Tuesday, January 29, 2013

“Demo Days” Are Becoming More Important

A common complaint amongst presales folks is that they rarely get a chance to see one another’s demos.  Individuals form habits and fall into ruts (“we are victims of momentum”), repeating demos over and over (sometimes numbingly!) with very few opportunities to improve.

Presales teams are equipping and operating out of more home offices, struggling to learn more products and technologies, dealing with an ever-increasing pace of business, and gathering at fewer face-to-face meetings (e.g., sales kick-off meetings and quarterly inquisition events, with agendas already overstuffed) – and the challenge is only getting tougher.

Carving out time for “Demo Days” accordingly becomes very much more important.  In the past, Demo Days were often face-to-face sessions where individual presales team members would share particularly successful demos, tips, best practices and introduce new products, but they often consumed ½ day or longer to make them useful, since teams didn’t get together very often. 

Now teams can accomplish the same objectives via the web using WebEx, GoToMeeting and similar tools – and by scheduling shorter, more regular sessions, teams can share ideas more rapidly and substantially improve their performance overall. 

Based on what I’ve seen with Great Demo! Workshop participants, a recommended best practice is to schedule “Demo Days” at least once per month (hmmm – perhaps we should call these new sessions “Demo Hours”).  Optimally, everyone on a team of 12 people would have a chance to present a demo about every 6 months (plan on ~2 demos per 1 hour session); everyone on the team would accordingly see 22 demos from their colleagues each year.  That’s a lot of learning…

Think about it – what you might learn from a colleague could result in closing business that might otherwise be lost…!

For teams already executing “Demo Days” or “Demo Hours”, what is your frequency, how long for each session, and how many team member typically present a demo?

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