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 fresh out of school (or a few years out of school) have never interacted with a vendor as a customer –and have never seen any other vendors’ demos. This makes it very hard for them to understand what it is like to be a customer.
So, give them homework. Tell them, “Go find a software product you are potentially interested in and request a demo from that vendor’s website – and see what happens. Go through their process: how long before someone calls you, what do they ask about you, what does the demo seem like, etc. Go be a customer…! (No obligation to purchase, of course).
People often report how surprised they were at what happened and how they were treated – it can be eye-opening!
Recommendation Number 2: Go be a customer.
Many seasoned presales veterans have forgotten what it is like to be on the customer side of the table. Regain that lost perspective by executing the exact same homework, as above – sign-up for a demo of a product you have some interest in – and see how you are treated as a customer. Some things to note:
– How long before you are contacted by the vendor?
– What amount of Discovery do they do (or is it simply a few quick “qualification” questions)?
– Do they inflict a corporate overview presentation – and/or a product overview?
– Do they present a standard “overview” demo or really try to customize it to your specific situation?
– If they are presenting over the web, how much interactivity do they drive?
Now, contemplate your own organization’s demos – how different are they from what you just experienced?