The Million Dollar Demo and the Good Little Salesperson


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Once upon a time, there was a software company, with a Good Little Salesperson.  One day, the Good Little Salesperson came across a customer that looked hungry for a solution – a solution that the salesperson knew his company could provide. 
He said to the customer, “Hey, we have a solution for you – would you like to see a demo?”
And the customer said, “Sure, but wouldn’t you like to know more about our situation?”
He responded, “Nah, once you see our product you’ll love it!” 
So the Good Little Salesperson organized a demo for the very next morning, then contacted his presales Solution Consultant (SC) and told her, “We have a huge opportunity and I’ve scheduled you to do a demo tomorrow at 8:00 AM.”
She answered via Slack, “Well I am available – what do we know about the customer’s situation?”
He replied, “It’s a huge opportunity and they want to make a decision right away…”  And yet it wasn’t really a huge opportunity and the customer wasn’t really in a hurry…
And so the very next morning, the Good Little Salesperson started a web session at 8:00 AM with his SC and the customer joined a few minutes later. 
And the Good Little Salesperson didn’t ask who was on the call on the customer’s side or what they wanted to accomplish, but he did consume several minutes introducing himself and a bit about his SC.
And the Good Little Salesperson didn’t ask if the customer was already familiar with the Good Little Salesperson’s company, background, history, sales offices, revenues and product line, but he did consume the next 20 minutes with corporate and product overviews.
And then the Good Little Salesperson introduced the SC and said, “Now she’s the expert and she’ll show you everything…!”
And so the SC did her typical “overview” demo, hoping that she might uncover some areas of interest, but the customer didn’t offer any information. 
And the customer didn’t frequently interject, “Wow – this is terrific!” but was strangely silent for the full 60 minutes of the demo, other than brief “We’re good” responses to the Good Little Salesperson’s periodic queries of “Any questions so far?” and “Does that make sense?”
And at the end of the demo the Good Little Salesperson asked, “So, what did you think?”  And surprisingly, the customer didn’t answer, “Wow – we gotta get some of that!” but rather responded with a non-committal, “Interesting, thanks…”
And so the Good Little Salesperson said, “Great – I’ll send you a proposal!”  And he did generate a and send a proposal for $100,000 of software and services.  And then the Good Little Salesperson added this $100,000 opportunity to his forecast for the quarter and he did give it an 80% probability of closing.
And a week later the Good Little Salesperson had heard nothing from the customer, so he sent a follow-up email.  And the customer strangely didn’t send a purchase order or respond at all, in fact. 
And two weeks later the Good Little Salesperson did the same…
And a month later…
And a month after that…
And it turned out that the Good Little Salesperson never received an order from the customer, who meanwhile had engaged another vendor who didn’t dive immediately into offering a demo and who did have several Discovery conversations with the customer, ultimately culminating in a $450,000 three-year subscription, that did increase over the next couple of years to a total of $1,000,000 over 5 years.
And then the Good Little Salesperson did get fired…
And that’s the story of The Million Dollar Demo and the Good Little Salesperson

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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