A Novel Thought About Screening Candidates For Presales Positions


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How do we assess theskills and competence of candidates for presales positions? I look carefully at resumes, but there is awonderful expression that “you are perfect twice in your life: once when you are born and the second time onyour resume…” References are important,of course, as are typical interview questions. However, I like to ask candidates for three additional opportunities toevaluate them:
1. Ask them to do apresentation on a subject near and dear to their hearts to evaluate theirability to “tell” (many hiring managers do this today).

2. Ask them to perform aDiscovery session with you, on a topic they know intimately such as their currentcompany’s offerings, to evaluate their ability to “ask”. This is rather novel, I think, and may helpto uncover presales people that are particularly strong at doing Discovery.

3. As them to present a demobased on what they learned in their Discovery session with you, to see how wellthey listened and incorporated what they learned into their demo – and to evaluatetheir demo-specific delivery skills (extra points for structuring their demo ina Great Demo! format, of course!).

This strategy gives youan opportunity to evaluate candidates’ ability to “tell”, “ask”, “listen”, and “show”.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peter Cohan
Have you ever seen a bad software demonstration? Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of Great Demo!, focused on helping software organizations improve the success rates of their demos. He authored Great Demo! - how to prepare and deliver surprisingly compelling software demonstrations. Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development. He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.


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