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Interview: Anna Decroix of Demoboost

Anna Decroix is Demoboost‘s co-founder and CMO. Following their recent funding news, we reached out to her to talk about their next steps, their product, the fast-growing demo market, and the importance of the presales role in SaaS companies. We also discussed her experiences prior to joining Demoboost, and got her opinion, as a remote co-founder in Australia, on what it’s like starting up in Poland.

Tell us about yourself. What brought you to the startup world?

I had a well-established career in the corporate world, but have always perceived myself as an entrepreneur- a term I learnt existed for entrepreneurs within established organisations. I come from a very entrepreneurial family. So taking initiative, trying to find new ways of doing things and accepting calculated risks is in my blood.

In my last role as Marketing Director at Dyson I developed a passion for the tech industry. As a client of different tech solutions, I was really fascinated to see how dynamic and fast-moving this universe was. My way of getting involved was through start-up mentoring at the University of Technology in Sydney.

As I was contacted by the Demoboost team very early on, I was super excited to participate in developing their go-to-market strategy for this start up. From the beginning, I thought that the team was exceptional and we simply gelled. I loved the drive, energy, work ethic and vision we were developing together.

Also, building on my experience as a tech buyer, I knew that Demoboost was a game changer when it comes to selling software. I knew for a fact that I would have loved the vendors to share a demo of their product with me.

One thing led to another and I started selling Demoboost in the APAC region pretty much the same time as we kicked off sales in Europe. And it was the contact with the clients and their feedback that became the last push I needed to change my career and join Demoboost on a full time basis.

How is it to start up in Poland, how do you assess the startup ecosystem there?
I am very impressed by Poland’s start-up ecosystem. I will start with the investors. Having gone through the process of securing the funds we met several organisations in Poland. We learnt from each of those conversations.

We are very lucky to be supported by Movens Capital and Business Angels like Rafal Brzoska, Szymon Walach Piotra & Tomasz Krwatka and Maciej Zawadzinski. From the very beginning, we were very clear that it’s not only funds that we are after but also mentoring. We simply couldn’t ask for more!

We have a very close relationship with all of them and that gives us access to experts, networks and established playbooks. They have been through this process so many times themselves- it really is great to be able to tap into their experience.

Secondly, fellow start up-ers! There are so many well-established businesses that we are looking up to in Poland! And as a general rule, I feel that they are very open to giving back to the community. So many times have we just contacted people on Linkedin to bounce off some ideas, get reference checks on candidates or discuss specific business issues- we always got fantastic support.

Last but not least, talent in Poland is great. Here too we were so lucky to have found incredible team members with brilliant experience in different organisations that were willing to join a start-up at this early stage.

All in all, I think that Poland is a great place to build a startup!

You raised a round of funding during tense times for the capital market. How was your experience?
In a way, I believe that the current market condition could have had a positive impact on our funding round. It does feel that in those tense times the VCs are probably more selective and rigorous in choosing the businesses they want to back.

Going through this process is an incredible learning experience. Sometimes the VCs were asking great questions that we hadn’t asked ourselves yet, which in result was opening conversations and new ideas.

One could think that the time spent pitching to VCs is only taking the founders off of the business. For us, each meeting helped us strengthen our value proposition or GTM plans.

Let’s talk about Demoboost. What do you do, in plain language?

Demoboost is a no-code demo platform that helps SaaS organisations build and personalise product demos in minutes, without any technical skills.

Those interactive, 100% clones of the product- demos can then be shared and tracked. All that to create the most buyer-friendly sales process to close more deals faster. 

How do you differ from other startups helping to improve the demo experience?
Demo is definitely a hot space in the SaaS world and several organisations are having a stab at solving the accompanying issues.

At Demoboost we believe that a demo is a means to an end and it should be easy and quick to produce, but the end result should blow the clients’ minds.

With that in mind, we try to simplify the demo creation process while building out a set of ‘WOW Features’, that are enhancing the demo experience.

We provide superior navigation or collaboration capabilities while providing deep insights into the lead journey and demo performance. 

What is your traction so far?
It’s been really great! We have clients around the world- from the US, through Germany, of course, Poland, but also India, Hong Kong and Australia.

Our clients range in industry and size- from cybersecurity, through EdTech to Fintech and from enterprise to start-ups.

We are confident that Demoboost is solving a major pain point of SaaS organisations around the world. 

Tell us about your target audience and clientele. Who are they and where are they from?
We usually start the conversation with the sales and presales teams. They experience the pains of producing and sharing the demos on daily basis.

However, very quickly after presenting Demoboost to them, we meet marketers, business development, channel management or customer success teams. Demoboost has a very versatile application throughout the business and our clients are very creative in finding new use cases. 

As an example, one of our clients in the US is pushing the boundaries of onboarding time and is using Demoboost-powered demos in the recruitment process to see how candidates for sales roles can deliver a demo using established demo flow and speaker notes.

So for now sales are pre-sales are our primary target audience but we are very excited to discover more use cases with our clients. 

Enlighten us on the presales role, which is often mentioned. What is it, and why is it so in demand?
Presales are a critical function in a SaaS organisation. Presales (or Solution Engineers) are the demo masterminds.

Today’s buyers expect to be able to access relevant product information fast, if not immediately. They also want to touch and feel the product before they buy. That is why demos are now crucial not only to close the deal, but also to generate interest, qualify the lead or onboard.

Historically, Presales were more of a sales support function, but with the growing demand for demos across the funnel, they touch the entire buyer journey from initial interest through evaluation, purchasing decision and ongoing expansion. 

Presales are not demo assistants anymore and rather have the ability to champion the buyer’s journey with expert knowledge and authentic human connection.

We know that close rates of deals supported by presales are 2x higher than the ones without their support. However, there are simply not enough of them to support each deal in the business.

Using Demoboost, however- really solves this issue. Demoboost empowers presales to own the sales narrative through the entire sales journey and enables them to give each deal adequate support. 

What’s next for Anna and Demoboost?
Our ambition is to become the leader in the demo experience category. The feedback we are receiving from our clients is giving us confidence that our vision is unique and solves real pain points in the ‘demo-ing’ process.

Thanks to the new funds we are able to triple the size of our development team to materialise this vision asap.

On top of building out a fantastic tool, we will also be supporting our clients with methodology and playbooks for the usage of the automated, interactive demo to build the most buyer’s friendly sales process. 

What’s the best way for people to stay updated with the latest from you?
Please do visit our website and social media profiles – LinkedIn and Twitter. The entire team is also open to feedback and comments, so feel free to reach us directly on our personal LinkedIn profiles.

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