Peter Cohan

A Story of LEGO Bricks, Software Demos, and Vision Generation

The wonderful thing about “toolkit” software offerings is that they can do so many things – the challenge is that the customer often doesn’t know what’s possible – they have no vision of a solution… The Set-up I was preparing for a Great Demo! Workshop…

A Humbling, Yet Valuable Lesson

I was delivering a Great Demo! Workshop last week in Europe to an international audience and during our first break, a woman came up to me and asked me to: Slow down a bit and Be a bit more careful with my choice of words.…

What’s the Value of Better Demos?

For the clueless, not a thing.  (Yes, there are those who believe their demos are just fine – no reason to change or improve.  Let them continue with that belief…!) But for those who are awake and aware, better demos are exceptionally valuable… On a…

How Would You Feel If…? A Hospital Example of Daily-use vs. Set-up Mode

--> Imagine you go to the hospital emergency room because you think you may have broken a bone in your arm… You arrive and: The ER admissions person greets you, but then takes you through a presentation of how the hospital was built, where the…

Rescue – From the Tyranny of Traditional Demos

Ask yourself: ·      Have you ever felt like you have far too much to show in a demo – and insufficient time to show it?  ·      Have you ever said, “I’d like this to be interactive…” but you don’t get many questions? ·      And when…

Stunningly Awful Sales Outcomes – the Opportunity That Just Wouldn’t Close

Getting Critical Dates from prospects is very often neglected, but is surprisingly significant…  There are typically three reasons why a sales opportunity goes to “No Decision”: Customer agrees there is a problem, but doesn’t perceive it as Critical Customer doesn’t see the Value There is…

Stunningly Awful Remote Demos – The Top Ten List of Inflicting Pain at a...

Would you like a horror story? I do a lot of “prep” demos with my customers, asking them to present live demos to me, over the web.  I had been working with a customer and had seen demos from two presales folks up to this...

What Can We Learn by Analyzing 67,439 Software Demos? – Some Surprising New Insights

What can we learn by analyzing 67,439 software demos?  A great deal…! Surprising Insight Number 1:  Traditional linear, end-to-end and overview demos are NOT a strategy for success. Surprising Insight Number 2:  The early portions of the demo should NOT be about the vendor or…

Stunningly Awful Demos – The Great Demo! Top Ten List of What NOT to...

Here’s a collection of poor tactics, bad errors and faulty steps you can take to increase the likelihood that your demo will be a failure.  We recommend that you avoid doing these things!  If your organization’s demos are not as successful as you might wish,...

Disasters Neatly Averted – Dealing with “Day-in-the-Life” Demos

A colleague once cynically commented, in response to a request for a “day-in-the-life” demo, “Give me a week and I can show you a day-in-the-life…”  Very clever, but still painful!  Day-in-the-life demos are challenging, so here are some Great Demo! principles you can apply...

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Great Demo! Excellence

The following interview transcript offers some intriguing insights into demos, Great Demo! methodology, doing Discovery, and offers some potentially surprising (and highly useful) recommendations for coaching to improve demo skills.  Enjoy! Refract Interviewer:  Tell us a little bit about Second Derivative, Peter, and what Great...

Some Insights into Challenger…

A number of people have commented that “we don’t need to do Discovery” when using the Challenger sales methodology…  They are wrong! The Challenger and Insight-oriented sales methodologies have largely come about, I believe, because marketing has failed to accomplish its job, in many organizations....

Stunningly Awful Demos – Lost in the Weeds

(The Elegant Art of Managing Questions and Time) You are in the midst of delivering a demo and things are going well…  Somebody asks a question and you answer it, then start to return to your planned demo – but he asks a follow-up question. ...

When Was the Last Time YOU Were a Customer?

Great Demo! is all about the customer’s perspective – what is it the customer is looking for in the demo, what do they want out of the interaction.  This suggests two recommendations: Recommendation Number 1:  Go be a customer. Many presales folks that were hired…

Stunningly Awful Demos – The Relative Irrelevance of Set-Up Mode

It’s Monday morning and you’ve just arrived in your office – what is the first thing you do?  Build a brand new dashboard or report Set up your user account and preferences for software you already use everyday Configure the options for another software tool…

Vision Generation Demos – The Crisp Cure for Stunningly Awful Harbor Tours

What is a Vision Generation demo?  It is just enough demo to generate a vision in the customer’s mind that a solution to a business challenge is possible – and to enable a Discovery conversation to take place.  A Vision Generation demo should only take...

Unconsciously Incompetent Managers – The Impact of the 4 Stages on Coaching

How many newly-minted managers are promoted into their managerial roles from individual contributor positions?  And how many of these new managers are provided with training on how to be a manager? Far too often, managers are promoted and, because they are now managers, it is...

How Does Your CUSTOMER Know When You’ve Done Enough Discovery?

Discovery is done not just for your sake as the vendor, but (even more importantly) for your customer to feel comfortable about your proposed solution.  So, how do you know when you’ve done enough Discovery for your customer’s sake? For a medical doctor, it is...

Getting Pre-Demo Info from Sales People

Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges faced by presales folks is the lack of information provided by sales before a demo.  “Just give them an overview” is what we often hear – resulting in the dreaded Harbor Tour demo...  Here are a few suggestions...

Asking More Questions – Why?

Surprisingly, I often hear the following observation from Great Demo! Workshop alumni:  “Some of our sales people are concerned when we start asking questions about customers’ Critical Business Issue vs. pains, Problems and Reasons. They say we are digging too deep with questions for...

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