Peter Cohan

If Everyone Says Their RFP Win Rates Are Really Bad Then…

It suddenly struck me, if everyone says that their RFP win rates are really bad, then … who’s winning all those RFPs?  Hmmmm…  In addition to losing to competitors, is it possible that a large percent of RFPs end up as “No Decision”?  I...

Let’s Talk About Value – Uncovering the Delta

To paraphrase Mark Twain’s comment about the weather, everyone talks about value, but very few people actually do something about it.  Clearly value is important:  Insufficient perception of value is one of the three main reasons that sales opportunities end up as a “No...

ZoomIt – Annotations When Using Lync (and other tools) for Remote Demos

While I generally recommend WebEx and GoToMeeting for Remote Demos, largely due to their imbedded annotations capabilities, there is now a viable option for Lync and other packages that lack annotation capabilities (the ability to draw over the live application that is being demonstrated): ...

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. - About 70% of their teams...

Presales Anxiety – Not Knowing All of the Answers…

Many presales people share concerns about being sufficiently deep with respect to product knowledge (and industry knowledge, and customer knowledge, and competitor knowledge, and 3rd party knowledge, and systems knowledge, and VM’s and laptops and tablets and smart-phones and on and on…). A...

Land and Expand Great Demo! Tactics

Here are a number of Great Demo! tactics that folks have reported have been working particularly well for teams doing “Land and Expand”: - Transition Vision and tracking through Value Realization: Customers will only expand their licenses...

Implementing Methodology Training – How to Move the 40%

In most organizations, participants of any methodology or skills training tend to cluster into three groups: - Group A: Those who “Get It” – they understand the new concepts and are eager, comfortable and confident...

Skills Training and Managers – The Good, the Bad, and the Truly Ugly

See if this sounds familiar: a manager organizes skills training for his/her team and, on the day of the training, the manager kicks things off and then disappears. Assuming that the manager has not had this particular skills training, what’s wrong with...

Transition Vision and Value Realization

Have you ever made a major software purchase? What happened the moment you issued that purchase order – and when was that pressure finally released? Typical sales people pursue the process through getting the order. Good sales teams follow it through the implementation and the...

Twas the Night Before The Big Demo

Twas the Night Before The Big Demo (with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore) 'Twas the night 'fore the demo and all through the house Not a creature was stirring, 'cept my SC and his mouse; I'd proposed a big licensing deal with great care In…

Stunningly Awful Sales Kickoff Demos

Stunningly Awful Sales Kickoff Demos Selling to Your Sales Force – The Toughest Customer of All! Cries of “Who cares?”, “So what?” and “What’s this goodfor?” issue from the more vocal members of the audience – and everyone else appears to be apathetic....

Stunningly Awful Demo Outcomes – Why Objections Shouldn’t Need To Be Overcome

"Help me understand how to handle customer objections…" "My team needs to learn how to handle objections…" What's wrong with these requests? Many sales methodologies discuss ways to "overcome objections". Many sales managers ask for skills training for their teams on "overcoming objections". Is it...

Stunningly Awful Demo Strategy: Set-up vs. Daily Use Modes

Most traditional demos follow an illogical pathway to show vendor offerings – they spend far too much showing "Set-up" mode vs. "Daily Use" situations. This results in confused audiences and customers' perception that the software is "too complicated". (Ever had that happen?) For...

The Best Demo Is: No Demo!

A demo is, generally speaking, a form of proof or vision generation. Our objective in sales is to secure the order using the leastexpensive form of proof. With that in mind, here, in order of increasing expense for the vendor, are forms...

Competitive Differentiation – Why Did They Buy From You?

The best sales teams go back to their customers well after the sale has been completed and ask, "So, what made you choose us ?" The answers are sometimes what you expect, but often you learn surprising new information on how customers perceive...

The Insufficiency of “So What?”

A number of sales methodologies have done a good job at helping sales and presales people move from talking about features to discussing the advantages that specific capabilities offer the customer. The phrase, "So What?" represents one tactic that helps push vendor representatives...

Stunningly Awful vs. Truly Terrific Competitive Differentiation – What, When, and How

Competitive Differentiation: vendors want to differentiate, vendors try to differentiate, but most vendors fail to meaningfully and successfully differentiate, in the opinion of their customers. When done poorly, differentiation can be stunningly awful; when done well it can be truly terrific! ...

Database/Toolkit Software and Vision Generation: Ingredients vs. Finished Product

Database and similar "toolkit" software are wonderful in that they can do so many things. The corresponding challenge is that database and toolkit software can be difficult to present to customers who don't alreadyhave a vision of how they want to use these...

End-to-End Integrated Overview Full Suite Demo – Analogies and a Few Solutions

The Situation: Management wants the presales team to show an "end-to-end overview integrated demo of our full suite…" as a part of a typical "introductory" meeting. Management is convinced that "customers need to see the power of the integrated suite and all of the...

“All You Can Eat” Buffet / Smorgasbord – and Price

Showing too many capabilities (that the customer does not perceive they will use) can cause vendors to "buy it back" when it is time to discuss price. An "All You Can Eat" buffet offers a good analogy in the world of restaurants and...

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