Peter Cohan

What Can We Learn by Analyzing 67,439 Software Demos? – Some Surprising New Insights

What can we learn by analyzing 67,439 software demos?  A great deal…! Surprising Insight Number 1:  Traditional linear, end-to-end and overview demos are NOT a strategy for success. Surprising Insight Number 2:  The early portions of the demo should NOT be about the vendor or…

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

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 as you might wish,...

Disasters Neatly Averted – Dealing with “Day-in-the-Life” Demos

A colleague once cynically commented, in response to a request for a “day-in-the-life” demo, “Give me a week and I can show you a day-in-the-life…”  Very clever, but still painful!  Day-in-the-life demos are challenging, so here are some Great Demo! principles you can apply...

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Great Demo! Excellence

The following interview transcript offers some intriguing insights into demos, Great Demo! methodology, doing Discovery, and offers some potentially surprising (and highly useful) recommendations for coaching to improve demo skills.  Enjoy! Refract Interviewer:  Tell us a little bit about Second Derivative, Peter, and what Great...

Some Insights into Challenger…

A number of people have commented that “we don’t need to do Discovery” when using the Challenger sales methodology…  They are wrong! The Challenger and Insight-oriented sales methodologies have largely come about, I believe, because marketing has failed to accomplish its job, in many organizations....

Stunningly Awful Demos – Lost in the Weeds

(The Elegant Art of Managing Questions and Time) You are in the midst of delivering a demo and things are going well…  Somebody asks a question and you answer it, then start to return to your planned demo – but he asks a follow-up question. ...

When Was the Last Time YOU Were a Customer?

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…

Stunningly Awful Demos – The Relative Irrelevance of Set-Up Mode

It’s Monday morning and you’ve just arrived in your office – what is the first thing you do?  Build a brand new dashboard or report Set up your user account and preferences for software you already use everyday Configure the options for another software tool…

Vision Generation Demos – The Crisp Cure for Stunningly Awful Harbor Tours

What is a Vision Generation demo?  It is just enough demo to generate a vision in the customer’s mind that a solution to a business challenge is possible – and to enable a Discovery conversation to take place.  A Vision Generation demo should only take...

Unconsciously Incompetent Managers – The Impact of the 4 Stages on Coaching

How many newly-minted managers are promoted into their managerial roles from individual contributor positions?  And how many of these new managers are provided with training on how to be a manager? Far too often, managers are promoted and, because they are now managers, it is...

How Does Your CUSTOMER Know When You’ve Done Enough Discovery?

Discovery is done not just for your sake as the vendor, but (even more importantly) for your customer to feel comfortable about your proposed solution.  So, how do you know when you’ve done enough Discovery for your customer’s sake? For a medical doctor, it is...

Getting Pre-Demo Info from Sales People

Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges faced by presales folks is the lack of information provided by sales before a demo.  “Just give them an overview” is what we often hear – resulting in the dreaded Harbor Tour demo...  Here are a few suggestions...

Asking More Questions – Why?

Surprisingly, I often hear the following observation from Great Demo! Workshop alumni:  “Some of our sales people are concerned when we start asking questions about customers’ Critical Business Issue vs. pains, Problems and Reasons. They say we are digging too deep with questions for...

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.  - They also say that about 70%...

Stunningly Awful Car Sales Demo

This is a great (sad) story, contributed by Mike Horsfall, a Great Demo! Workshop alumnus: Recently we had a hail storm and there was so much damage to my car that the insurance company “totaled” it, thus I had to look for a replacement. So…

Checklists and Demos

Airplane pilots use checklists to make sure they do the right things as much of the time as possible (like always).  Checklists dramatically reduce the risk of bad things happening.  Should we apply the same principle to the wonderful world of demos?  (Everyone, say...

Stunningly Awful Demo Phrases

Here are a handful of phrases that we often hear from software vendors in demo meetings, followed by what the customer thinks in response… Vendor Says:  “Let me tell you a bit about our company…” Customer Thinks:  Nope, no need to – we wouldn’t have…

Observations, Progress and Habits – Accelerating Learning For Demo Skills

Interestingly, it turns out that nearly every culture around the world uses onions as one of foundation ingredients in cooking.  Why?  the compounds that make us cry when cutting onions become preservatives and/or antibacterials/antifungals when cooked – making cooked food last longer and safer...

Stunningly Awful On-Boarding Demos – The Trouble Begins

“Learn the demo…” the group of newly hired presales folks are told, “and when you think you’re ready, we’ll have you present the demo back to us.  If you do well, you’ll be certified and ready to start presenting to customers.”  What’s wrong with...

How Much Demo Do You Need? (“Just the right amount, please…”)

Imagine yourself as a customer in the following situation:  You’ve decided you need to improve your sales forecast and pipeline management system – you are using Excel today and it just isn’t sufficient anymore.  You’ve just started to explore what kinds of new tools...

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