Thursday, December 29, 2016

Getting Better?

This could be titled, “Do you REALLY want to get better at what you do – or are you fooling yourself…?”

I had an interesting conversation with a presales manager recently regarding helping his team get better at what they do (wrt demos, in particular).  He recently took over managing an existing team of presales folks, most of whom had been in their roles for several years – they were largely “seasoned veterans”. 

In a series of discussions with the individual members about their current practices and improvement, they ALL said “Yes, I want to improve my skills; I’d like to get better at what I do.”  However, when they were presented with the idea of establishing a baseline using a set of metrics and then using those metrics to help identify areas for improvement, many “pushed back” and said they didn’t like the idea of using measurements.


How can we really get better at a skill if don’t measure our performance? 

Note:  it is NOT helpful for sales people to simply say, “Great job…” to their presales counterpart after a demo.  At best, that “feedback” will result in simply maintaining the status quo.  Specific feedback, particularly around areas that can be measured is what will help us improve.

Here are some example demo performance measurements, as a starting point for this discussion:

High Level (Note that much of this data is likely already in your CRM tool…):
-        -  $ of Revenue per demo, per presales person.
-        -  $ of Revenue per demo, for the overall presales team.
-        -  $ of Revenue per demo, per sales person.
-        -  $ of Revenue per demo, for the overall sales team.
-        -  Order amount divided by the number of demos needed to close the order (again on an individual and team basis).
      - Conversion Rate (Demos to closed business).

More Specific Skills Improvement Areas (Here is a starter list):
-         - Number of times we communicate the benefit of a capability.
-         - Number of times we communicate the business value [even better].
-         - Number of clicks to complete a specific task.
-         - Time between questions from audience members (is this a firehose demo or a conversation).
-         - Number of “pre-answered” questions.
-         - Time spent doing Discovery vs. in the demo.
-         - Number of stories used per demo.
-         - Number of analogies or metaphors used per demo.
-         - Number of times away from the software – e.g., using a whiteboard, using props or visual aids.
-         - Number of times we invite the customer to drive during the demo.

Comments?  Observations?  Suggestions? 

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