[Warning – graphic and potentially painful content…]
There’s a rough but strangely consistent timeline for a “1 hour overview demo” that seems to go like this [starting time for each element on the left side]:
0:00: Fumbling with WebEx/GoToMeeting – “Did you get the link? Can you see my screen?”
0:04: Mutual introductions… and no request for doing discovery on the part of the demonstrator
0:08: Corporate overview presentation (gag…)
0:18: Product overview presentation, including
0:28: “Actual” demo, including
a. Opening statement that “we need to compress a 60 minute demo into 30 minutes by “going real fast…”
b. Request that “this be interactive, so please so me if you have any questions…”, followed by a fire-hose-like delivery with no real time for questions whatsoever
c. Overview of the offering(s) (again, even though it was covered in the Product Overview presentation)
d. Overview of navigation elements…
e. Entry into how to set-up and configure the application, which then consumes most of the remaining time (even though this task is typically done once, when first implemented, and then rarely ever after)
f. A walk-through of the workflow (a run-through, in fact, since time is really getting short)
g. A rapid, largely verbal description of the canned and custom reporting capabilities (often including the claim that “we have over 600 canned reports…” of which a typical user might consume 1 or 2!)
h. Comment that “we didn’t have enough time to show you everything…”
0:60: Wrap-up with no action items
Frightening, terrible and remarkably common!
If the objective was to “show the customer a demo” then that objective was achieved – but it is very doubtful that other tangible progress was made in the sale!
Your first step is to see how close some of your team’s demos match the horror described above. If your demos are nothing like the Stunningly Awful Web Overview, then congratulations – your team is curiously above average in performance…!
On the other hand, it the demo example above is “too close to home”, then consider the following ideas:
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