Create a better Demo


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Presentation to Open Source Industry Association Australia (Oct 2008) on creating a value based sales demonstration. Feedback wanted.

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  • Create a better Demo

    1. 1. Building a Business Value Demo <ul><ul><li>OR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to give a better pre-sale demonstration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alec Clews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voga Consulting Services </li></ul></ul>
    2. 3. Talking about <ul><li>Why we do it </li></ul><ul><li>What to do </li></ul><ul><li>How to do it </li></ul><ul><li>Traps and Pitfalls </li></ul><ul><li>How to avoid (some of) the problems </li></ul><ul><li>Technology and tips </li></ul>
    3. 4. What we are NOT going to talk about <ul><li>Presentations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(But of course many of these ideas apply to presentations, as well as how to write your curriculum vitae) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Basic talking and listening techniques </li></ul>
    4. 5. This is no magic wand <ul><li>Your demo must reflect you and your values </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No one size fits all </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I'm just one guy, so you teach me as well please </li></ul>
    5. 6. Why do we do it? <ul><li>Add value for ourselves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a sale </li></ul></ul><ul><li>By giving value to the customer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand and Manage the business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do more better and faster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Save money </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Value is $$$$$ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But more on that later </li></ul></ul>
    6. 7. Problem No 1 <ul><li>People have short attention spans and only hear what they want to hear </li></ul><ul><li>SO </li></ul><ul><li>Assume customers have IBS and will leave after 10 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>SHOW THE VALUE EARLY </li></ul>
    7. 8. Be specific about the value <ul><ul><li>“ This is one way our customers are saving 15%---30% of their development costs” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ This customised report shows customer satisfaction trends over time so that you discover what works and make improvements” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ These tailored alerts give you feedback on your security exposure, when server changes occur, so you can remediate immediately” </li></ul></ul>
    8. 9. Problem No 2 <ul><li>People hate lies, or what they think are lies </li></ul><ul><li>SO </li></ul><ul><li>Discover the customers PAIN FIRST then relate to your VALUE offering </li></ul><ul><li>Be Credible </li></ul><ul><li>Don't lie! EVER! </li></ul><ul><li>Know your Product or Service and the Market </li></ul>
    9. 10. <ul><ul><li>OK </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That's all folks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the rest is just details... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but that of course is where the Devil lives... </li></ul></ul>
    10. 11. What is value? <ul><ul><li>MONEY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which is either </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand and Manage Business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do more, better and faster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Save Money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(or Risk management, Competitive advantage, Cost reduction) </li></ul></ul>
    11. 12. Show the Value Early <ul><li>Start with reports and other information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Oh no. Reports are boring! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They're important to the guy with the budget ! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Show and then describe, how the product is useful and easy -- VALUABLE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relate it back to the customer's pain </li></ul></ul>
    12. 13. Have a structured demo plan <ul><li>ALWAYS follow your plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can get lead down the wrong way very easily </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vary the pace, emphasis and words to suit the current situation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be good enough to start using the local terminology </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Helps you maintain control and authority </li></ul><ul><li>Stay focused on the VALUE </li></ul>
    13. 14. Problem no 3 “Nerd in the Room” <ul><li>Can derail your demo plan in 15 seconds flat! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Does it use Perl 5.10 specific features?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“Our standard is to use DBIx::Class” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CAREFUL – might be a key influencer </li></ul><ul><li>Be as water </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deflect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Postpone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seek to understand fully (Leads back to 1) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. 'Why is that important you you?' </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 15. Problem no 4 “It's FAB baby!” <ul><li>The Old, Easy, Way (the perceived wisdom) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>F eatures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A dvantages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B enefits </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The New Way </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It's all about the VALUE </li></ul></ul>
    15. 16. Example of FAB <ul><li>What you say </li></ul><ul><li>'These screens are blue with black text' </li></ul><ul><li>'Makes it easier to avoid re-key errors' </li></ul><ul><li>'Saves on time, mistakes and costs' </li></ul><ul><li>What they think </li></ul><ul><li>We don't use blue anywhere else? </li></ul><ul><li>I wonder if the other vendor forces us to have blue? </li></ul><ul><li>What time is lunch? </li></ul>
    16. 17. We need to show Pain and Value e.g. <ul><li>'Accepted costs for re-key errors are 20% of total and major cause is poor UI design' </li></ul><ul><li>'These screens are designed to minimise operator fatigue and errors' </li></ul><ul><li>'Preliminary results suggest 10-12% saving off the bottom line cost' </li></ul><ul><li>'From our discussions earlier it sounds to me as if you are in a similar position. Do you agree?' </li></ul>
    17. 18. The demo <ul><ul><li>Repeats the sales messages about VALUE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Through the medium of a working product and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the context of the prospects needs </li></ul></ul>
    18. 19. <ul><li>Importance of Language </li></ul><ul><li>Use their language or jargon </li></ul><ul><li>Connect your ideas to their mental map </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate the business value & costs </li></ul>© 2008 Digital Business Group Pty Ltd
    19. 20. Problem 4 Leading ourselves astray <ul><li>People ask questions and have agendas </li></ul><ul><li>We want to be helpful </li></ul><ul><li>OOPS – our message is destroyed and we lose control </li></ul><ul><li>So: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Work answers into current demo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer to follow at the end </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer a follow up meeting </li></ul></ul>
    20. 21. Demo should be like an onion <ul><li>Show how great the Value is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports and business information... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Then show how easy it is for users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transactions and ... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Show how low the support impact is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Configuration, Security, ... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aim to finish after reports! </li></ul><ul><li>(Peeling back the layers 1 by 1) </li></ul>
    21. 22. Traps and Pitfalls <ul><li>Focusing on the appearance or architecture of the product </li></ul><ul><li>Talking about the configuration and set-up first </li></ul><ul><li>Qualifying every answer with technical detail </li></ul><ul><li>Showing every feature in the product and giving product training </li></ul><ul><li>Selling our knowledge instead of the product </li></ul><ul><li>Showing something we are not sure of </li></ul>
    22. 23. Problem 5: Having no hard edges <ul><li>If a product (or service) has clearly defined 'edges' then it's easy to show value </li></ul><ul><li>Large products with soft edges are hard to show – which value are we selling? </li></ul><ul><li>Make your own edges </li></ul><ul><li>Edges may change depending on customer – needs careful thought and practice... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need multiple demo plans to show appropriate value </li></ul></ul>
    23. 24. Tips and Tricks <ul><li>Use Virtual Machine technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protects precious demo from external changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes set-up easy and fast </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use a fixed specific data set you know </li></ul><ul><li>Practice and refine, again and again and... </li></ul><ul><li>After every demo ask </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Three good things </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Three things to improve </li></ul></ul>
    24. 25. Tips and Tricks 2 <ul><li>Beware cultural differences. e.g. My approach works in Australia but needs changing in India </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare by listening to the customer and make sure you know why they want to listen. Confirm your understanding. DISCOVERY </li></ul><ul><li>Use the customers language, not yours </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. machines vs. servers, iterations vs releases </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Features can be presented as an opportunity to attack or a tactic to defend – or both </li></ul>
    25. 26. Demo as a slide show <ul><li>Showing a product as a set of screen shots, or outputs, and associated data can be a valid second choice: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UI is too small or hard to demonstrate live </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No UI to show </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forces a large complex demo to stay on track </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Back up in case demo fails on-site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As a handout – but be very careful where it ends up </li></ul></ul>
    26. 27. Key Takeaways <ul><li>The Demo MUST </li></ul><ul><li>Address the PAIN </li></ul><ul><li>Show the VALUE </li></ul><ul><li>Be Credible </li></ul>
    27. 28. The boring bit <ul><li>Alec's started in NCR UK pre-sale team in 1982 </li></ul><ul><li>In and out of technical sales and consulting ever since </li></ul><ul><ul><li>and project management, support, development, change control,... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Currently an independent consultant for Software Process and Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Business cards provided for modest fees ☺ </li></ul>
    28. 29. With thanks to: <ul><li>My many friends and colleagues over the years including, but not limited to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Paul Fenwick for help with OpenOffice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The sales team at Tripwire for improving my skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peter Rooke for being a sounding board </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kate Carruthers for material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Sales Warrior blog for imagery ( </li></ul></ul>
    29. 30. The really boring bit <ul><li>This document is copyright 2008 Alec Clews </li></ul><ul><li>Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (see ) </li></ul>
    30. 31. Further Information <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Solution Selling training and books </li></ul>