The co-founder and CEO of Walnut.io shares how his SaaS startup equips sales teams with the tools they need to increase performance with a consistent, seamless and successful product demo.
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Co-founder and CEO Yoav Vilner believes that, out of all of the challenges business-to-business (B2B) companies face, demonstrating the product is the toughest nut to crack. That’s why he named his company Walnut.io. Vilner is a startup mentor, entrepreneur and marketer who has founded several successful companies throughout his career. He sat down with Jessica Abo to talk about how his startup is reshaping the product demo experience with a codeless approach.
Jessica Abo: What were you doing in your career when you came up with this idea?
Yoav Vilner: When I was 22, I launched Israel’s first startup marketing company. I noticed that all of my 600 clients had spent a lot of money on getting a prospect’s attention, up until the moment they had to show them a live demo of the product, and then 90% of the time, it failed.
How does your platform work?
Let’s say you have a cyber client, you have a media client, and you want to show them more customized and personalized experiences — not like your generic dashboard, which is what we found to be selling much, much better. We duplicate the front-end from their real dashboards and replicate it to our cloud environment. It’s not connected to your back-end anymore. You start customizing the demo experience that your client is going to see, just like you would edit a Wix website. You can customize and personalize every visual element of your dashboard, which usually would take a few weeks of ping-pong between sales and R&D and product and design people. You can just do it in a few minutes. It’s not a video. It’s not a mockup. It’s not a PowerPoint presentation. And you end up showing your prospect something that you customized. The prospect doesn’t know [that you didn’t write any code], right? He doesn’t care. He wants to see a better sales experience. He wants to see something customized and not something generic. And companies just sell way, way better when they perform this way.
What are some of the benefits of using this platform?
There are a lot of struggles between the sales team and the other teams: R&D, product, design. There’s a lot of friction between them. The sales team can go on and ask, “Can you please not touch production? I’m going on a live demo with Microsoft. I don’t want our product to break.” You need to ask the design people, “Can you add a feature? Remove a feature?” You need to ask the product people for a favor. And they’re so busy and stressed, they’re not going to help out. So there’s a lot of time, money and resources you’re saving if you just keep the entire process within the sales team. And now there is a new wave of options for you to actually customize it within just a few minutes.
That’s not all: The unique insights and analytics our platform provides gives team leaders a first-of-its-kind clarity into the entire process.
What do you think are some of the mistakes companies make when creating a product demo?
I would say that providing the same experience to several different verticals of clients is a major mistake. If you think about it from the consumer world, Google matches search results according to your location, age and browsing history. I think it’s time for B2B companies to start keeping up and matching with the consumer space. There’s a lot of room for low-touch sales. There’s a lot of room for customized experiences. And this is where everything is going. You’ve just got to do it right.