Trialforce: Demo Technology to Accelerate Sales

If you aren’t familiar with Trialforce, it is an incredibly powerful tool that Salesforce provides to ISVs and OEMs to replicate pre-configured demo environment for your Sales team and partners. Free trials are an expected norm on the Salesforce AppExchange and this technology enables your sales team in a few different ways to reduce sales cycles and maintain control of the trial experience. Customers typically can trial an application from the AppExchange in Production or a Sandbox but this technology unlocks a third option that improves deal velocity.

 

Trialforce use cases for ISVs:

  • Provide demo environments to your registered SI or ISV partners that have pre-configured data as a partner benefit – these default to an expiration 30 days after creation, but are easily extended with a partner support case with the orgID
  • Provide demo environments for the sales teams to reduce LOE when tailoring a demonstration for a client or partner, pre-populated with fictitious data and generic configuration of your solution
  • QA environments for your dev teams
  • Trial environment for business users – oftentimes, especially in the enterprise, your customer contact won’t be able to install your application in a Sandbox or Production so they either need to submit a request to IT (delays!!) or will hit a wall completely with IT prior to evaluating your solution. A trialforce environment allows them to work with you in a separate instance that circumvents their internal controls. You can create a publicly facing form on your website to allow for self-service if you want to offer this.

 

General Trial Best Practices:

When a client or partner asks you for a Trial, a Proof of Concept, or a Pilot it is a best to start by understanding what they are looking to achieve by doing this work. When you ask them, you will likely hear something like “I want to kick the tires” or “I want to play around with it”. I encourage you to not let them off that easy and work with them to define success criteria that they can collaborate with you on. A great response would be “That makes sense and we are happy to work with you on it. If I could ask you a couple of questions, I can ensure that you are setup for the best path that balances level of effort with alignment to your business processes.”

  • When you say _________________(i.e. kick the tires), what business processes are you looking to ensure work with the solution?
  • If you were to make a list, what are the top 3 items that you would want to make sure a trial demonstrates?
  • Rather than replicate your end-to-end process, can we take an example one (maybe the most complex!) and show you what it would look like?
  • Does IT or your Salesforce admin team have a spare full sandbox available for this? This tends to be a challenge as they are almost always in use and a config-only sandbox won’t bring across a lot of the data that would make it a meaningful trial experience
  • During the __-day trial, could we setup weekly 30-minute status calls to review our progress against the list we just discussed? Between those meetings, we can email back and forth for support or even create a private slack channel if that’s easier.

 

If custom demo builds and trials are extending your sales processes and using up your internal resources, set up a call to connect with Invisory who can offer best practices for managing demo environments at your organization. These environments are separate from your SDO (Simple Demo Org) strategy when interacting with Salesforce SEs, that is another important topic we will cover separately. If you want more information, take a look at the Trialforce Trailhead Module.

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Trialforce is an incredibly powerful tool that Salesforce provides to ISVs and OEMs to replicate pre-configured demo environment for your Sales team & partners.