Coming Up-to-Speed in Presales – What Works Best?


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How long does it take to bring a new hire up to competency/proficiency in a presales role for B-to-B software? And how do you define competency/proficiency? What steps/programs have you found to be most effective?

I’ve noted a rather broad spectrum of on-boarding and development practices, ranging from:

– Sink or swim (no formal on-boarding, training or guided development)

– Manager-based training, delivered mostly on an ad hoc basis
– Manager-based, delivered with a structured plan
– Mentor- or colleague-based (often with a manager as well)
– Mentor-supported (often in conjunction with other programs)
– “Boot-camp” training, typically delivered within 3-6 months of the hire date (these are often high-intensity group training sessions running one to several weeks in length)
– Product Demo Certification
– Demonstration Skills Certification
– Periodic incremental/ongoing development delivered ad hoc
– Periodic incremental/ongoing development delivered on a fixed schedule (often semi-annually)
– Skills development specifically included as quarterly or annual Objectives or MBO’s

Many organizations employ a combination of these, of course. What have you found to be most effective for you?

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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