Build or Buy?

So, you have built an industry disturbing product. It has been tested, launched, and marketed, and now your sales team is being invited to show off your new product in pitch meetings with potential customers. You want to see how prospects respond to the product and the questions they ask, so you decide to sit in on a demo.

It’s the day of the pitch meeting, and everything is going great. Your sales executive knows the product and talks about value with confidence. But your team hits many speed bumps throughout the product demo with little to no data to showcase the true performance of the product. As prepared as your team is in every other way, they are missing the most important thing for their demo – compelling data. With no data to show the product in action, your team often has to rely on the dreaded “imagine if…” scenario, asking your potential customer to visualize the product at work. There is no way to have the same impact without a visual demo, and your prospect has a difficult time following the value of your solution. Your sales exec’s confidence starts to fade, the meeting goes south from there, and you lose the deal.

After seeing what happens in a demo meeting when there is no data to make your software come alive, you realize that you have a great product that does not demo well. To be successful, your sales team needs the data that can be used to show what your product can do. But using real customer data is not an option, so fictitious data has to be built. You have a few options for making that happen:

  1. Have sales team build data internally 

This is probably your first thought when you try to think of the best option for building, because it gives you the ability to customize your data. The problem is, you likely do not have a demo services team in place, meaning you will have to build one. The time spent recruiting, hiring, and training, will be coupled with the expense of hiring a team to specialize in something that isn’t your company’s main business. Software development is a time and money investment that wasn’t in your budget or on your radar. And once the software is deployed, it needs to be maintained, secured, supported, and updated, which is not what you intended for your resources. 

  1. Buy off the shelf

In a lot of situations when a company has an unexpected need for software, buying off the shelf can be an ideal choice. But in this case, there are a lot of issues with buying a product off the shelf. But an off the shelf product can’t support your sales story the way you need it to without a lot of customization. Depending on the size of your sales team, you may need to use the product in many instances, requiring additional licenses at a cost. And if no one in your company is familiar with the off the shelf tool, you will need to allocate someone to take ownership of it and give them time to ramp up. 

  1. Assign sales executives or engineers to build data 

Another option is to use the expertise of other members of your staff. You could assign an engineer to build a data set that won’t be static. But the data will still need to be managed and updated for sales opportunities. This is not the engineer’s core function, which could put other projects in jeopardy that are critical to your operation.

  1. Partner with a team data building experts  

Partnering with a company that can develop demo data for your product gives you customized information without the heavy load of hiring or managing a development team. When prospects start to ask questions based on how they would use your product, you can show them exactly how it meets their needs. Having good data that was built for your demo will allow you to drive the system, populate beautiful dashboards, and even do deeper segmentations. You can answer questions with dynamic responses that helps them see themselves using your product. 

You also won’t have to invest time, resources, and money in managing data that doesn’t serve your core business. A data focused company runs their own tools, monitors the data, and offers support that doesn’t put your team in a crunch. While you work on your deal-winning strategy, your demo solutioning partner will be building an environment that will support your presentation. You can show prospects how your company operates in the real world. 

Clearly building vs buying is a big decision, that is based on what works best for your company. Before making your decision, give our DemoBlox team a call, and let us answer any questions you may have about the ins and outs of building customized data.