Friday, December 28, 2012

“Nut Graph” – Applied To Demos

There are a number of terrific ideas in journalism that we can apply to demos – one of which is the “Net Graph”, a contraction of “Nutshell Paragraph”.  In most news stories, the key facts of the story are presented in the first couple of sentences and serve to answer “who, what, when, where, why and how” crisply. 

In Great Demo! methodology, this is very similar to the “Do It” pathway and its accompanying summary.  For example, “To summarize, we just showed how [how] you [who] can access your key report [what] in three mouse clicks [when] right from your laptop computer [where], as opposed to what is currently consuming 2 FTE’s annually [why].”

Thursday, December 20, 2012

‘Twas the Night Before The Big Demo

‘Twas the Night Before The Big Demo
(with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

‘Twas the night ‘fore the demo and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, ‘cept my SC and his mouse;
I’d proposed a big licensing deal with great care
In hopes a big order soon would be there;

Management was restless and not in their beds
As visions of bonuses danced in their heads;
And my VP with his forecast and me with my own,
Had just started a long EOQ roam,

When out from my mobile there came a great ring-tone,
I sprang from my chair to answer my phone,
What could it be?  Was it good news or no?
A last-minute order?  A contract?  PO?

Greetings, said my assistant, who spoke on the line,
It was someone to see me, offering help at this time!
Who could it be at this late eleventh-hour,
To make the deal sweet and avoid something sour?

Away to the door I flew in a flash,
And swept it open in my quest for fast cash,
When who to my wondering eyes should appear,
The DemoGuru! And standing so near!

He came in my office and, while dusting off snow,
Said, “I have some news that you’ll want to know.”
He drew up a chair and asked for some tea,
And said to my VP, SC and to me:

“Your deal is in trouble and I’ll tell you now,
Your demo’s confusing, complex and lacks ‘Wow!’
It’s riddled with features and functions and more,
And too many cool things, mouse clicks galore,

Don’t flog them with features and other neat stuff,
Stick with the substance, stay away from the fluff,
The more that you show is not always nice,
Customers may say, ‘Please lower the price!’

The Buzzword-Compliant Vocabulary list,
Are words, I’m afraid, that are better-off missed,
Not Flexible, nor Powerful, nor Easy-to-Use,
Not Robust, nor Seamlessly Integrated abuse,

And no corporate overview, please don’t do that,
After ten minutes they’re grabbing their hats,
Present as a team, so if things get hairy,
Sales folks aren’t lost in the back with Blackberry.

Your customer’s queued and ready to go,
They love the vision you’ve built with them so
They want Technical Proof in the demo you’ve planned,
Just the key capabilities, everything else banned.”

“But how can we do this?” I heard myself cry,
“We’re victims of momentum, we’re nervous to try,
Another approach, a new way to go,
We have to admit we’re just a bit slow!”

“Do the Last Thing First!” he said with a smile,
“Then peel back the layers, and Do It with style,
Peel it back in accord with their interest,
Stay focused and execute, and you’ll find it best,

Your customer’s Situation is a great way to intro,
Their Problems and Reasons, from CBI flow,
Review these and check – is this still the case?
Are we aligned or are we off-base?

Start with the end, that big pay-off piece,
Illustrate and describe, those are the keys!
Capture their interest, compel their attention,
Make sure it aligns with their mode of consumption.

When it clicks and they’re hooked, they’ll then ask for more,
There’s absolutely no way that they’ll head for the door,
They’ll say, “Please show us, prove that it’s so,
Show us the rest, please do demo.”

Then Do It, just Do It, with no extra clicks,
To return to that Illustrative image that sticks,
Make it simple, make it fast, make it easy and clear,
Then they will realize they’ve nothing to fear,

Encourage their questions, most are not new,
Good ones and Great ones (and Stupid ones too),
Treat Hostiles with courtesy, use your Parking Lot so
Those mean, crusty folks can’t damage your flow,

Peel back the layers, Do It Again,
Show only what’s needed, put nothing else in,
Let them drive the demo, let them think they’re in charge,
While their Vision Solution you work to enlarge!

Summarize, summarize, tell them again,
‘Cause adults do learn by repetition,
And when you show a key take-away screen,
Leave it up, let it linger, so they’ll know what they’ve seen!

“I get it – I’ll do it!” exclaimed my SC,
“This is all so obvious, it’s way clear to me!”
And he sprang into action, his mouse flew like lightening,
(Frankly, his speed was a little bit frightening!)

And with that the DemoGuru smiled and he said,
“Your way is now clear, put that baby to bed,
Your deal’s now on track, your order secure,
You’ll make your numbers at the end of the year,

Then he strode from my office in a blink of a pun,
Turned ‘round and he said, “My job here is done,”
Ere he drove out of sight, I did hear him say,
“Great Demo! to all and to all a Great Day!”

Friday, December 14, 2012

Stunningly Awful Demos – Two Words to Avoid

Name two words that strike fear and terror into the hearts of customers watching a software demonstration – two words that lengthen demos and turn short, crisp pathways into journeys worthy of Norse sagas.  These are, of course:

            “If”      and      “Or”

Recently, I was watching a demo where a major component of the software was a wizard.  It was a rather wonderful wizard.  Rich with features.  Ripe with options.  The depth and breadth of the capabilities it offered were legion.  How do I know this?

The person delivering the demo started the wizard to show how to execute a specific task – and finally finished the process 55 minutes later.  Truly breathtaking (and not in a positive way…)! 

I said, “Could you please start again and run the wizard the way that someone would use it to complete that same task on a day-to-day basis?”

He said, “Sure” and launched into the process a second time.  How long do you think it took this time?  Three and a half minutes.  

That’s right – using the wizard as designed for this typical task took 3.5 minutes – vs. the 55 minutes consumed in his demo. 

What was the difference?  “If” and “Or”. 

Each time someone presenting a demo uses either of these words, it opens a branch – an additional pathway – and each additional pathway extends the demo, inflicting increased complexity and confusion on the audience.

A Parable

Imagine you need to drive to the store to pick up a few things for dinner – a trip that normally takes 10 minutes each way. You get into your car, leave the driveway and proceed down the street. Your car is equipped with a surprisingly intelligent voice-controlled GPS – so intelligent, in fact, that it decides there are other options you should see on the way.

The GPS takes control and turns off the direct route to show you an interesting restaurant it thinks you might want to try sometime in the future. You thank the GPS and ask it to return to the original course. It does so.

A few blocks later, it again changes direction and drives 5 minutes to show you a nice park. "Terrific, but I’m not in the mood for a picnic," you say.  "Please return to the original course." The GPS sighs quietly, but obediently returns to the original route once again.

Moments later, the GPS makes a left turn and drives 8 minutes to a new home-products store.  It announces proudly that the store just opened recently and is a great option for everything from paint to plumbing. “Thanks” you comment, getting irritated, “but I don’t need any hardware – please return to the original route.”

Two minutes later the GPS takes control again – and this time it shows you five options for travelling one segment of the route:  An expressway, a toll-road, and three separate local “short-cuts” (none of which are particularly short) – and the GPS travels down each of these.

Now very annoyed, you tell the GPS "Please return to course!" It does so, after grumbling that you really should see all of the cool options it knows about...

Angrily you disable the GPS and proceed directly to the store – and because of the many detours, dinner will be seriously late! 

What if demos were delivered this way?

The Dreaded “If”

It starts innocuously enough, with a single “if”, such as, “Now, if you want to submit this, then you choose ‘OK’…”  But “if” appears to need company and will clone itself…repeatedly!  Here’s an example:

“Now, if you want to submit this, then you choose ‘OK’…  But if you want to change the color, then you go to our color palette which I’ll show you now…, and if you need a different size, then you click here where we have our sizing sub-wizard which operates like this…, and if you want to share it with other colleagues then let me show you our collaboration tool and…”  “Ifs” breed like proverbial rabbits. 

And that’s one way to change a 3.5 minute pathway into a 55 minute torture tour.  When you find you are about to say “If” in a demo, consider asking whether the audience is interested in seeing the capabilities you have in mind before proceeding!

“Or” Horror

Let me describe the sins of “Or” via a simple example or by using a medium-length process, or with a longer task example, or via a nice story, or by providing a couple of references, or by using live software to show seven different ways to accomplish the same task…

Have I made my point – (or) do I need further “Or’s” to illustrate?

Consider:  Is there any task you do that you’d like it to take any longer than necessary?  [Clarification:  any task you do at work?] 

When there are several possible ways to accomplish a task, which should you show in a demo?  Pick the fastest, most direct route – the “Do It” pathway.  No extra information, no discussion of options.  The straight line – the fewest number of steps – from a logical starting point to completing that task.

Cohan’s Razor:  Given the choice of multiple paths in a demo, choose the shortest.  [Apologies to William of Occam.]

Later on, you can ask if the audience might be interested in other possibilities – particularly if the other capabilities are competitively important or otherwise differentiate your offering.

And, of course, the worst phrase of all is “Or if”…  Example:  “Or, if you want save this in other formats let me show you all of the file formats we support…” 

Death By Dead-End

What is a “Dead-end”?  It is the natural outcome of launching down an “If” or “Or” pathway, getting close to the end, but not completing the function – leaving the audience unfulfilled and unsatisfied.

Example:  Have you ever seen someone in a demo navigate to the “Reports” tab, comment that there are 600 pre-built reports available in the system”, then move to another menu option, begin to build a custom report and – after a pile of clicks, scrolls and drags – produce a completed report template, but not run an actual report?  Aaagh!

Even worse, in many cases the demonstrator needs to backtrack through another pile of clicks just to return to the main story.  Hmmm – sounds a lot like our car GPS story above…!

To be fair, there may be situations where some of these alternative approaches may be useful or important. An excellent way to test for interest is to ask.  For example, “We have a number of output options – are there any that you would like to see in particular?” [See my article Competitive Demo Situations – Biasing Towards Your Strengths for more on how to do this.]

Otherwise, avoid alternative approaches and dead-ends…!

In Case “If” and “Or” Aren’t Enough

There are a handful of phrases that put fear and loathing into customers’ hearts when on the receiving end of demos – here are a few of my personal favorites:

“…Let me start by orienting you to our screen layout and navigation …”

Oh my god.  I don’t what to learn how to use your software yet; I don’t yet know if it does anything that will help me in my business.  The last thing I want at this point is product training!

Solution?  Do the Last Thing First.

“…Now I’ll show you our context-relevant help system…”

Double oh my god.  This suggests that I’ll need the help system, because your software is likely complex, complicated, and downright user-hostile.

Solution?  Don’t.

 “…and another really cool thing about our software is…”

This phrase is used, often frequently, in what are known as “run-on demos”.  These are demos without a break, without a pause, and typically no introduction or summary for any particular segment.  These demos are one-way, painful fire-hose deliveries of features and functions flung in a steady stream from presenter to audience. 

Solution?  Break your demo into consumable components – chunks – that can be introduced, presented crisply, and summarized before moving on.

“…now this next part is really important…”

You can say this once, and I’ll believe it.  Twice, I’m still with you.  Three times, I might be able to remember all three. 

But what happens beyond the third use of “really important”?  Confusion, then boredom.  Tedium.  Numbness.  Idle doodling and furtive glances at smart phones.  When too many items are labeled “important” they all become – unimportant!

Solution?  Don’t.

When possible, record and listen to your demos carefully and critically – and if you hear yourself using any of the phrases above, take appropriate action to change!  Overall, consciously avoid “If” and “Or”.  Your audience will be grateful and your reward will be higher success rates with your demos and more closed business.

Copyright © 2012 The Second Derivative – All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Great Demo! Methodology Implementation – Starting Points

Many people comment that training class participants cannot be expected to “eat the entire elephant” post-training, and follow apply all of the new learnings. Instead, it is often suggested that participants choose 3 items they will commit to implementing.

With this in mind, what 3 Great Demo! ideas or tools would you recommend that Great Demo! Workshop graduates put into practice?

My favorite three, for example, are to:

1. Generate and use Situation Slides
2. Develop and present Illustrations – “Do the Last Thing First”
3. Break up your content into short, discrete chunks and take the shortest path from A to B – Just “Do It”

What are your suggestions and experiences?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Post-Demo Phone Calls

One very successful sales person calls each customer participant after a demo to get their impressions and feedback. What a great way to show interest, hear what each individual took away, correct erroneous impressions, etc.  In this particular case, it is the sales person who makes these calls – it could equally be done by the presales team member.

Delightful in any case!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


In a recent Great Demo! Workshop, one of the participants performed a delightful method of introducing capabilities to the customer audience:  after the initial review of the Situation Slide, presentation of the Illustration and demo of the “Do It” pathway, she asked if the customer was interested in any of a few items, which she verbalized very briefly.  The customer said, “Please show me the first two you mentioned…”

Wonderful!  She was very cleverly applying the Menu Approach in a small, controlled situation, listing and describing a few capabilities that would logically come next in a demo – and that customers might be interested in seeing, based on prior her experience.  A key to this is that she asked the customer if they wanted to see them (and which ones), rather than simply launch into “…and now the next really cool thing I want to show you is…” 

What a terrific way to move smoothly into “Peeling Back the Layers”!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Averting Stalled Sales Opportunities - Webinar

I’ll be joining Ron Snyder of Breakthrough, Inc. in an upcoming webinar.  My portion of the content will briefly explore what key customer information is needed prior to presenting a demo – to avoid “Harbor Tours”.  Here’s the balance of the webinar invitation:

Are you tired of working hard on a sales opportunity only to find an unexpected issue that stalls the sales process?

You are not alone!

Having an effective sales planning process, sharing insight across the internal team and enabling great demos, greatly improves sales productivity and use of resources. Learn how to make this happen and greatly improve your sales results…

v  Reduce “no decisions”
v  Avoid going back two steps
v  Eliminate sales process inefficiencies
v  Focus on better opportunities
v  Use your resources more effectively
In this webinar, Averting Stalled Sales Opportunities, Ron Snyder and Peter Cohan show you the key steps to forestall a stalled sales process via better planning and sales process management.

Sign up for the webinar here:
December 10 at 12:00 – 1:00 PM Pacific time

And receive copies of the White Papers: “Managing Territories to Maximize Results” and “Managing Key Accounts to Maximize Results.”
Topics covered:

v  The Challenge causing stalled sales
v  Elements of a Successful Plan
v  Guiding the Sales Process- using the Plan
v  Coordinating Activities, including Demos
v  A Sample Plan

Ron Snyder, of Breakthrough, Inc. and Plan 2 Win Software, has trained thousands of salespeople and managers on sales effectiveness, territory and account planning. Prior to that, he was a top ranked sales salesperson at Hewlett-Packard and a manager in the field sales force and a marketing manager.
Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of The Second Derivative, focused on helping software organizations improve their sales and marketing results – primarily through improving organizations’ demonstrations.

Sean Murphy, our Moderator, is CEO of SKMurphy providing customer development services for high-tech companies. SKMurphy focus is on early customers and early revenue.

December 10 at 12:00 – 1:00 PM Pacific time

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hmmmm – White-boarding PPT?

I just watched a 35 minute presentation on white-boarding – delivered entirely in PowerPoint.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Discovery Documents – As Questions, Topics or ?

A number of people have asked about how to draft Discovery Documents – should one use full-length questions or something shorter, for example?

One starting point is to use full sentences.  This may be good for people who are new to an arena or who are learning how to do Discovery, as it provides a script, essentially, that new folks can follow. 

However, once people have become moderately practiced and reasonably knowledgeable, I recommend a crisper technique – more of a template or outline approach. 

In my use of Discovery Documents, each topic is presented as a word or short word phrase, and not as full questions.  These serve as prompters for me to remember to address or explore what can be a large number of topic areas.  For example, my current Discovery Document (used for exploring my prospects’ demo practices) is about 1 and 3/4 pages long, where each topic is typically 1-5 items (often a header “topic” with one or a few “sub-topics”, all shown as a word or short word-phrase).

For example, I've listed "Remote Demos" as a topic.  There are a broad range of additional questions that I might ask associated with this topic, if appropriate for any particular prospect (e.g., What tool do you use?  What percent of demos are face-to-face vs. remote?  Do you typically have someone from your team (sales person, for example) at the customer site?  How long are your remote demos, typically?  Are they largely used for vision generation – done early in the sales process, "deeper dive", follow-up from face-to-face meetings?  Are you doing webinars [another "topic" area on its own...] etc.).

Here are two topics from my current Discovery Document, as an illustration:

Remote Demos:
-          %:
-          Tool:
-          Uses:
-          Who Does?
-          Process/Discovery Documents?
-          Enough Done?
-          How/When Communicated:

I think of each topic as a reminder and entry point into a hierarchy of questions that could be asked, where each hierarchy can be explored as broadly and deeply as is appropriate for each prospect individual.  Additionally, I may try to "seed" questions in a topic that would lead naturally to another topic on my list.

Any additional thoughts or ideas?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stunningly Wonderful Example of a “Before” Illustration

A Great Demo! Workshop participant offered this as a sadly real example of a “Before” Illustration – from an article entitled, “We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint”:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Discovery Documents – For New Product Launches

I can visualize folks in marketing cogitating over plans for a new product launch…

“Ok, let’s see…  We have our checklist for our upcoming product launch:

-          Website info – check!
-          Down-loadable collateral – check!
-          Competition comparison – check!
-          SWOT analysis – check!
-          Features and benefits – check!
-          Press release – check!
-          ROI calculator – check!
-          Product overview presentation – check!
-          Demo script – check!
-          Field sales training presentation – check!
-          …”

What’s missing from this list? 

Discovery Documents – the list of questions and topics that sales and presales people need to perform adequate Discovery for these new products.  Far too often these documents are either missing entirely – or are laughably light.  I once saw a set of “qualification questions” that was limited to “Are you looking for a new ‘blank’ system?” 

Discovery Documents that are useful for sales and presales people may need to include sets of questions around the following four basic areas:

ü    Who?
ü    How many?
ü    How often?
ü    Pain points?
ü    Workflow?
ü    Needs/requirements?
ü    Delta?
ü    When needed?
ü    Do nothing?
Critical Business Issues:
ü    Why?
ü    What’s driving this?
ü    Who’s driving this?

And that’s just a starting point…! 

Discovery is often where sales are won (or lost).  Equipping the field with strong Discovery Documents is an integral – and critical – piece of the new product launch.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

[Warning: Shameless Self-Promotion Alert] 2013 Great Demo! Public Workshops

For 2013, we have scheduled three Great Demo! Public Workshops, as follows:

-          March 6-7

-          May 22-23

-          October 9-10

These are all 1.5-Day Workshops, with the first day focusing largely on core Great Demo! material, and the morning of the second day addressing more advanced topics and techniques.

Public Workshops take place in San Jose, California, in conjunction with the folks at SKMurphy.  This is an excellent opportunity for individuals, small groups or for teams that have new hires.

We’ve found that these events are most productive when there are two or more participants from each organization (singletons are also fine). This helps to mimic real-life interactions as much as possible, both when preparing demos and delivering them in the role-play sessions.

Contact me for more information or to reserve seats (

Thursday, October 25, 2012

iPad – Excellent Tool for Doing Discovery

Not surprisingly, many people are finding that iPads (and other tablets) are wonderful tools for doing face-to-face Discovery.  In addition to tradition note-taking, iPads can enable a more collaborative, “side-by-side” environment for:

-          Diagramming workflows

-          Ad Hoc white-boarding – excellent for doing vision expansion, designing Illustrations and related

-          Doing quick arithmetic (great for calculating Deltas)

-          Taking, showing, and sharing photos…

And, unlike traditional white-boards, it is much easier to electronically capture what was created.  Any other ideas or experiences that you’d care to share?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

B-Key and Freeze – On Projector Remotes

In addition to the “B-Key” in PowerPoint, a recent Great Demo! Workshop participant noted that many LCD projectors have remote controls that include a B-Key (Black) function and a Freeze function.  Freeze is particularly nice as it simply continues to display your last screen, enabling you to do things on your laptop independently – find a file, launch software, navigate around a problem, etc.  Nice!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Screen Resolution Matters

What happens to your screen when you connect to an LCD projector – are you often surprised by the sudden loss of resolution?  I see this time after time – particularly when vendors connect their laptops to customers’ older projectors with lower resolutions.  The result includes surprised looks and a quick struggle to re-align or otherwise try to manage the screen resolution differences, often without a satisfactory solution.

Here are a couple of suggestions, particularly if screen resolution dramatically impacts the look of your software:

1.  Bring your own projector, when possible.  This may sound expensive, but consider the loss of a single piece of business resulting from a demo done where poor resolution impacted the results…

2.  If you can’t have your own projector (when visiting a customer or when operating over the web), coordinate with your key contact to organize a projector with sufficient resolution – and test it ahead of time.

3.  If you can’t do 1 or 2 above, then at least find out the resolution of the customer’s projector sufficiently before the demo to make changes to your preparation…

Interestingly, to give a sense of the importance of screen real estate and resolution, one Great Demo! Workshop participant noted that in a recent POC the impact of monitor size (and corresponding resolution) was striking:  Those with 17 inch screens loved the software; those with 13 inch very much did not!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

[Warning – Shameless Self-Promotion] Great Demo! Public Workshop October 10-11

Our next Public Great Demo! Workshop is scheduled for October 10-11 in San Jose, California – registration and additional information can be found here:

This can be taken either as a 1-Day or 1.5-Day Workshop.  The first day will focus on core Great Demo! material, with the optional morning of the second day addressing more advanced topics and techniques.

Public Workshops take place in San Jose, California, in conjunction with the folks at SKMurphy.  This is an excellent opportunity for individuals, small groups or for teams that have new hires.

We’ve found that these events are most productive when there are two or more participants from each organization (singletons are also fine). This helps to mimic real-life interactions as much as possible, both when preparing demos and delivering them in the role-play sessions.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Trusted Advisor Workshops - New From John Care at Mastering Technical Sales

John Care at Mastering Technical Sales has just launched a new workshop offering on becoming a Trusted Advisor.  This material very nicely complements Great Demo! methodology – here’s the quick overview from John:

“Becoming a Trusted Advisor is not as simple as it sounds, which is why so many organizations either never try, or make a half-hearted effort. Trusted Advisor – two words, five syllables and fifteen letters hide a massive complexity. For the first time ever, there is now a workshop specifically designed to start the Sales Engineering organization on the journey to becoming a Trusted Advisor.

The workshop is based on the Mastering Technical Sales strategy and focuses on developing the professional skills to modify both the behavior as well as the actions required for an SE to be thought of as a T/A by the Customer. The practical components of the class show how a T/A would act during a sales cycle compared to a transactional SE when in front of a technical, business or executive audience.”

More information can be found on John’s website at

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Audio Recording Now Available - Lessons Learned Implementing Great Demo! Methodology Panel Discussion Webinar

Interested in how other organizations have successfully implemented Great the Demo! with their teams? Our panelists discussed some of the challenges they faced and how they overcame them to achieve improved results with their teams’ demos.
Here is a link to the audio recording from the webinar:

Friday, August 31, 2012

Lessons Learned Implementing Great Demo! Methodology – Panel Discussion Webinar

Interested in how other organizations have successfully implemented Great the Demo! with their teams?  Our panelists will discuss the challenges they faced and how they overcame them to achieve improved results with their teams’ demos. 

This is a live webinar – we’ll be happy to take questions from the listening audience – and the session will be recorded as well.  The webinar is hosted by Sean Murphy ( as a part of their Book Club for Business Impact series.

The event took place Tuesday September 4 - we'll be posting a link to the recording shortly.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Great Demo! Public Workshop – More Details

Our next Great Demo! Public Workshop is scheduled to take place October 10-11 in San Jose, California – and the format for the Workshop has a new component. 

Day 1 will focus largely on “core” Great Demo! concepts and will be similar to past Public Great Demo! Workshops.  The second portion of the Workshop, the optional additional ½ day on October 11, will provide time to address more advanced topics, such as:

-      Improving Discovery and Qualification:  Many demos fail due to a lack of customer information – we’ll introduce methods to uncover and organize the key information needed to prepare effective demonstrations.

-      Remote Demos (e.g., via WebEx, GoToMeeting and similar tools):  a topic of high interest – we share how to increase interactivity and improve success. 

-      Introducing New Categories and “Crossing the Chasm”:  “Wow – I had no idea this was possible…!”  How to engage audiences with products and solutions that have never been seen before. 

-      Making Demos Remarkable:  We explore, develop and document practices that help your demos stand out, positively.

-      Storytelling:  Strong stories improve demos and help customers better remember key messages.  We explore how to capture, create and deliver compelling stories for your customer demos.

-      White-boarding:  PowerPoint can be pedantic – we explore white-boarding and other “non-linear” presentation techniques to engage and refresh audiences and improve their retention of key points.

-      Out-flanking Competition:  Methods to anticipate, manage and overcome competitors in demo and related interactions.  How to bias qualification towards your capabilities and block competition.

-      POC’s, POV’s and Sandboxes Tools and Strategies:  The essence is Quid pro quo – how to manage the process overall to get the business; when to do and when not to do POC’s and Sandboxes; strategies to increase your success rates.

-      RFP’s and Scripted Demos:  Successful strategies and tactics to increase your success rates with scripted demos and RFP responses, including when to pursue, when to pull back, and how to gently subvert the process in your favor.

-      Managing Questions:  How to avoid getting dragged off-topic and how to deal with hostiles elegantly and effectively.  

-      Team Tactics:  Team-oriented methods and practices for presales, sales and marketing staff in preparing and delivering demos.  Roles and guidelines are developed and practiced for the selling teams to improve results – when demos are delivered face-to-face as well as via a remote connection.

-      Trade-show demonstration techniques and interactions:  Trade-shows are phenomenally expensive – we’ll work through clever methods, tips, and best practices to help you get the best return on your investment.

-      New Product Roll-outs:  Vision Generation at its most challenging – we’ll help you create your go-to-market messaging and demos for new products, and shortening the time to getting your first real reference customer!

-      Reference Selling and Informal Success Stories:  These are the lifeblood of a software sales and marketing organization!  We’ll develop the structure and methods to capture this key information and create a set of your own.  The team will be ready to leverage these immediately.

-      Transition Vision:  Differentiating by helping prospects visualize how they can move from their current problem situation to the future state represented by your solution. 

We’ll address many of these (as well as other topics raised by the participants) in accord with participant interest and the time available.  These segments are often some of the most interesting portions of Great Demo! Workshops, enabling participants to apply the methodology to range of real-life situations and challenges.

Registration information and can be found here.