Presales On-boarding Training Novel Concept


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Here’s a terrific idea for training new presales staff: Teach them your discovery/qualification process before teaching how to demo your software… Why consider this approach?

– It models the principle of doing discovery/qualification before presenting your solutions.
– It teaches new hires how to put together summaries of customer-specific situations (“Situation Slides”).
– It breaks the tradition of “Here’s our standard demo script… Learn it!”

This method also helps put your software in context:
– What specific customer problems does it solve?
– What specific capabilities are needed to solve these problems?
– What customer job titles are involved, and in what specific way?

If anyone (else) is already doing this, please let me know how it has been working 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.


  1. Peter: Great idea. Many companies “train” pre-sales staff with product information, but don’t provide them tools for discovery. Your blog brought to mind hundreds of demos I’ve received at trade shows in which the rep failed to discover anything about me or my motives beyond a perfunctory “How are you?”

    The problem compounds at trade shows when reps fill time voids by unwittingly demonstrating software applications to competitors, simply because the rep failed to ask the most basic questions up front. While this issue often doesn’t pose risks for divulging proprietary information, it doesn’t help, either–especially when a qualified prospect is standing in the booth waiting to speak with someone. Opportunity . . . lost! Coaching reps to ask the right questions goes a long way.

    If I can suggest adding to your contextual list “what specific problems doesn’t it solve?” –helping pre-sales people know what to listen for will help them focus on identifying the best opportunities, and screening out the riskiest ones.

    A related blog that I wrote might be of interest to your readers, Asking to Send Literature is not Lead Qualification.


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