Peter Cohan

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...

Why DID They Buy? – Fabulous Fuel for Sales, Presales and Customer...

Here’s a novel idea:  Go visit your new customers a few months after they purchased your software and well after they have deployed it into production use.  Ask them, “How are you using our software? &nbsp...

Demo “Storylines”: The Journey, The Destination, or Both

  Many software vendors talk about “The Journey” or “The Customer’s Journey” as a storyline for their demos.  We need to ask ourselves, however, what is important to the customer?   Is it really the Journey or is it the Destination – or ...

The Zoom Scan – What It Is, Why It Is Important, and How to...

  Translating Face-to-Face Meeting Audience Scans to the Web   Many presales and salespeople report that they find it difficult to consume and act on the various inputs when presenting demos and presentations over the web using Zoom and sim...

Ignition Demos – A Rather Huge Unmet Need and Opportunity

Synopsis   Prospects that are “Just Browsing” are underserved in traditional sales approaches yet consume valuable and expensive presales resources.   We propose:   1.     A new type of Vision Generation Demo:&nbsp...

Presales Tools Tools Tools!

Here are a handful of emerging and established tools – either created specifically for presales and/or having terrific application for presales folks.  We are listing each with text from the vendor followed by a few of our comments.  Enjoy...

Stunningly Awful Web “Overview” Demos – The Gruesome Anatomy of a Traditional...

In which we identify a number of common challenges with “overview” demos – and offer solutions.    [Warning – graphic and potentially painful content ahead…!]   1-Hour Web “Overview” Demo Timeline   Here’s the rough but strangely ...

The Surprising Road(s) to Demo and Presales Mastery

This article explores the road(s) towards demo and presales mastery – and may change your perceptions whether you are experienced or new to the discipline.    Ask yourself, honestly:  where am I in my journey to demonstration and pres...

Stunningly Awful Demos – The 2020 Great Demo! Top Ten List of What NOT...

Here’s a collection of poor tactics, bad errors and faulty steps you can take to increase the likelihood that your demo will be a failure.  We recommend that you avoid doing these things!  If your organization’s demos are not as successful...

Using Analogies and Metaphors (and More) in Demos

Well-crafted analogies and metaphors1 help our audiences remember the key ideas we present in our demos.  Some examples are very effective, others could be improved…  Let’s explore! Beyond Facts If you simply present your capability (a “...

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