• Matthew Lerner

4 calls to action that work better than "book a demo."

If your conversion to “Book a demo” is below 2%, here's 4 proven alternatives.

First, why doesn’t “Book a Demo” convert?

Most B2B SAAS sites invite visitors to “book a demo,” but 98% of them never do. And why would they? Would you like to book a half-hour Zoom with a salesperson? Exactly. Even though nobody wants to “book a demo,” it doesn’t mean they’re bad prospects.

Truth is, many of your visitors would be happy to get going right now, but first, they want to know how much it costs and if the product meets their needs. Unless a customer is super desperate or already sold, they’re not going to want a “demo."

What to do instead?

Think about it from your visitor’s standpoint, why did they visit your site? (Nobody browses B2B sites just for fun, it's not a hobby.) They’re working on a project, trying to achieve a specific goal, and hoping you can help them. They want to make progress and cross something off their to-do list. But “book a demo” doesn’t feel like progress, it feels like delay.

Simple next steps

Think about the specific progress your prospects are trying to make, and how you can help them right away. Here are a few next steps you can offer, depending on the current state of your product:

  1. If the product is ready for self-serve onboarding, let them start using it (e.g. free trial or freemium). But don’t just say “free trial.” Give them a specific outcome they’ll be excited about. For example, Doodle’s signup button says “create a poll” and Audiens promises Klaviyo users can “Get your first 7 insights” to boost engagement.

  2. If the product is not ready for self-serve onboarding, then let people book an onboarding call, rather than a sales demo. Because “onboarding” feels like progress. (And try to be available right away while they’re on your site).

  3. If most of your visitors need to ask questions, leverage Live Chat, and ask them “Did you find what you were looking for?” (Don’t ask “do you have any questions.” Here’s why.) Write down the most common questions so you can answer them on your site.

  4. If your product has a long consideration cycle, try offering something useful in the short term as a “lead magnet.” For example, our coaching programme is not an impulse buy. So instead, we offer visitors a free workshop on how to hire brilliant growth marketers, because we know that if you’re hiring marketers now, you’ll probably need our help in a few months. And SaaS company Rebank offers this Finance for Founders guide to generate leads for their B2B payments SAAS.

These options aren’t exclusive, #3 and #4 work well with either #1 or #2.

Bottom line is this — nobody wants to book a demo. So, start by figuring out what your prospects actually want, and offer them a path to that goal instead.

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