Monday, January 23, 2017

How Does Great Demo! Align with Various Sales Methodologies? (Really Well)

This week I have the privilege of introducing a guest blogger, Paul H. Pearce.  As the first Certified Great Demo! Affiliate Paul has mastered the Great Demo! methodology and today contributes to its ongoing success and growth.  In his Master Series Great Demo! courses he represents the intricacies of the training and recommends ways to increase its success with practical lessons and real-world experience.  The blog below was inspired by questions from one of his clients.  Perhaps he will enlighten us again in the future with comparisons to the Challenger Sales!

CustomerCentric Selling Great Demo! Style By Paul H. Pearce

We recently reviewed the CustomerCentric sales methodology (CCS) with a client seeking to blend the best of several sales approaches.  Based upon nine main tenets, CCS seeks to transform salespeople from product pushers to collaborative consultants.  As we reviewed each tenet, it was easy to see how they apply to and support the concepts of the Great Demo! methodology (GD) (can you hear the voice of Peter Cohan in your head saying ‘But Wait…There’s More…” LOL). 

CustomerCentric behaviors have empowered sales strategies for years and remain highly pertinent today even as we consider newer models and approaches like the Challenger Sale.  Below we hope you will enjoy a quick comparison and further validation of the brilliance in both models, one for Sales and the other for Presales, as you continue to deliver surprisingly effective software demonstrations.

CCS Tenet #1: Converse situationally instead of making presentations

GD Principle: The Great Demo! methodology teaches that we want the audience to perceive that the demo is a two-way, bidirectional conversation, rather than the fire-hose delivery style of information!

          CCS Tenet #2: Ask relevant questions instead of offering opinions

GD Principle:  The Great Demo! methodology teaches us to Peel Back the Layers in accord with the client’s depth and level of interest.  ”Would you like to see more?” 

CCS Tenet #3: Focus on the solution instead of the relationship

GD Principle: By presenting the Delta we can ensure we are focusing on the solution and how to impact the client’s business and solve the customer’s problem.

CCS Tenet #4: Target decision-makers instead of users

GD Principle: Remember the Situation Slide and the Inverted Pyramid.  Address the highest level problems first and then Peel Back the Layers in accord with the customer’s depth and level of interest.

CCS Tenet #5: Promote product usage and outcomes to garner interest instead of the product alone

GD Principle: Use Illustrations.  An Illustration is a concise, visual method of communicating the reality of a Solution.  Often, an Illustration is a desired report, which may be generated from the results of a series of individual steps.

CCS Tenet #6: Strive to be the best seller rather than the busiest

GD Principle:  Invest in discovery.  Hold the demo until the appropriate time and after fully understanding the client’s Critical Business Issues and Specific Capabilities required.  Consider workflow analysis as a great way to fully understand the value your solution can provide.

CCS Tenet #7:  Close on the buyer’s timeline rather than the seller’s

GD Principle:  Critical Dates - By understanding critical dates and impending events we can create a deal timeline that helps ensure the solution and value (Delta) are realized for the client.

CCS Tenet #8:  Empower buyers to buy instead of convincing them

GD Principle:  Consider the key elements of a Situation Slide which is a structured way to capture and communicate key elements of information.   The Situation Slide offers a critical advantage, it is a tool to review the needs of the clients as presented in the form of a two way bidirectional conversation using the clients nomenclature and information.

CCS Tenet #9:  Every sales transaction should either enable a buyer to achieve a goal, solve a problem, or satisfy a need. If the product or service won’t fulfill any of these three ends, the salesperson should walk away from the deal.

GD Principle:  If you cannot help the customer achieve a goal, solve a problem and have not invested in signficant discovery you are not ready to provide a technical proof demo. 

While unique in style, yet fully supporting the other, we hope you have enjoyed the comparisons above between these two great sales methodologies.  If you have additional thoughts on how other sales methodolgies can be compared to the Great Demo! methodology, please leave a comment.

Happy (Solution) Selling!

Paul H. Pearce

Principal, Winning Demo

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Small Tip Made Larger (Literally)

Macintosh users will likely note that, for demos, the default mouse cursor may be a bit small.  A simple solution is to make it a bit bigger – choose Preferences -> Accessibility -> Display and then slide the Cursor size slider a bit to the right. 

Note that I DIDN’T expect to find the mouse cursor size adjustment in that location!

Windows 10 users have some additional and alternative options:

“In the Control Panel window open the Ease of Access section.  In the Ease of Access, click or tap on the “Change how your mouse works  link to open the mouse cursor customization window.  Next, a window named “Make the mouse easier to use” will open. Here you can find a series of mouse options that can be personalized, starting with the color (black or white) and size of mouse pointers. Look at the Mouse pointers section to find them. 

In the Mouse pointers section you can choose from three different cursor colors and from three different sizes for each color. The third one has an inverting effect which changes your mouse color depending on what color you are hovering over. Choose the size and color that you want to use and click or tap OK to apply your changes.”

There are also a number of 3rd party options available (be careful of some of these downloads, of course) – I like the 3D Bronze style in particular.

I’d suggest experimenting with friendly audiences to see which options work best for you, your laptop, and your software. 

Note:  Please do NOT use the animated dinosaur mouse style or similar.  Nope.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Disaster Averted – a Pushing Back Success Story

I received this email recently and want to share it as it shows a number interesting challenges – and solutions to those challenges:

“For me the thing I struggle with the most is both the customer and our sales team always want to rush to the demo.

The customer is usually the worst offender. They don’t even know what they are looking for but they insist jumping straight to a demo is the best use of their time. They feel our attempts to dig deeper pre-demo is just stalling.

I have had some difficult customers come around, and moved from what were dead ends to real opportunities. For one customer it went something like:

Customer:  We want to replace our system.
Us:  What are some of the issues with the current system. Can you share your workflows and describe what you would like to accomplish?
Customer.  No, we want a demo.
Us:  We need to understand what you want to do before we can give a useful demo.
[Repeat for several rounds with the account rep becoming more and more nervous…]

We finally got a call where they unloaded about all the things they could not do in the current system, frustrations with the current vendor around support, etc. We finally had exactly what we needed.

A week later we did a 45 minute Great Demo! hitting their specific issues. The follow-up email from the customer stated they had decided to purchase from us (even before a full quote) and said they are not considering another product because we addressed all of their issues.

We would have never gotten to this point if we did a generic demo after the first meeting. Getting our sales team to push back in situations like this has been my biggest challenge so far. Once the rep sees the process play out it becomes much easier. We just have to work through the process with everyone. I suspect this is not uncommon.”

Perseverance paid off!

[Note, also, that using a Vision Generation demo early in the process might have helped in situations like these – see my article at for more details.]