Let Your Product Do The Selling!
Our Series A Investment In Reprise, The Demo Creation Platform For Product-Led Growth
When I was first learning the ropes of selling enterprise technology at Trilogy Software, an experienced sales leader gave me a piece of advice: “Never open your bag in the first sales meeting. Ask questions, listen, and don’t show the demo until you come back for a second conversation.”
In those heady early days of business software, customers had little market information, customization was common, and therefore the consultative sale was paramount. Great account executives had to understand the customer needs, determine relevant business drivers, map out the buying process… and then, and only then, fire up a specially-tailored presentation.
Three decades later, customers have more information and choice than ever as we’ve written about here. After hearing about you from their peers, reading reviews on G2Crowd, and asking Twitter about your closest competitors, the last thing the buyer wants is to sit through a lengthy interview with a gatekeeping sales rep. What they do want is to check out your product; the challenge, however, is that it is often expensive, time-consuming, and risky to maintain environments with the right data and configurations, not to mention difficult to share that safely with prospective customers.
Enter Reprise, the first no-code solution that allows sales, marketing, and customer success teams to create custom demos that are interactive, can be tailored to specific use cases, protect confidential customer data, and can be accessed (and shared internally) on-demand by prospective customers. Today, we are thrilled to announce that Bain Capital Ventures has led a Series A financing for the company.
Building Demos is Time-Consuming, Expensive, and Limited
At face value, demonstrating your product should be simple. However, when you dive into the details, it becomes clear that there are actually no great solutions.
A common approach is to show your production or staging environment. Some early-stage companies take a risk by accessing an actual live customer account; even if the privacy implications were not an issue, there is no way to keep demos consistent from week to week as underlying data changes. Companies that create a dummy account need to constantly update that instance with synthetic data, and at large companies like Salesforce, hundreds of sales engineers are required to maintain these environments.
With these challenges in mind, some companies resort to recording videos, or sharing flat, screenshot-based click-throughs, which require their own maintenance and lack the texture and flexibility that enables sales teams to react to customer feedback, focus on the functionality they care about most, and present the most authentic picture of the user experience.
A great product demo conveys a narrative to the customer, no different than a piece of well-designed marketing collateral, and is an essential tool particularly for the majority of companies that must convince the customer to invest in some integration before they can see the full product value. The average technology company does not have (or want to have) an army of sales engineers, and should not be satisfied with imperfect facsimiles like videos or screenshots.
Reprise Makes Interactive Demos Easy
The team at Reprise has built the right solution, which allows go-to-market teams to instantly “snapshot” their product and convert it to a high-fidelity prototype. Buttons change color, graphs can be toggled, and screens transition just as in a live site, but the demo can be fully customized without writing code, and will consistently show the same experience each time.
We first heard about Reprise last summer, after running across a demo linked on the Pendo homepage. Leveraging Reprise, the Pendo marketing team created a way for customers “check out the product” on their own, which resulted in a material uplift in conversion rates and closed deals. Many prospects who normally would shy away from engaging with a sales person got a chance to test out Pendo’s product first, building their conviction to speak with an account executive.
As we asked around, we realized that many of our portfolio companies were already in active buying cycles with Reprise, too. We spoke to sales engineers and leaders across sales, marketing, and customer success in our portfolio, and they all echoed the same sentiment: “We want to be product-led. Reprise allows us to do it. We can tell tailored stories to our prospects using our greatest asset, our product. And we can do it without burdening engineering or our sales engineers!”
Repeat Founders with Deep Expertise in Go-to-Market Software
It was no surprise to us that this immediately compelling product was built by an equally impressive founding team. Between Sam Clemens, Bryan Stevenson, Joe Caprio, and Evan Powell, they have led product, technology, sales and operations for go-to-market software companies both iconic and fast-emerging, including Hubspot, InsightSquared, and Chorus.ai. In every conversation we’ve had, our team has come away more excited and confident in their abilities and vision.
For most tech companies, your product is your best asset, so why not let the product sell itself? We are thrilled to be partnering with this team and empowering every company to employ product-led distribution. Success for Reprise would mean fewer sales meetings for buyers, higher close rates for sellers, and more productive growth for all.
Reprise is looking to grow their team to serve a robust customer pipeline. If you might be interested, any member of our BCV team would be happy to ensure your profile is considered; please feel free to reach out directly!