Implementation Strategies – For Great Demo! and Other Methodologies


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When presenting new ideas to teams that may include sales, presales and marketing, there are some strategies that work better than others, with respect to the degree of implementation and ongoing improvement of the overall team’s level of practice.

Many organizations simply ask for a Workshop as an “event”, where methodology information is presented and practiced in role-play exercises. Without any follow-up or coaching on the part of management, these situations yield the lowest levels of implementation – not surprising.

Along similar lines, an event that simply includes presales participants – and no sales people – may result in some levels of frustration on the part of the presales team, as they have to “train” and coach their sales counterparts on the new ideas and processes. With the support of good presales management, this can still be a very successful plan.

Better, however, is to include sales (and marketing) folks in a Workshop with their presales peers, so that everyone is exposed at the same time. Role-play exercises reinforce the team-play aspects, and the team overall is clear about the specific roles for each job title.

Coaching, by management, is often key to seeing new ideas take hold. This means, implicitly, that managers need to participate in the Workshop, so that they understand what they are coaching!

Other activities that help with implementation success include:

– Weekly calls with the presales team to present success stories and discuss new challenges
– Harvesting and communicating success stories
– Capturing and sharing good example Situation Slides and corresponding Illustrations
– Holding period “Demo Days” so the team can see one another’s demos, props, tricks, etc.
– Creating Mentors who can coach and train new (and existing) team members.

One non-obvious strategy that yields very high levels of successful implementation is to invite managers to a pre-Workshop Coaching Seminar. This event exposes managers to the key ideas – and provides specific guidance and tactics on coaching staff and team members.

This is a starter list – other ideas and experiences solicited…!

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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