Peter Cohan

A Demo Horror Story – Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

   A few years ago, while teaching a Great Demo! Workshop I presented a slide that listed outcomes of showing too many features in a demo. As I revealed a bullet that read, “Too Complicated” I heard a gentleman in the back of the room…

Discovery on the Fly? Some Plane Thinking

[A slightly edited excerpt from the new book Doing Discovery] “On the fly” is generally defined as doing something rapidly, without preparation, and on the spur of the moment. Most software organizations would refine this to combining a demo with di...

What is Lead Churn?

Have you ever reached out to a vendor to learn about an offering – and been refused? Have you ever clicked the “Book a Demo” button on a vendor’s website – and never saw a demo? How did you feel? What is the likelihood that…

The Content-Free Buzzword-Compliant Vocabulary List

“Our powerful software is flexible, intuitive, easy-to-use and integrates seamlessly with your other tools. Robust and scalable, your organization can enjoy the benefits of our best-of-breed world-class offering.” How many times have you heard these...

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 you ask,…

Presales Tools Summary – April 2022

Here is a listing of presales tools that we’ve explored, including a paragraph from the vendor and our comments for many of these offerings. This is not comprehensive! The market is developing rapidly, with new tools appearing every month (it seems) ...

Stunningly Awful Demos – Buying It Back

Are you Buying It Back? Have you ever been in a situation where your prospect said, “In your demo, you showed us a bunch of stuff that we’ll never use – and we don’t want to pay for capabilities that we won’t use, so either…

Assessing Demonstration Skill Levels – How Does Your Team Rate?

Many presales and sales practitioners say they are skilled at doing demos – but are they?  Organizations that achieve Level 12 enjoy remarkable scaling and amplification results and establish substantial competitive advantages vs. their peers. ...

Stunningly Awful Demos: Insufficient Customization

Many vendors say that their demos are “customized” – but are they sufficiently customized? I recently saw demos from a vendor that all followed exactly the same script – the “customization” consisted of questions from the presenter about the degree ...

A Dinner Party as an Analogy for Discovery

You’ve invited a large number of friends and colleagues over for a dinner party – how do you prepare?  As you begin planning for your party, you realize that it’s a big job and you want to make sure the party is a success –…

Solutioning?

Intriguingly, in spite of job titles that include Solutions Consultant, Solutions Architect, and Solutions Engineer, there is little discussion of the associated skill of solutioning and its impact on a broad range of other presales activities. [Note ...

Presales Metrics – What to Measure and Why

With the appearance of presales-focused tools and products, presales managers and leadership now have the opportunity to track activities and establish metrics.  But what should be tracked?  What should be the measures? Contemplate the foll...

Hybrid Demo Meetings – The Challenges of Mixed Face-to-Face and Remote Audiences

What is the strategy for handling situations where you are face-to-face with one group of prospects and other participants are connecting remotely?  Treat the entire session as if it is a virtual demo! Background In the (ever-changing) New Nor...

Automated Demo Content – Getting It Right

You’ve been asked to put together the content for an automated or recorded demo – where do you start?  What should be included? Some (Important) Perspective Traditionally, different departments within a vendor often want to “own” their organiz...

Discovery and Demos for Transactional Sales Cycles – When More Must Be Less (And...

Is it possible to complete an introduction, engage with a Vision Generation Demo, segue into a Discovery conversation, deliver a brief Technical Proof Demo, and execute a soft close in a 45- or 60-minute call? Yes! Let’s explore the strategy and mec...

Expansion Questions – An Essential Discovery Skill

Expansion Questions are a series of interrelated questions designed to span five of the Discovery skills levels, from uncovering pain to reengineering vision.  They are a simple, yet essential skill to master in doing Discovery – enabling vendor...

Assessing Discovery Skill Levels – How Does Your Team Rate?

Many sales and presales practitioners say they are skilled at doing Discovery – but are they?  Here’s a simple method to assess, based on five levels of increasing proficiency: Level 1:  Uncovers statements of pain. Level 2:  Uncovers ...

Success-Ready Leads: A Provocative Definition of “Qualified Lead” Based on Customer Success Parameters ...

Here’s a novel idea:  Front-load your pipeline with prospects that are most likely to succeed! How?  Consider filtering and qualifying prospects based on expected outcomes – how closely do prospects compare with existing customers who are ...

The Advantages of Being the Incumbent Vendor

The Advantages of Being the Incumbent Vendor – And Its Impact on Managing Competition, Renewals and Expansion Sales “Get their data, and their hearts and minds will follow” Michael Cusumano, The Business of Software Let’s explore some of the advanta...

Lunch and Learn Demos

Lunch and Learn demo meetings are terrific vehicles for securing renewals and driving expansion.   For those who are unfamiliar, these sessions are typically presented by presales or customer success folks to existing user populations or to mix...

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