How To Automate Your Demos And Still Be Human (Hint: Chatbots)

Over the last 6 months, we’ve experienced incredible growth at TrainedUp. We’ve grown by almost 400% since we launched V2 of our platform in April. One of the biggest successes for us has been implementing Drift in a way that has helped us to identify qualified prospects and get them to schedule a demo, all completely hands off.

But, recently we’ve run into a wall. Not because Drift stopped working or because we had a huge drop in traffic. We’ve simply reached a point where we no longer have the capacity to grow any faster than we are currently because of our team size. Which by no means is a bad thing.

About a month ago our founder Scott and I had a couple of conversations about bringing on another marketing hire to help me further scale our sales and marketing efforts. However, after talking more, we came to the conclusion that we wanted to stay at our current size as long as possible and that if we could figure out a way to scale our demo process, we could achieve that.

As someone who has an unhealthy obsession with automation that is still customer-centric, I instantly started thinking through how to achieve this. It was something that I had actually thought about before, but due to some limitations in our software stack, it wasn’t really possible without a lot of custom dev work.

Thankfully, our friends at Drift listened to my pleas to add in some advanced Zapier triggers to help us further segment our Drift conversations. After working with one of their developers (Stephen, who rocked it), they had rolled out what I needed within two weeks of our first conversation at HYPERGROWTH.

Drift launched their no forms campaign this year much like Salesforce’s no software campaign. From the beginning, I’ve been on board but found some limitations in actually implementing it due to a lack of segmentation ability because of minimal Zapier integrations.

Now, that this has been resolved, I started laying out what this scalable demo process should look like. Here’s what I came up with:

My biggest needs were that the process had to be automated, digestible, and interactive.

Since we already have Drift playbooks providing us with a constant stream of people scheduling demos, we knew that was our starting point.

With the new Zapier trigger ‘User Reached Goal With Lead Stage’, I reworked our playbooks to prompt a qualified lead to watch a demo instead of schedule a demo. If they moved forward, I ask for their email which adds them to the ‘Automated Demo’ lead stage in Drift which triggers my zap.

From here, the zap adds/updates the contact into our email automation platform, ActiveCampaign, with the tag ‘BOFU – Automated Demo’ which triggers the Automated Demo email sequence.

The first email gives them the link to our Explore TrainedUp page that I designed specifically for this process. You can see a mockup of that page here. The email also contains a 50% off coupon for their first month as a way to help reduce friction in the sales process since we offer a 30-day money back guarantee instead of a free trial.

One of the big reasons to deliver the link to the lead via email, instead of while they’re still on our website via Drift, is so that I can start tracking their site activity in ActiveCampaign. This helps me to gauge their interest level and send them relevant emails based on that activity.

The email automation is largely based on the same sequence that I used for live demos that helped to close 40% of our prospects who had scheduled a demo. However, I did make some alterations with some additional If/Else splits and conditional content in the emails themselves.

For instance, 2 days after they receive the first email, they receive another email with some additional information and reminds them of the demo link. However, if they’ve already clicked on the link in the first email, it adds some extra content that asks them if they had any questions after watching and pitches them to sign up with our coupon.

If they still haven’t clicked on the demo page link after the second email, they receive another email highlighting how little time it takes to watch the demo videos. The automation then waits until they’ve clicked on the demo link in one of the 3 emails before taking them back to the main sales sequence.

After they’ve clicked on the link they receive 4 additional emails over a 3 week period that works to move them closer to a buying decision with a final email asking if they’re still interested. Of course, if they sign up for TrainedUp they’re instantly pulled out of this automation and their deal is closed in our CRM which is also part of ActiveCampaign.

Interactive Pre-Recorded Demos

Once a prospect lands on our demo page, they’re presented with 3 videos that are a total of 10 minutes in length. This was a key part in making sure that the demo process was easily digestible so that a prospect could move through the sales cycle quicker.

Each video mentions that our team is available to answer any of their questions and I’ve created a specific playbook for this page to help get the conversation going.

After they ask a question, the conversation is routed to our small team and we will work to answer all of their questions and depending on how hot the lead is, we may give the option of jumping on an impromptu video call.

We’ve found that this has worked extremely well in the past, especially when someone is considering our premium product offering. In fact, this month I’ve closed two $249/mo accounts in under 30 minutes using this approach, and that’s with still having scheduled demos eating up time.

While this part of the scalable demo process still requires an “unscalable” resource of human interaction, it allows me to have multiple chat conversations at the same time instead of a single video call that was scheduled days or weeks ago. And because the videos always provide the exact same demo of our product, it will make it much easier to train additional chat help if we do expand our team in the future.

Future Enhancements

For the most part, this system was fairly easy to put together and is still pretty basic. There are some things that I’m planning on adding to the process over the next few months once I’ve established some baseline conversion data.

The shortlist includes:

  1. Event tracking based on video watch time on the 3 videos.
  2. Lead scoring in ActiveCampaign that starts when they enter this specific automation.
  3. Smartening up our Drift bot to answer recurring questions without human interaction.

Want updates on how this process is going? Follow me on Twitter here: @kevindfontenot