Monday, March 28, 2016

Go BE A Customer… Why?

I am often surprised at how many participants in Great Demo! Workshops have never been a customer – or have never seen another vendor’s demos.  This lack of experience – and perspective – makes it hard for these participants to understand what a “Bad” demo looks like (and hence, what “Good” or “Great” might look like).  For these “newbies”, I have a strong recommendation:  go out and BE a customer.  For the seasoned veterans, see my “Additional Note” below…

Here’s the assignment:

Find a software package you are earnestly interested in and become a prospect for that vendor.  Experience, first-hand, what if feels like to be a lead.  You’ll likely get a call in response to signing-up for information or a demo; you’ll likely see a “standard” demo.  Make notes on how the vendor treats you, how you feel about the experience along the way, what kinds of questions they ask before talking about their product or plunging into a demo.  Make notes about the demo itself:  what did you like; what did you find boring or pointless?  How interactive was it vs. a firehose delivery?  How much of the demo were capabilities you were interested in seeing?

If you choose to buy the product, great!  Continue to note the post-purchase experience, as well.  Installation, implementation, initial use, help as needed… Did they reach out to you later on to “upsell”?  Was this a “Land and Expand” experience?

If you don’t purchase the product, no worries – you are under no obligation!  However, continue to note how the vendor continues to pursue you and your reactions.

Overall, this experience is critical to gaining a sufficient understanding of how YOU want to be treated as a prospect and customer.  Use this when reflecting on your own sales processes and demos…!

[Additional Note:  This is a great idea even if you have had previous experience on the customer side of the table.  It helps to stay current on how vendors are operating today…!]

[Additional Additional Note:  This is a great idea for on-boarding new presales (and sales) hires)]

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

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

Two Great Demo! Public Workshops are currently scheduled for 2016, as follows:

-          May 18-19 – Sunnyvale, CA (Silicon Valley).  Registration and additional information can be found here.
-          October 12-13 – Sunnyvale, CA (Silicon Valley).  Registration and additional information can be found here.

These are excellent opportunities for individuals, small groups or for teams that have new hires.  Both sessions will be a 1.75-Day Workshops, with the first day focusing largely on core Great Demo! material and the second ¾ day addressing more advanced topics and techniques. 

Both Workshops will take place in Sunnyvale, CA (in the heart of the Silicon Valley), in conjunction with the folks at SKMurphy.  

We’ve found that these sessions are most productive when there are two or more participants from each organization – and best when a combination of sales and presales participants are present (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.

PS - If you do decide to register for San Francisco Bay Area Public Workshops and are coming from out of town, you might want to make reservations now at the hotel where the Workshop will take place or nearby, as hotels tend to fill up fairly quickly. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Vision Generation – It’s All About Perspective…!

I was reminded of this classic story by a colleague who noted that it is a good allegory for Vision Generation demos with differing audiences… Wonderful!

A man walks up to a construction site where he sees several bricklayers working on a wall.  He asks one of the brick masons "What are you working on?"  The first worker looks at him like he's an idiot and says "I'm laying bricks!  What does it look like?"

He walks up to the second brick mason and asks, "What are you working on?"  This guy shrugs his shoulders and replies, "I'm building a wall."

He approaches the third man and asks the same question.  This mason pauses, turns around, looks carefully at his questioner and with excitement in his voice says, "I'm building a majestic cathedral.  It's going to be amazing!"