I was recently watching a series of demos presented by a vendor to their customers and noted two rather astonishing things:
Astonishing Thing Number 1: Approximately 50% of the elapsed time of the demo was done showing “Set-up Mode” items (setting up the environment, configuring the application, editing and creating templates, etc.). [These demos ranged 60-90 minutes long.]
Astonishing Thing Number 2: At the end of all this Set-up Mode activity, the vendor noted that, ”Of course, you won’t have to do any of this – we generally take care of it as part of implementation, done by our Professional Services team…”
Rhetorical Question: Why did they show the Set-up items at all?
Rhetorical Answer: Because they (and we) are Victims of Momentum – we tend to do the same things the same way over and over, unless someone gives us a serious shove in a new direction.
Rhetorical Question: What is the impact on the customer of seeing all of the that Set-up Mode stuff?
Rhetorical Answer: It makes the software look waaaaaay too complicated.
Cynical Rhetorical Question: I’ll bet you’ve never heard that phrase before, from a customer…!
Recommendation: Put the Set-up Mode portions of your demos “behind your back” – only bring them out in response to specific questions from your customer. Focus on the key deliverables and the business value those deliverables provide your customer (“Illustrations”, in Great Demo! vocabulary). intriguingly, it is likely that you can answer most Set-up Mode questions verbally, without ever moving your mouse.
How much of your current demos are Set-up Mode?