Wouldn't it make more sense to let potential users try out the product, as is the norm in B2C, leading to more client engagement and potentially more traction? And what's all the secrecy about?
I agree with folks. It's annoying. It also doesn't give you a real good idea of how their service will work for YOU. It gives them a chance to showcase something that has worked well for someone else.
That said, sometimes it comes down to overhead and all those lovely acronyms: MRR, CAC, LTV, and so on.
There's some really, REALLY poorly designed software out there. Businesses favor speed over quality. So they built a SaaS that is expensive to host but they recover it in the costs. This puts live trials out of reach for them (sometimes). They likely do it for very select prospects.
If they gave you a month or 3 month trial, they could be spending a couple hundred dollars...Eh call it $100/mo. in hosting the server and database. That's $300 now just to give you a trial. What's the % of people using trials who convert to paying customers? Can't be high in this case, right?
This all goes into the cost to acquire the customer (along with ads, etc.) and it must be below the life time value of the customer.
However. If you provide someone with a demo that can be hosted on cheaper hardware and/or can be re-used among multiple people... Now your cost to acquire drops way way down.
I don't think it's always about secrecy. I honestly don't think there's anything in the services you mentioned that couldn't be copied.