Monday, July 29, 2013

End-to-End Integrated Overview Full Suite Demo – Analogies and a Few Solutions

The Situation: 

Management wants the presales team to show an “end-to-end overview integrated demo of our full suite…” as a part of a typical “introductory” meeting.  Management is convinced that “customers need to see the power of the integrated suite and all of the key modules”.  This has “Harbor Tour” written all over it (and a very lengthy one at that)!

Analogous Situations:

You are shopping for a new car – and the sales person insists on showing you all of the company’s models and having you test drive each (roadster, economy cars, sedans, SUVs, crossovers, etc.).  How would you feel?

You go to the hospital to see a doctor about a flu that has been dragging on too long – and the doctor points you to the pharmacy and says, “Give everything there a try and let me know what seems to work…”  How would you feel?

You go to a bookstore to find a travel guide to a foreign country for an upcoming vacation – and the store is organized such that you have to walk through (and sample) all of the various book genres (sports, history, cooking, romance, mystery, how-to, self-help, humor, magazines, technology…).  How would you feel?

[Online version of the above]  Imagine searching Amazon for the same travel guide and, instead of Amazon simply presenting the top 20 matches for your search, it insists on having you tour samples of all 36 online departments.  How would you feel?

Imagine sitting down n a nice restaurant – and the waiter brings and serves all of the drinks, appetizers, salads, sounds, main dishes, sides and desserts on the menu – everything the kitchen can prepare – and says, “Try each of these and then let me know what you’d like…”  How would you feel?

Ever been through an Ikea, looking only for one specific item?  How did you feel?

[Feel free to suggest your own analogies…]


The Menu Approach:  This strategy is almost tailor-made for these kinds of situations and has been proven to work delightfully well!  See my article “The Menu Approach - A Truly Terrific Demo Self-Rescue Technique” on our website at for further information on the strategy and associated tactics.

Multiple Illustrations Approach:  Invest some time to select Illustrations that are representative of the “pay-off” screens for each module of major chunk of functionality.  Capture these in PowerPoint or KeyNote, preferably.  You can use these in conjunction with the Menu (or similar Roadmap) to literally Illustrate the key advantages/deliverables of each module/chunk.  Where your customer shows interest, you can offer to execute a crisp “Do It” pathway, if the customer wishes.  I’ve seen this approach work extraordinarily well!

Discovery:  What a delightful alternative!  Instead of inflicting a Harbor Tour or one of the less painful (and more considerate approaches) above, why not use the time to do Discovery?  The Menu Approach is a excellent tool to help kick-off Discovery, providing a list of topics to drive the Discovery conversation. 

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