5 Best Practices to Create Software Demo Videos That Win More Sales

August 24, 2022
Contributor: Amita Jain

Follow these guidelines to create product demo videos that help accelerate software buying decisions.

Every business function has a content type that is highly popular among the end-users. Product demonstrations tend to be that influential element for sales and videos work best for modern marketers. Combine the two and you will have product demo videos.

For B2B SaaS providers, software demonstrations are a critical part of the sales cycle, which is much more illustrative on video compared to written word. 

Despite the great potential of demo videos in communicating product value, they often remain too feature-centric or poorly constructed. As a result, instead of facilitating disruptions in buyers’ experience, they tend to waste resources. Sales and marketing leaders must align demo videos to the software buying journey to maximize their effectiveness in the sales funnel.

In this article, we discuss five best practices to create software demo videos that help B2B marketers earn more leads and win over customers.

What makes demos in video form more effective?

Nearly a quarter of sales engineers say over 50% of demos are unqualified[1]. This means more prospects are requesting product demos early in the buying cycle at a stage when they aren’t nurtured enough to make a purchase. This leaves sales executives scrambling to keep up with the rising demand for demos.

Videos provide a perfect sandbox to effectively take such buyers through a product in action and reserve more time for qualified leads[2] that may need a deeper dive during demos.

In Gartner Digital Markets’ 2022 Global Software Buyer Trends Survey[*], we asked buyers what content they refer to the most when making software purchase decisions. Video tutorials and product demonstrations emerged among the top three choices.

Preferred content types to make purchase decisions

A one-minute demo video can tell users way more about a product (or service) than an entire website, taking the strain off sales reps in doing all the heavy lifting. Why does this happen? 

  • Buyers can retain more information with the visuals in a video.
  • Buyers can see what exactly they will receive as your client.
  • Buyers can understand how your software will solve their problems.

5 smart ways to make software demo videos

Here are some best practices for creating product demo videos that resonate with buyers and win more prospects. 

1. Use multiple demo videos to close a deal

There are different types of demo videos that you can create. You will need a diverse range of demo videos throughout sales- and marketing-related interactions to maximize engagement and build urgency among end-users.

On average, three demos are required to close a deal, and this number can go as high as 15 demos[3].

That said, giving detailed demonstrations too early can generate more questions than answers, prolonging the sales cycle. Use different types of demos for buyers at different stages of the purchase journey to give prospects a peek into your product but without tiring them out with details they might not need yet.

Three main demo video types

The number and types of demo videos needed for a sales win are dictated by the size of the buying group and the complexity of your product.

Pro tip: Waiting until a client is “ready” for a detailed demo shortens the sales cycle and increases the win rate of marketing and sales content.

2. Highlight business value; avoid feature- or function-based focus

Demonstrations, as an element of the buying journey, come after reference checks (including peer discussions and third-party user reviews) and lay the foundation for the future actions buyers take, such as requesting a proposal (RFP) or proof-of-concept (POC) (see the figure below). 

Example of a sales pipeline model

At the demonstration stage, resist the temptation to show every feature and functionality of your product. Stay focused on business outcomes that underline a prospect’s reason for coming to you in the first place. It will reinforce their need for change and show them your product’s value.

Pro tip: Remember the difference between free trials and product demos. While a free trial is designed to provide actual product use and experience, demos are best suited to highlight use cases.

3. Build a list of role-driven demo videos

Delineating who your buyers are and what their associated pain points are is critical to successful product value demonstration.

As many as nine active buyers could be involved in a software purchase decision for small and midsize businesses. Not all of these would be your end-users, but it is important to cater to these decision-makers in your demo videos and show them the potential of your product. They are your true lead, as they can make the deal happen.

Present your product’s features and functionalities as a solution to the challenges faced by these target roles. For instance, a product demo video for business analysts in marketing could show how they can use the software to combine online marketing campaign data with sales data to directly correlate campaign results with sales numbers.

Pro tip: Make three product demonstration videos of varied lengths for three types of roles. A 25-minute comprehensive video for your key users, a 10-minute product demo video for influencers and interested parties and a 3-minute demo video for executives. You can derive the shorter versions from the longest structure.

4. Add user reviews and testimonials

Claims become more compelling when real users give their first-person accounts. Use testimonials, reviews and case studies in product demo videos to add authenticity to your assertions. These social proofs put a face on the beneficiaries of your product (or service) and make prospects see themselves as recipients of those benefits and part of the success story. If you aren’t sure where to start, request reviews from your customers in the form of video interviews. 

Using content like this might be the differentiator between buyers asking you for more information and buyers looking elsewhere. Use video marketing, instead of the text format, to embed testimonials into landing pages, websites, social media, email and other customer outreach collateral to generate high user engagement.

Additionally, use symbols of validation by third parties, such as the “top performer” or “category leader” badges awarded by popular software review sites such as Capterra, Software Advice, and GetApp.

Pro tip: Take a part of an interview with a happy client, and use it as a short video testimonial with a compelling quote. Follow the storytelling structure: Outline the customer’s situation before using your solution (directly related to your targeted client as well) and then a rundown of the changes your solution brought for them — with the key stats and the current state of improvement.

5. Don’t miss out on creating a canned software demo video

There’s a significant time lag between when a prospective client requests a demo and its actual execution by a sales executive. That duration can run as long as 5.6 days[4], i.e., more than a work week. While customizing demos for key buyers and users is essential, having at least one canned demo can reduce this time lag and bring greater consistency in the standards of demo delivery.

Scaling the performance of successful demos to all meetings, errant interfaces in the middle of demonstrations and misconfigured capabilities in default software versions are some challenges a canned (or recorded) demo video can solve for software providers. In a canned video demo, highlight prospects’ reasons for making a change and restate the business outcomes from your solution

Pro tip: Don’t try to include every potential question prospects could have. Include only high-level take-aways of your product in a standard demo video, and address other questions off-script during the demonstration.

Tips to keep in mind when recording software demos:

  • Use desktop or smartphone screen capture with a selfie webcam for cost-effective demo video creation.
  • If you have the budget and skill, go a notch above with animated or live-action videos with a professional camera. They are received well among buyers.
  • Distribute demo videos across channels, including (but not limited to) your website, email, landing pages, social media and video platforms (e.g., YouTube).
  • Have a hook (i.e., an attention-grabbing incident or use case) at the beginning of the video to ensure the audience watches past the first few seconds.
  • Avoid jargon and spell out concepts wherever necessary.
  • Use captions and text-to-speech to make your videos accessible to a larger audience and increase search rankings.
  • Have an intriguing thumbnail that prompts viewers to click.
  • Add a compelling call-to-action (CTA) that drives buyers’ next best action, say a link to an explainer video.

Demo videos are a versatile format that can be used to educate consumers during a high-level search as well as direct them to brand sites and introduce products.

Amita Jain

Amita Jain covers B2B content creation and strategy to help businesses reach their marketing goals. She received her master’s degree from King’s College London, U.K. Exploring the world of art and reading fiction are some of her usual happy distractions outside of work. Connect with Amita on LinkedIn.



*Gartner Digital Markets’ 2022 Global Software Buyer Trends Survey

Results presented are based on a Gartner Digital Markets study to understand business challenges and approaches to technology and software investments. The primary research was conducted in October 2021 among a total of 2,501 respondents in the following countries: United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Colombia, Belgium, Poland, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Germany and France.

Respondents were screened for having recently purchased technology and decision-making authority. Respondents were required to be responsible for making decisions on purchasing technologies for their organization.

Disclaimer: Survey results do not represent global findings or the market as a whole, but reflect the sentiment of the respondents and companies surveyed.


  1. Sales Engineering: 2022 Compensation and Workload Report, Consensus
  2. Qualified Lead, Gartner Glossary
  3. Establishing a Product Demonstration Strategy as a Tech CEO, Gartner
  4. Quick Answer: How Do I Improve Demo Effectiveness Through Sales Enablement?, Gartner
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