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min read
April 5, 2024

How to Use Self-Serve Demos in Blogs to Convert Customers: Interview with Nalin Senthamil

Parthi Loganathan
CEO of Letterdrop, former Product Manager on Google Search

B2B companies invest in content marketing with the goal of building an audience and turning visitors into customers. SEO, email marketing, and social marketing help attract and nurture leads at different steps of the funnel. But once they're already engaged with you, how do you push them to take the next step and sign up for a demo?

Giving your customers a quick look into what your product does is a really great way to get them to the "aha" moment of what you do, taking them from engaged reader to signed-up user.

That's where products like Storylane come in. Storylane produces demos that can be inserted at any point in the funnel. What's more, Storylane demos are persistent and interactive, which means they're not restricted to your first point of contact, but can spread out to other decision-makers and stakeholders.

We use Storylane ourselves to give leads a sneak peek into what Letterdrop can do to streamline their content teams. If you're a marketing leader looking to improve your funnel, check out Storylane and Letterdrop to boost your conversions with interactive demos and grow your top-of-funnel with content.

Nalin Senthamil, Storylane cofounder, was kind enough to join me for this interview.

What Is Storylane?

One of the most challenging parts of marketing is producing a compelling demo, especially if you're trying to pitch a complex software or service. It can seem impossible to highlight all of its features in a way that will turn leads into sales conversions.

What if there were a self-serve, interactive tool that could help you create a powerful, persuasive product demo in minutes?

That's the idea behind Storylane, a B2B SaaS company in the Bay Area.

The origin of Storylane traces itself to Kinderlime, where cofounders Nalin Senthamil and Akash Bansal were trying to solve the challenge of getting clients to turn up for demos.

They started by building a quick slideshow-like presentation of their product, and potential clients loved it. It was engaging, simple, and easy to understand. The demos were so good, they started landing more and better leads, which resulted in more sales.

Fast forward to 2021, when they launched Storylane at YC Demo Day.

Since then, Storylane has become the go-to platform for more than 40 companies in the B2B space, who use it to create compelling product demos quickly and easily.

A few days ago, Nalin was kind enough to join me for an interview.

What Kinds of Companies Can Benefit From Storylane's Self-Serve Demos?

These days every company is thinking about how to be product-led, but some companies—like Figma—are inherently product-led. With these companies, potential customers can just sign up and try the product.

Product-led companies are one category Storylane serves, but there's a second category—complex software—and it's hard to show complex software in a way that's compelling.

For complex software, Storylane demos are an easy way to show the intent of your product to your buyer efficiently, allowing them to experience it directly through an interactive demo. Marketing and sales departments in the complex-software category are seeing major benefits in using Storylane to demo their products.

Product-led companies also see the value in Storylane. They're often already using a freemium model to get leads engaged prior to purchase. But with so many products using this approach, potential customers can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of different product offers landing in their in-boxes. In these cases, Storylane steps in prior even to freemium engagement, reducing friction in the customer's selection process by demonstrating a product's value before commitment. Interactive demos encourage leads to commit to trying the freemium product.

So our clients include both categories—product-led and complex software companies.

How Are Storylane's Self-Serve Demos Used to Boost Conversions?

This depends on what part of the pipeline the customer is in. Most companies have an ideal conversion path, but real conversions rarely follow that path. B2B buyers want to see the product—that's number one. They're not going to buy something without trying it out—that's a given.

The way Storylane sees it is the demo doesn't fit in just one place in the conversion cycle, but throughout the entire process at key strategic points. On the one hand, I recommend inserting Storylane's demos at the top of the funnel— show how your product works as early on as possible. On the other hand, there are places to insert the demo down the line so that a potential customer can continue to interact with it. This gives your contact at a company the ability to share the demo with other stakeholders and decision-makers there.

We see Storylane as a PLG enabler. It adds leverage to your revenue teams.

What Kind of Lift Can a Company Expect from Using Storylane's Self-Serve Demos?

Quality Leads

A much higher quality of leads coming through the pipeline because the buyers are well-educated about the product. The result is less friction and less noise.

Higher Lead Volume

We see uptick in lead generation pipeline due to the effect of the demo when it's at the top of the funnel - on average we see more than 20% increase

Increased Closure Rates

Sales conversion time is reduced as well, with conversion rate going up, and this is due to the effect of the interactive demo further down the funnel. Live demos get spent on whatever audience recieves them—often just one person—but Storylane's interactive demos can be shared throughout the pipeline, at any stage of the process. This helps teams make collaborative purchasing decisions.

Partnership Training

Storylane can also be used for training purposes with partners. Using Storylane's interactive demos during training makes onboarding easier.

Since I Run a Content Ops Platform, I Have to Ask: How Can Storylane Work with Content that B2B Companies Create?

You can build out snippets of your product that show the key values of your page content. These interactive snippets can then be embedded on other platforms such as your website, email newsletter, or social media. Storylane provides an analytics tool to dissect the usage data so you can understand how well your demos are landing.

How Would You Sum Up Storylane?

Storylane is an interactive demo platform that works across all revenue teams at a company—a PLG enabler. It makes building product demos simple and easy to understand for customers.

Because of this, anybody—even without technical knowledge of your product or service—can use Storylane to build interactive demos that will generate more and better leads, aiding conversion.

He‎re is a Letterdrop interactive tour demonstrating how Storylane uses it to generate blog ideas:

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