Your pre-sales demos are still half of the sales equation. Actually, their value diminishes to less than half if your channel partner team falls flat on their faces when it comes time to win the business.
As a pre-sales engineer of worth, you know how much time you put into your pre-sales demos. So do I. You perform flawlessly. Every time.
Perhaps that’s part of the problem with your channel partners’ business win rates. They perceive you as “performing” rather than being an integral member of their bigger, ongoing business development picture.
Some of you are bothered by this status quo pre-sales demo scenario. Others of you revel in your well-earned technical mastery of your products, services and platforms.
However, what really changes after your pre-sales demos? You win some, you lose some.
What happens after you win the demo battle but the sales team loses the sales war? More finger-pointing and playing the blame game?
At the end of the day, it remains an Us versus Them standoff in your respective corporate cultures. You both haven’t won over the most important business ground: with each other.
Certainly you are the heroine of the pre-sales demos each time your channel partner team takes you off the shelf for yet another round of demos.
But wait. There’s more to the equation than the role you currently fulfill.
You know that. I know that. It’s just that your company isn’t set up that way. Your partner company isn’t set up that way. Your customer isn’t used to seeing you that way.
Your paycheck certainly doesn’t look that way.
So does that mean you have no other options than to wash-rinse-repeat pre-sales demos for “the next time?”
Certainly you are working diligently to improve the effectiveness of your presentations. You engage in training courses and reading to enhance your professional development. You analyze what went right and wrong during the last pre-sales demo that went nowhere. You are engaged in continuous professional improvement.
It’s just that you remain, firmly, on your side of the business equation, as the go-to pre-sales demos expert of choice.
And that scenario becomes stale after a while.
Especially as technology is advancing faster than your ability to keep up with it. Especially as your expertise becomes more niche-focused and, consequently, limited.
Start thinking about what’s needed to traverse the sales-engineering® interface in your next pre-sales demo. Surprise your sales folks. Take a bold step. Insert yourself into their equation earlier in the business development process.
Like how about at the start of it all? Ah, those pre-sales demos. Have I given you something to chew on this month?
Babette Ten Haken is a catalyst, corporate strategist and facilitator. She writes, speaks, consults and coaches about how cross-functional team collaboration revolutionizes the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) value chain for customer loyalty, customer success and customer retention. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ programs draw from her background as a scientist, sales professional, enterprise-level facilitator, Six Sigma Green Belt and certified DFSS Voice of the Customer practitioner. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.