The tool space supporting these demos is getting much more sophisticated, with many virtual sales-engagement solutions, also known as cloud-based collaboration tools, allowing vendors to place fully functional copies of their products in a cloud environment, and share these now-online ”virtual” products with leads, prospects and customers
The advantage of doing remote sessions is massive. I did 5 demos in one day recently, which would have been impossible without webinar tools. Although it isn't a complete replacement for visiting your customers, there are many ways this does extend the reach of the sales organisation (or the support or services branches) at a very low cost.
A good Sales Engineer or salesperson would follow up all virtual sessions with calls and visits if possible where it looks possible to build on the quick and early gain made by the virtual session.
With the newer tools in the marketplace however, it becomes possible to run evaluations and Proof of Concept (PoC) activities through the use of these tools. This is a great advantage, as often the hassle of getting hardware for an onsite PoC slows or kills off many deals, whereas an unassisted evaluation often will lead to failure.
Cloudshare for Sales is a tool which allows this in a flexible and accessible way, without wasting the resources of both sides. It gives the vendor control of the process still, yet allows running multiple activities in parallel, and means that activities that would normally have to be done on-site, to be done remotely.
Some customers may still want on-site activities though, as data protection is often cited as a key requirement for some evaluations.