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PreSales Content

Check out my PreSales Webinars, downloadable White Papers, the 'Two PreSales in a Pod' Podcast, PreSales book recommendations and the ultimate PreSales business card.
PreSales Webinars
My DEMOFESTx Live, London and Dublin Session and Consensus Buyer Enablement Webinar:
Bossing Demonstration Complexity and Value Proposition Design like a 5-year-old

Your 5-year-old self was better than you at three key PreSales skills. Let's find out what those skills have to do with a very common problem in the PreSales / Sales Engineering profession: overwhelming complexity in feature/function/client value mapping and the critical need to architect short, punchy, focused demonstrations and videos.

The End of (Live) Demonstrations & The Story of the Washing Machine & the Dirty Laundry

Check out my DEMOFEST Session.

How does a pile of dirty clothes explain the fundamental flaw in how we're still doing demonstrations and Proof of Concepts/Value/Success (PoC/PoV/PoS)?

This session digs into the misalignment between modern Buying Journeys, decades-old Tech Sales Processes, and the value PreSales bring. We'll look to a future of PreSales that splits the role into Creators / Influencers and Consultants / Advisors / Coaches.

Objection Handling for PreSales

I developed this new objection handling tool, PIIITCH™, after finding the techniques taught to AEs and BDRs weren't working for SE/PreSales. I explain why in the video. Thank you to Sami Focarino and everyone at Consensus for hosting this webinar.

White Papers
Here are some of my thoughts on RFPs (I hate them), PreSales organisational structures and the problem with viewing PreSales enablement as a box-ticking exercise.
White Paper - I, T, Pi or Broad line PreSales Skills
White Paper - No-One Likes Answering RFPs
White Paper - Don't Run Another PreSales Skills Workshop
'Two PreSales in a Pod' Podcast
In September 2020, we were in the middle of the Coronavirus lockdown. Adam Freeman and I were chatting regularly via Zoom about all things PreSales. Adam asked what if we recorded our conversations; would anyone else in our profession be interested? And that's how Adam and I founded the 'Two PreSales in a Pod' podcast.

Zooming forward, we went from two to four co-hosts, with Mark Green and Tom Edwards joining us, and then, as I retired in February 2024, Mark McKinlay joined as a co-host.

Check out the amazing 'Two PreSales in a Pod' podcast...
Your New PreSales Business Card
Business Card - Person You Wanted to Speak To

It's healthy to regularly challenge the deeply held beliefs we have in our PreSales profession and craft. I often get asked about what we should use as a job title and what we should call ourselves on our business cards (if you still use them), so here are my thoughts. Internally, within your company, I don't think it really matters what you call the PreSales team as long as you have a well-defined and understood career path with matching competencies and a clear understanding of the services you provide that impact revenue. The role of PreSales is in flux at the moment, we're realigning around the world of Buyer Enablement, and our skill set is in demand across the whole buyer journey, not just the traditional 'mid-sales funnel'.   If you look at the research into what B2B Technology Buyers want, then, externally, we might as well call ourselves 'The Person You Actually Wanted to Speak To'. I'm in no way denigrating the role of our Sales colleagues; I've always said 'we both win and lose as a sales team', but modern Buyers do get frustrated with all the hurdles and qualification steps we put in their buying journey. Modern Buyers know that the 'Book a Demo' button, for instance, isn't going to get them a demo, well not immediately, it's going to get them multiple qualification 'interrogations' that they need to pass before they get access to 'the person they actually wanted to speak to', PreSales. Sometimes, all that Buyers actually want, is to ask the advice of someone who's a technical and business / domain authority, someone who's credible, articulate, understands the business case, value proposition and outcomes and can advise on the buying journey. Sounds like us, doesn't it?

Recommended PreSales Books
I've gone for a 'slimmed down' recommendation for what should be on your PreSales bookshelf. In the past few years, there's been an explosion of interest in our profession, and consequently, many relevant books have been written. Click on each book for more details.
Social Sales Engineer
Selling is Hard Buying is Harder - Garin Hess
Made to Stick
Mastering Technical Sales - 4th Edition
Great Demo! Third Edition Cover
Bikablo 2 new version
The Sales Engineer Manager's Handbook - John Care
The Challenger Customer
The Jolt Effect Thumbnail

Here, I've gone for the PreSales profession standard, 'Great Demo' by Peter Cohan. I've included two by John Care; 'The Sales Engineer Manager's Handbook' is a must if you're in a management role (or planning to be). 'Made to Stick' by Chip & Dan Heath is really good on storytelling and how to be memorable. You need at least one 'Challenger' book on your bookshelf, hence 'The Challenger Customer'; it's probably the only new sales methodology in the last 20 years. Matt Dixon's (co-author of Challenger) latest book is 'The Jolt Effect', which is brilliant on why deals stall and why the fear of failing is the biggest block to closing deals.   I'm a 'sketch first, turn into a PowerPoint only if you have to' person, so I'm giving away a 'trade secret' by including the 'Bikablo 2.0' sketching visual dictionary. PreSales professionals now also need to master social, so I must include 'The Social Sales Engineer' from my good buddy, Patrick Pissang; it's so good that I wrote the foreword. And finally, as a profession, we're in the middle of the great transformation to Buyer Enablement, so I've included Garin Hess' 'Selling is Hard, Buying is Harder', a must-read.

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