focus your follow-up process on the following:

Speed: Respond to demo requests within one business day. The faster prospects hear back, the more likely they are to schedule.

Personalization: Address prospects by name and include a personalized message in your follow-up email. This creates a more human connection.

Value: Reiterate the specific benefits the prospect will gain from seeing a demo based on their needs and challenges. Prospects need constant reminders.

Scheduling Options: Include a calendar link where prospects can select available times that work for them - making the scheduling process as frictionless as possible.

Confirmation: After a time has been selected, send a confirmation email with any necessary instructions, meeting details, and next steps.

Preparation: Thoroughly prepare for the demo by understanding the prospect’s key goals, pain points, and use case requirements in advance.

Customers appreciate a tailored approach.

Post Demo Follow-Up: After the demo, send a follow-up email thanking the prospect for their time and next steps - whether that’s an invitation to quote, scheduling a second demo, or answering any outstanding questions.

Consistency: Follow a standardized process for all demo follow-up and preparation to ensure no prospective customers fall through the cracks.

Have a system in place.

Tracking: Record details about every demo request and follow up within your CRM or marketing automation platform for reporting and process improvement.

Team Training: Ensure all sales reps understand the value of demos and are prepared to effectively follow up, conduct engaging demonstrations, and provide the next steps in the sales process. Offer constant coaching.

By flawlessly executing your follow-up process after prospects submit demo requests - from quick initial responses to thorough post-demo follow-ups - you position yourself to convert the highest percentage of prospects into paying customers. A well-oiled sales and marketing machine is what maximizes the impact of your overall “Request A Demo” strategy.

Measure Demo Performance

To continuously improve your “Request A Demo” strategy and maximize conversion rates, measuring relevant metrics that indicate how effectively your demo process is working is critical.

Key Metrics to Track Include:

Request-to-Demo Conversion: The percentage of demo requests that ultimately result in an actual demonstration. Track this over time to determine if your follow-up and scheduling tools are effective.

Demo-to-Customer Conversion: The percentage of completed demos that turn into customers. Indicates how powerful your demonstrations are at convincing prospects to purchase.

Ave. Time to Demo: The average number of days (or hours) for prospects to experience an actual product demonstration after completing the request form. Faster is better.

Ave. Length of Demo: The typical duration of your demonstrations. Longer may indicate reps lack focus or are overpreparing. Shorter may mean they’re underprepared.

Number of Questions: The average number of questions prospects ask during demos. A high number indicates demos are interactive and engaging for prospects.

Post-Demo Sentiment: Collect informal feedback via a quick survey right after each demo to gauge customer satisfaction, pain points, and recommendations.

Follow-Up Rates: The percentage of demo customers your sales team successfully follows up with via phone or email within a set period (e.g., 48 hours).

Uptime: The amount of scheduled demo time lost due to technical issues. Indicate whether your solution is unreliable in a live setting.

Demo Preferences: Track which types of demos (live vs. recorded vs. group) generate the highest conversion rates to optimize your demo mix.

In Sales Cycle: Monitor the average number of demos prospects experience before purchasing. This may indicate areas for improvement in earlier sales stages.

Continuously measure and improve these key metrics in your quarterly business reviews. They indicate how well your sales and marketing processes work together to generate the highest number of engaged customers through demonstrations.

By pinpointing bottlenecks and areas for improvement, you can test new initiatives to further boost your request-to-demo and demo-to-customer conversion rates over time - ultimately driving more revenue from your overall “Request A Demo” strategy.

Upsell During The Demo

Product demonstrations provide an opportunity to convince prospects to purchase - they’re also an ideal time to introduce customers to add product features, bundles, or services they may not have originally considered.

This is your chance to “surprise and delight” customers by sharing:

Lesser-Known Capabilities - Many customers only consider a solution’s core value proposition initially. The demo is a chance to highlight unique features they may have overlooked.

Complementary Products: If you offer multiple solutions, take the opportunity to explain how related products can enhance the initial purchase.

Higher Service Levels: Suggest premium implementation, training, or support packages that exceed the standard offering.

Tips and Tricks: Provide prospects with insider best practices and use cases beyond their initial requirements. This establishes your team as experts.

With appropriate timing and messaging, upselling during or after a successful demonstration significantly increases your chances of delivering:

A Larger Initial Sale: Customers often expand purchases after seeing a “proof of concept” they’re happy with.

Higher Lifetime Value: Customers who start with multiple components are likelier to purchase add-ons and renew contracts in the long term.

Greater Customer Satisfaction: Providing every capability clients need - right off the bat - sets the stage for a more successful relationship.

To Successfully Upsell During Demos:

Identify “On-Ramps”: Determine key points within your normal demo when appropriate to mention additional options without being pushy.

Discuss Value, Not Features: Explain how and why add-ons or upgrades will help prospects meet their concrete goals even better. Make it relevant.

Provide Examples: Share concrete success stories from similar customers who benefited meaningfully from a higher service level or additional product.

Consider Bundles: Recommend a discount option that combines multiple solutions, add-ons, or service levels for an attractive bundled offer.

Gauge Interest: Check in with prospects, asking questions that reveal their interest in upgrading before proceeding. Only invest additional time with qualified prospects.

Follow-Up: For prospects that express little interest during the demo, continue the upsell conversation during the sales process and contract negotiations.

By using product demonstrations as an opportunity to sell your initial solution and introduce complementary offerings, you can significantly increase the revenue generated from each new customer, improving the overall return on your “Request A Demo” investments.

Integrate Demos into Sales Process

While “Request a Demo” forms, optimized messaging, and effective product demonstrations are critical components, the most impactful use of demonstrations ultimately comes down to how well they’re integrated into your entire sales and onboarding funnel.

To maximize the sales impact of your product demonstrations:

Require a Demo Before Quoting: Make experiencing the solution a prerequisite to moving forward in the sales process versus an optional step. This establishes proof of value.

Customize Demos to Personas: Tailor the content, examples, and capabilities highlighted within each demo based on the role and goals of the prospect watching. Ensure maximum relevance.

Use Demos to Qualify Leads: Gauge customer interest, commitment, and cultural fit during and after the demo to determine which prospects to move forward with versus delaying.

Add “Post-Demo Next Steps”: After the demonstration, send prospects a follow-up email with exactly what’s required of them, whether providing additional information, scheduling a second demo, or inviting them to quote.

Integrate into Sales Cycle: Recommend prospects experience multiple demonstrations at different stages in the sales process, each with increasingly customized content.

Highlight During Negotiations: Refer to elements of the interactive demonstration when prospect objections or questions arise late in the cycle. Explain, “You saw this capability in action…”

Require Before Onboarding: Make experiencing a demo a non-negotiable step before customers are enabled for implementation. This ensures transparency upfront to avoid future hassles.

Include in Implementation Planning: Leverage details and questions that emerged during the demo when mapping out a prospect’s implementation and onboarding steps.

Incorporate Feedback: Utilize recommendations and critiques from demo participants to continually improve your sales, implementation, and onboarding processes over time.

By viewing product demonstrations not as an isolated marketing tactic but rather an integral part of your full sales and customer acquisition framework, you’ll be able to derive the greatest possible value from your “Request A Demo” efforts.

Well-executed product demos strategically placed at each stage of the buyer’s journey - from lead to loyal customer - ultimately translate the “Request a Demo” form into long-term revenue growth.


In conclusion, effectively optimizing your “Request a Demo” process through best practice forms, scheduling tools, and marketing messaging can boost conversion rates in the short term. However, to maximize the long-term impact of demonstrations, your sales and marketing teams must integrate them holistically into your full customer acquisition and retention strategy.

Requesting and experiencing demos should become prerequisites to moving prospects through each stage of your sales funnel - from pre-sales qualification and buying committee buy-in to negotiations, implementation planning, and onboarding. Incorporating feedback from demos will also help continually refine your overall sales process.

Product demonstrations become the cornerstone of your customer relationships - establishing trust, sharing expertise, uncovering needs, and proving value at every stage. And that innate ability to consistently “wow” and inspire customers through tangible product experiences ultimately defines a best-in-class customer acquisition strategy and long-term revenue growth.

Cover Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

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