Peter Cohan

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...

Frightening Statistics on Doing Discovery

I’ve done some informal interviews with heads of sales and presales recently and uncovered the following, rather consistent statements: - Heads of sales and presales tell me that about 10% of their teams actually do Discovery very well.  - They also say that about 70%...

Stunningly Awful Car Sales Demo

This is a great (sad) story, contributed by Mike Horsfall, a Great Demo! Workshop alumnus: Recently we had a hail storm and there was so much damage to my car that the insurance company “totaled” it, thus I had to look for a replacement. So…

Checklists and Demos

Airplane pilots use checklists to make sure they do the right things as much of the time as possible (like always).  Checklists dramatically reduce the risk of bad things happening.  Should we apply the same principle to the wonderful world of demos?  (Everyone, say...

Stunningly Awful Demo Phrases

Here are a handful of phrases that we often hear from software vendors in demo meetings, followed by what the customer thinks in response… Vendor Says:  “Let me tell you a bit about our company…” Customer Thinks:  Nope, no need to – we wouldn’t have…

Observations, Progress and Habits – Accelerating Learning For Demo Skills

Interestingly, it turns out that nearly every culture around the world uses onions as one of foundation ingredients in cooking.  Why?  the compounds that make us cry when cutting onions become preservatives and/or antibacterials/antifungals when cooked – making cooked food last longer and safer...

Stunningly Awful On-Boarding Demos – The Trouble Begins

“Learn the demo…” the group of newly hired presales folks are told, “and when you think you’re ready, we’ll have you present the demo back to us.  If you do well, you’ll be certified and ready to start presenting to customers.”  What’s wrong with...

How Much Demo Do You Need? (“Just the right amount, please…”)

Imagine yourself as a customer in the following situation:  You’ve decided you need to improve your sales forecast and pipeline management system – you are using Excel today and it just isn’t sufficient anymore.  You’ve just started to explore what kinds of new tools...

Land and Expand: The Importance of the Delta

No CFO will approve a major expansion of software without a clear understanding of the value equation.  The challenge, often, is that the people who bought the 1 or 2 seats of the original “Land” purchase generally don’t have the experience to uncover and...

The REAL Buyer Stages…

Traditionally, vendors identify a set of Buyer Stages – the steps and thinking that a customer goes through en route to purchasing a product.  I think the traditional list is inaccurate and doesn’t reflect reality.  Here’s one example of the traditional list: “Classically, there are...

Early Adopters vs. Majority Prospects: Features vs. Solutions – and Doing Discovery

Early Adopters and Technology Adopters are inadvertently training us to deliver feature/function “Harbor Tour” demos…  But it’s not their fault; it’s ours…! Early Adopters and Technology Adopters love to hear and talk about new features and cool capabilities – and often identify problems themselves that...

Problem Solvers vs. Problem Finders

The world today respects problem solvers – without question.  Intriguingly, however, many senior managers are now assigning even higher value to problem finders or problem identifiers.  In the current regime of big-data-what-question-would-you-like-to-ask, people who can identify insightful questions to ask may be providing higher...

Technology Adoption Curve – And the Degree of Proof Your Customers Require

A simple way to tell where your customers are on the technology adoption curve is to assess the degree of proof they require prior to making a purchase. For example, very early in the development of a market, when you are presenting to Innovators and...

Other Vendors’ Demos – Great Source for Learning

I’m occasionally surprised to find presales staff who have never seen another vendor’s demo – not even demos from a competitor…  (So, if you haven’t seen demos from other vendors, it is time to do so!) For everyone, occasionally watching demos from other vendors is...

Uses (and Cautions) of Recorded Demos

Recorded demos offer some wonderful opportunities for delivering content – but need to be used with careful regards to your objectives and customer situations. Here are a few quick guidelines to contemplate: Training: - Excellent application. -...

Stunningly Awful Sales Tactics – The Future-Sales Prevention Team

Stunningly Awful Sales Tactics – The Future-Sales Prevention Team Or The Curse of the Hunter-Farmer Model Are your sales teams traditional, better or truly great? Contemplate the following (ugly) scenario: A customer calls his sales person to ask for help implementing software he purchased recently...

When the Best Solution Is NOT Your Offering

Have you ever found, when doing Discovery with a prospect, that the problem they face may not be best addressed by your offering – that another organization’s product would be better choice for them?  Do you go ahead and propose your offering anyway or...

Stunningly Awful Demo Communication – Unencrispening the Demo

The higher the customer’s job title, typically, the stronger is their desire for vendors to be crisp, focused and precise in their communications.  “Get to the point!” is what many senior managers are thinking, even if they don’t say it out loud.  Instead, their...

Difficulties in Demonstrating Toolkit and Toolbox Software

Many organizations don’t describe their offerings as complete applications, but rather as toolkits or toolboxes – and very often struggle to find effective ways to demonstrate them and communicate value.  Toolkit offerings enable enormous flexibility, but may demand an ability to visualize what end...

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