4 Ways Virtual Lab Environments Can Supercharge Your Sales Strategy
Have you ever considered educating your potential customers about your IT software in a virtual training environment? What if you could eliminate on-premise demos altogether? Using virtual labs, you can benefit from shorter sales cycles, less capital investment for dedicated hardware, the ability to capture insights from clients’ demo use, and a decrease in travel costs.
Below are 4 ways virtual labs can supercharge your sales strategy.
1. LET CUSTOMERS TRY BEFORE THEY BUY
The big value of virtual labs is that they allow customers to try before they buy – education is the new marketing/sales. In today’s age of advanced technology, businesses will rarely buy a product they have no knowledge about. Buying teams research a product or service even before a sales team enters the picture. According to a Gartner study, tech buyers are 57% of the way through the buying process before speaking to the sales rep.
The problem with traditional sales demos is that they don’t offer a hands-on experience. The customer is not able to interact with the product. They are only able to learn about the product by viewing a PowerPoint presentation or PDF document. And due to limited time, they are left with a vague understanding of the software and what it offers. As a result, businesses have to make educated guesses about what software is best for them and won’t really know its true value unless they buy it first.
In a virtual lab environment, software can be deployed at any time and at any location. The customer has more time to learn about the product and experience it firsthand. They are able to simulate real-world problems they may encounter in the future.
By providing your customers with a practice-by-doing experience, virtual IT labs make it easier for them to fully learn your software in a way that connects with them and actually “sticks”. In a world where information is readily available, where customers don’t have to “take your word for it”, it’s important to create a learning experience that allows customers to see things for themselves.
2. ERADICATE NEED FOR ON-SITE DEMOS
Virtual IT labs can eliminate travel costs and related expenses. Normally, your sales team would have to acquire dedicated hardware for demonstration purposes, get insurance for equipment, and on occasion, handle requests for separate demos. Shipping materials and equipment to the prospect site and bringing in IT support is not only expensive and impractical, but it is also time-consuming. This is valuable time you could be spending on selling your technical solutions to other prospects. Virtual IT labs give your sales team the ability to grant multiple prospects access to a full-featured, easily accessible test product.
Also, because there are multiple stakeholders involved in a complex purchase, sales cycles can take a lot longer in a traditional, on-premises demo. However, with virtual labs, you can connect buyers to each other as early in the process as possible. Your customers can try your technology without you around. Not only are you making the demo of your product convenient for your prospects, but you are also showing that you have confidence in your product and believe that it can stand alone without you being present.
3. ALLOW TRACKABLE INVITATIONS
A virtual lab environment gives you the ability to capture insights from a client’s demo use by offering analytics, which provides visibility into proof of concepts (POC) usage. By seeing how much time a user has spent on a feature and what has piqued their interest, you can get an idea about how the trial is going and ensure prospects are experiencing the full value of your technology solutions. You will also be able to help them if they run into problems. Because there is less focus on the logistics of the demo, sales engineers can focus more on customizing the demo according to the prospect’s needs.
4. IMPROVE SALES TEAM TRAINING
According to Sales Performance International, employees forget 84% of sales training lessons within 90 days. Active learning-by-doing methods have been proven to increase knowledge retention rates. Using virtual training labs to teach your sales engineers can help increase their knowledge and retention by demonstrating your product. What does this do for your bottom line? It betters your sales team and thus, increases sales. And more sales mean more revenue for your company.
Is your business in need of virtual IT solutions? Do you want to better educate your prospective buyers about your software by offering a complete hands-on experience? Schedule a live demo with our team to see how Virtual Labs can help you grow your sales. Contact us today for more information about our virtual solutions.