Friday, August 31, 2018

Critical Date / Critical Event Examples

At a recent Great Demo! Workshop, the participants asked for a starter set of Critical Date / Critical Event examples that they could use in conversations with their customers.  For those who are unfamiliar, a Critical Date or Critical Event is a date by when the customer needs to have a solution in place – and is one of the key elements of a Great Demo! Situation Slide.

Uncovering a customer’s Critical Date or Critical Event should be a part of your Discovery conversations.  However, in many cases your customer may not have a date or event in mind – in which case you might want to suggest some, to trigger fixing a date. 

So, here you go with a starter set…
  • Customer’s Project Deadline
  • Customer’s Project Date-specific objectives or goals
  • Customer’s Budget Cycle
  • Customer’s Budget that needs to be consumed
  • End of the customer’s fiscal quarter / fiscal year
  • End-of-Life of an existing software package
  • End-of-Support for an existing software package
  • Any Major Changes to the customer’s business
  • Acquisitions
  • Divestitures
  • Mergers
  • New Plant or Facility Openings (or Closures)
  • Scheduled Plant or Production Line Down-time
  • New Production Line
  • New Store Opening
  • New Field Office Openings (or Consolidations/Closures)
  • Key New Hires (or Fires)
  • Aging-out/Retiring Workforce
  • Board Meetings
  • Compliance or Regulatory Changes, New Rules, or Deadlines
  • Other Government-imposed Deadlines
  • Elections
  • Retail Selling Seasons / Holidays
  • Other Seasonality-based Factors
  • New Product Launches
  • New Market Entries
  • Marketing Campaigns
  • Competitive Campaigns
  • Implementation of a Related or Impacted Program (e.g., a new sales methodology, marketing automation system, etc.)
  • Customer’s Internal Key Events (e.g., major company anniversary, annual picnic, etc.)

Any others to add?

Friday, August 24, 2018

Recent Webinar Recording – Intro to Great Demo!

I joined the fine folks at Zoom to present an intro to Great Demo! – you can find the recording here.

For the unexposed, this is a good opportunity to explore a few key Great Demo! concepts.  For existing practitioners, it can serve as a quick refresher session.  

The first 30 minutes are the "formal webinar"; the following 15 minutes are open Q&A.  Enjoy…!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

How Can an Egg Timer Improve Your Demos?

Folks, here’s a mini-contest – with potentially extremely useful results…!

Here’s the question:  How Can an Egg Timer Improve Your Demos?

[For those who are unfamiliar, an egg timer is an ancient artifact from the last century used to time how long to boil or simmer an egg – 2 minutes for soft-boiled, 4 minutes for poaching, 10 minutes for hard-boiled, etc.]

And the answer is:  use it to gently remind yourself to interact with your audience.  The study ( found that the most successful demos enjoyed "speaker switches" an average of every 76 seconds (!).  

So, if you talk for 1 minute before you have a question or response from your audience, that's terrific!  2 minutes is probably OK; 3 minutes is getting overlong; 4 minutes or longer is trouble...  

Sadly, the average length of time for traditional demos is on the order of 4-8 minutes - and the only response to the vendor's question of "Any questions so far?" is typically, "Nope, we're good...", which is definitely NOT good!