Episode 010 – A Masterclass on How to Standout as a Candidate, Deliver a Great Demo!, and Thrive in PreSales with Peter Cohan


Are you ready to stand out from the competition and thrive in PreSales? 

Then join us for this insightful conversation with Peter Cohan, the founder and renowned author of Great Demo! and Doing Discovery, two industry leading books on best practices within PreSales. 

In this episode, Peter shares how absorbing and practicing the lessons from his books can give you an edge as a candidate. Additionally, Peter provides valuable advice on collaborating effectively with your Account Executives, understanding what PreSales hiring managers truly seek, and navigating the delicate balance between passion and pragmatism. 

Don't miss out on Peter's wisdom on embracing Imposter Syndrome, avoiding the “peak of Mount Stupid,” and the seven words that will make you a better SE when faced with challenging questions. 

Tune in now to take your PreSales career to the next level!

Resources Discussed

Books by Peter Cohan

From the Great Demo! Website

Additional Resources

[00:00:00] Matt Madden: Hey everyone, this is Matt Madden, and today I am truly honored to have Peter Cohan on the Path to PreSales Podcast, and we're gonna cover just some amazing ground around the work he's doing today with Great Demo! Doing Discovery. The methodologies there, if you're not familiar with them, you will be after today's episode.

And just a lot of great resources. He has years, decades of experience helping people grow and refine their skillsets within the profession. And just before we dive in, wanted to say, Peter, thanks so much for coming on the show.

[00:00:33] Peter Cohan: Hey Matt. The pleasure is truly mine. And hello everybody.

[00:00:38] Matt Madden: Excellent. Well, You've had a lot going on

Over the past few weeks, you've been very busy with a lot of exciting things from DemoFest to working on your new version of Great Demo!. I want to talk about all of those, but would you mind taking us on a journey of how really you got your start within tech, uh, working specifically in, in presales?

[00:01:00] Peter Cohan: I'd be delighted. So we can, we can actually look at that from two perspectives, two points of view, and one is, is actually that origin story. at the same time though, I also wanna paint the picture of where you can end up and by end up, um, you know, PreSales in a sense is all about understanding and helping our customers achieve outcomes.

And so, with that in mind, where, what kinds of outcomes might you contemplate? And I'll give you just a sampling set. Um, if you choose to go the PreSales pathway, and one could be that you end up of as the president of a 30 million organization. Uh, and that's where I was in 2000. Um, and it's partly because PreSales is.

It's a cultural ecotone, let me say that again. It's a cultural ecotone. And uh, for those unfamiliar with the term ecotone, that's the confluence, the junction of two different, ecological systems. So for example, a seashore is an ecotone. And what you have at these con, these conjunctions are fabulous expressions of life and possibility and interactions.

So, you know, what do you have at a seashore? Well, you have. Fish. You have land animals, you've got, um, those that go between. You've got plants, you've got all kinds of systems that take advantage of this unique environment. And in a sense, that's what presales is. It's a cultural ecotone. It's that conjunction the coming together, if you will, of interactions with customers, interactions with technology, interactions with sales, interactions with customer success, and on and on.

It makes it a, a exciting and unique arena. So where can you end up. Yeah, there you go. Where can you end up? You could easily end up running your own business. That's where I went. Um, you could end up as, the head of a business unit of a 30 million operation. That's another example. You could end up becoming a unique and treasured player as a principal, PreSales person, enjoying the role for 35 or 40 years, for example.

So there are many, many different directions you can.

[00:03:23] Matt Madden: Mm-hmm.

[00:03:26] Peter Cohan: I'll set the stage for you and don't laugh when I give her the years, but it is 19, it is 1983. I am working in the lab in a company called Cal Biochem down in San Diego, where I believe I was the first person, by the way, to successfully freeze dry beer for backpacking. But that's another story. Um, and my lab mate says, Hey, um, Rhonda, she says, Hey, you know what?

There's a position open in technical services. She says, I think you oughta, try out for it. If you will. You ought to, give it a shot. And I said, why? And what I was fully expecting is she would give some discussion about, you know, marriage and technology and meeting with customers, which is all I thought.

But she said, now, You enjoy talking.

[00:04:11] Matt Madden: Well, at least she's honest.

[00:04:13] Peter Cohan: she was now, it was, it was a wonderful relationship. Rhonda, in fact, introduced me to the woman that, that, uh, now is my ever so much better. Half. We both worked in the same lab together. Um, but um, she said, you know what? No, you're, you enjoy working with customers, you enjoy communicating.

You should check this out. And technical services was what PreSales was called at that time, at Cal Biochem. And so I interviewed, I got the role, and to a certain degree, I've never looked back, although I'm always looking back to see what I could have done better or differently. So that's where it began.

in 1985, I had the opportunity to move back to the San Francisco Bay area and join a software company that was building software specifically for chemists and the pharmaceutical industry. And that to me,

[00:05:00] Matt Madden: that to me

[00:05:01] Peter Cohan: Was absolutely astonishing. You could draw pictures of chemical structures and look for them in databases.

Just using the 2D subgraphs and the 3D subgraphs, it was insanely incredible that you could actually do this, and it progressed from there from one role to the next to the next. So that's the, the short version of the origin story.

[00:05:22] Matt Madden: I love it. Well, The point that you highlighted around such variation and that rich analogy you used, um, to paint the picture of just there is so much confluence of different things coming together where somebody within the role can really make an impact, interact with others, drive value, create value, be part of projects that overlap, uh, amongst different functions within the org, was spot on from, you know, my experience and from what I've heard from others as I've gotten into the role.

And I think it's really exciting to, for people to hear what you highlighted speaks kind of the irony of. The name of this podcast, path to PreSales because there is no one specific path necessarily, and you're not stuck on a rigid track once you're in the role. There are lots of different ways you could grow, like to your point, to leading a company such as you did, you know, 30 million company to leading a division within a company like that to being that, principal, solutions engineer or solutions consultant, sales engineer and so on

I love getting into that, that variation there. Um, but I'm curious on the journey. You mentioned you started to progress through these roles and when did you start hearing, I guess, within the tech world, folks converging on the term PreSales for the work that you were doing and the work that other folks do as well?

Just an interesting vantage point.

[00:06:48] Peter Cohan: yeah, so, um, not until about, uh, I would say 2003 or 2005 did I actually first, first hear that term PreSales. Um, in Great Demo! And in doing discovery, there's a long listing of the broad range of titles that people have, all in that general role of doing PreSales. Um, and the first time. That I encountered it.

They were well, technical services manager. That was my title. I was a technical services manager, um, at Cal Bio. I didn't have anybody to manage, but it was, but it was that same role. It was exactly that same role. next company at, uh, company called mdl, the Pharma Chemistry Software Company. Um, an interesting title.

It was, it was Field Application Scientist. And there's, an important backstory associated with this. in order to connect and sell successfully, for example, into pharma research, which was the, the bulk of our business, you really need to, to be, um, you needed to be a scientist. You truly needed to be a scientist at, at minimum, you needed to have a, perhaps an undergrad degree in chemistry or biology or biochem or similar.

Um, Because if you didn't, you lacked the situational fluency. Uh, you lacked the knowledge required to actually have the communications. So the people that we were bringing in, as field application scientists, they saw themselves and rightly so as scientists, but practicing outside of the lab, if you will.

Um, so the answer to your question, of course, uh, was about 2000 or three or 2005 when I first encountered that term. But I'd heard field application scientist, solution consultants, sales engineer, many, many, many of the others before I actually ever heard PreSales.

[00:08:39] Matt Madden: Interesting. Well, I know. You mentioned Great Demo! As well as doing discovery, and I want to really get into a lot around, the two different books and the trainings that you guys have, have done over the years and continue to do today, as an organization for those who are just hearing about Great Demo! Or doing Discovery for the first time that, you know, aren't actively working within tech or within PreSales, would you mind just giving them your best, uh, version of how you'd, how you'd love to introduce them to those and think about those concepts and when they should start kind of learning and digesting, uh, the methodologies that you have within there.

Before we kind of unpack some of those, um, just give them an overview from your

[00:09:23] Peter Cohan: Uh, thank you. Yes, I would be delighted. how do I want to introduce them? so doing Discovery is a manual for sales, PreSales, anybody that's, that's working with customers, to understand the customer's situation in an intimate enough detail, that you can then propose a solution.

And that's in a very important concept. Um, It's just like we can use a doctor's an analogy. The last thing you would want if you felt ill or unwell, is to go to a doctor and have the doctor never ask a single question, but simply say, I know what you've got. You've got this, and I want you to go down and have your leg cut off.

You'll probably be B at that because yeah. Insufficient discovery, if you will, in this case, lack of, of diagnosis, is a, uh, is actually a crime in medicine of course. And I would suggest the same is somewhat true, in the world of enterprise B2B software, that if you start proposing solutions without their prospect having, uh, an understanding that you have a sufficient understanding of their situation, you're already behind.

If you'll, so I would, I would call doing discovery as. Not just a manual for doing discovery, but I would suggest that it provides you if you're coming into a PreSales role with an unfair advantage versus your peers. And why do I say that? Because discovery is rarely taught in academies. It's rarely taught in the first couple of years of people, being PreSales practitioners.

And by rarely taught, I mean, it's almost never taught. It's expected that you will somehow figure it out on your own. And actually, Matt, I'll ask you, did you ever go through any formalized training on doing discovery?

[00:11:07] Matt Madden: n not even with my sales background framed up in that context. You know, the asking questions around what they need and so on, I think is comes up in any sales methodology or training that you get, but the quality of how you're asking those questions and thinking about it and digging in definitely has varied in my, my training kind of leading up to that point where I was first introduced to it.

As we're doing, you know, technical discovery, we're doing discovery specifically around the business problem within the context of B2B software sales.

[00:11:41] Peter Cohan: Yeah, so there you go. Proof is is at hand, so do it. The book, doing Discover, I would suggest Will, can provide you with an unfair, but very, very effective advantage. And the advantage is a strange word in this case versus your peers. You'd be perceived as doing a better job, but here's where it really pays off.

Your customers and prospects will appreciate you much, much more because you are investing in understanding their situations as intimately as needed. Um, and I would just wanna give you a couple of interesting examples, from the book. When people are talking about doing discovery in most organizations, they may equate it with what is known as qualification.

The qualification is done for the vendor's benefit. It's really a question of is this prospect worth investing our time with? In a sales, process. So it's all about the vendor saying, is this a, is this a real project? Do you have budget? Are you the person making the decision, et cetera. Discovery, on the other hand, is done for the benefit of both parties.

And where discovery gets really, really interesting is where you begin to dig into things like the prospect's business culture. So are they a startup? Are they a fast follower? Are they an early adopter? Are they a majority player, a middle majority, a late majority, are they a laggard? Even attributes like that can tell you an enormous amount about what's the likelihood that this opportunity may close?

How should I engage with this prospect and so forth. So if you're dealing with a company that is, uh, 50 years old and, and they basically have an attitude of, well, we've always done it this way. Well, that's gonna be a much Yeah, you sounds like you've hit those. That's gonna be a much different conversation than a company that says, yeah, we're, we are willing to make some, experiment and take some risks.

Uh, or we're in a situation where we really need to move and we need to move crisply. So even cultural understanding can make a huge difference. So that's, that's doing discovery. Great. Demo, is based on personal experience coming out of, uh, just around the turn of the century, around 2000 where, we were buying, this is when I was managing a team of, about, at that point, about 60 or 70 people, and we were buying a.

We needed to buy a CRM system. And so we brought, all the major vendors in and said, what do you need? They said, they all said about the same thing. We want you to bring all of your team together for two hour-ish demos. So we ended up having five vendors come in. I had eight folks in the room for each of those.

So if you do the math, we basically had, uh, what is that 80 person days consumed, 80 person days consumed in demos. Think about that. Um, and at the end of this big round of demos, I got the team together and I said, well, what do you, what do you think? And they all said they were horrible demos. They were awful.

They didn't, they didn't ask any questions of us. They didn't understand our situation. They just went through their packages all the same way from start all the way to the end. Let me show you how to enter a record. Let show you how to clone that. Let show you how to run a campaign, let show you this, this, this, this.

And I said, And I said, at the end of this, I said, so we all hated them, right? They, everybody says, yeah, they were terrible. And I said, well, guess what? I've got really bad news. We have been doing the same thing to our prospects. We're showing them what we want to show them. We're not doing sufficient discovery.

We're not mapping to their needs. We're pretending to do discovery occasionally along the way by saying, Hey, is this something that looks interesting to you? I said, no. Our demos are just as awful as what we just watched. We need. And this is where the tool, the headline for the book came in. We need to turn our demos upside down.

We need to do the last thing first. We need to show the prospect what this particular job title, this particular prospect, individual's looking for out of our software right at the front so they can see what's in it for them. And then, then we can peel back the layers in accord with their depth and level of interest.

And this came out as a result of realizing that. You know, I was in the room and all I cared about really was the forecast of pipeline because I was managing, sales as, as well as the overall operation at that point. Um, the salespeople were interested in their own forecast stuff. The marketing people didn't care about any of that.

They wanted to know how their campaigns were running and the leads that were being generated. So everybody had a different perspective, and that's what, that's what caused me then to develop the methodology and draft the book. So what I would say with respect to Great Demo! Is that it is an advanced methodology for delivering demos.

It is a full step above and beyond traditional. Let me show you how everything works, type of a demo. my recommendation would be, as you're coming into PreSales, learn your product, learn the technology through whatever mode You're learning it in but then, then, Read Great Demo! And learn how to reframe the capabilities listing that you have and align them to the desires and the level of importance of what your prospects are looking for.

So doing discovery, I'd consider to be a foundational tool. Great Demo!. I would also consider to be a foundational tool, but only after you understand the technology you need to represent. Does that help?

[00:17:15] Matt Madden: I think it's very helpful and would love, if there are follow up questions around that, let me know. I'll make sure I pass 'em along to Peter or at the end if there are specific ways that are best to reach out to him, definitely make sure he shares those so you know how to get in touch there. But I think that's usually helpful.

One thing if I just put on my career transition or hat for a moment that I would wonder as a follow up, is when you feel you've, let's say you land your role, you've learned the product to a level of depth that. Your new manager now feels confident in having you start to join these calls and deliver initial follow on demos from there.

At what point do you think that, incorporating, Great Demo!, if we just take that as a starting point, um, weaving that in. What are good ways for people to think about taking concepts you have in the book? if they're specific, chapters you know, starting to weave those in in a way that is kind of incremental

Like, does, does step one build on step two and so on, in terms of the ways they should think about, you know, really embracing, the approach and the framework and, and the concepts that you teach within there. do you have any, any recommendations from that perspective?

[00:18:35] Peter Cohan: Certainly. Um, and I guess I have to spill the beans here and say, by the way, that's an ancient expression. I'm not even sure what it means anymore. But, the third edition of Great Demo! Is in process and should come out in a few weeks from when we're doing this recording now, which is the very end of May.

So hopefully it'll show up somewhere in mid to late June. Um, both the third edition of Great Demo! In Doing Discovery are really. They're each two books in one. Um, both are organized so that you can consume and practice, the core methodologies, uh, if you will, the part one of the book. the books are organized so that they introduce the ideas, they discuss them, they give examples of sidebars and stories of how these ideas either came about or how they can be implemented.

And then there are exercises that are suggested. And I hardly recommend that people as they go through this particularly as you're moving into and developing PreSales roles, try the re exercises out, do 'em, because. How do I wanna say this? People retain approximately 10% of what they read in a business book.

So not a novel, not a story book, but a business book. they remember about 10%, which explains by the way, why people highlight pages. They put, you know, if you have physical books, they put stickies on 'em. Uh, if you, reading on Kindle, you may, put a bookmark on it and so forth.

And that increases your retention by a little bit. The act of putting something into practice drives that up to about, uh, if I recall correctly, about 50% retention. So that's why I recommend doing the exercises. So coming back to your question, how to consume the book, the part ones, the core methodologies, I'd recommend you consume those, go through the exercises and, and start practicing if you will get feedback, get a mentor, et cetera.

And then begin to dive into the advanced topics. So for example, in the, third edition of Great Demo!, there's a chapter now on storytelling and demos. And this is very, very, I have to laugh at this because you'll hear managers all over the world say, you gotta wrap a story around your demo. You gotta, we gotta improve our storytelling techniques.

And the sad but true, element of this is most people don't really have any idea what a real story is. And so what I've tried to do in that is to develop out, you know, what are good stories with respect to demos and sales, customer success marketing. What are not stories, and I'll disabuse some folks now say that the idea of wrapping story around your demo and try to make it, and here we go, A day in the life.

A day in the life is not a story. It's simply a structured narrative. It's simply a timeline. Um, but it is equally as boring and unfocused as a traditional demo because it's just a timeline. I have a buddy who said, uh oh, you want me to do it? He sarcastically said, oh, you want me to do a day in the life?

That'll take a week in the demo. So, so the books are organized the same way. Core methodology in the first half, and then advanced topics, which you can consume at your leisure. Um, you know, as you, you could jump around and say, Ooh, you know, I've got a POC that's coming up. Maybe I should read the chapter on other forms of proof in the third edition to Great Demo!, for example.

Or in, uh, doing discovery, oh, I'm, gonna go talk to a startup. Well, I've never talked to startups before. what should I be thinking about? What do I need to know? What's different in terms of doing discovery with these organizations? So does that help?

[00:22:18] Matt Madden: It does. Yeah, definitely. And with that, one of the key things, obviously I as a solutions consultant, you know, working within the role is that partnership with your account executive and getting aligned with them in the selling motion and where we fit in, uh, as PreSales professionals. How do you see the most successful teams that are implementing adopting the Great Demo! And doing discovery?

Methods and concepts, how do you see them aligning with their sales account executive, counterparts? I don't know if that's the best way to frame that up, but to that extent, to, to help really move the process forward in a way that's most fluid in not creating friction against what might potentially be bad or not.

The most well developed discovery processes being executed by, the core selling team today.

[00:23:14] Peter Cohan: Yeah. So what a terrific topic. Let's talk about, uh, at least three scenarios. And I wanna start with the best possibly scenario, because that's where we want to go. And the best possible scenario is where you're working with a seasoned, terrific sales counterpart who constantly is teaching you.

How to do things really, really well or do things better. And I wanna give, I wanna give an example of that. Um, I had, I had the pleasure of working with a woman named Carol Fisherman, who was largely responsible for the first few years of major success at, this previous company, mdl. Um, she was on the US East Coast.

she had a good portion of the eastern seaboard. And at that time I was, uh, I was representing, I'm trying to remember which product it was, doesn't matter. I was re representing one of the products and I used to fly out very, very frequently and be the pre-sale support for. Sales reps all over, well, frankly, all over the world.

And, um, she took me to a company in North Carolina and we're in the labs. We're talking to people and she says to these chemists and labs, um, pharmaceutical chemists, she says, can you just go to the whiteboard there? In this case it was actually physical glass in the labs, which is really cool.

You can draw on them. Um, same way. and she says, can you guys just, just list out and diagram out, your current process for. Doing the discovery work you do. And discovery in this case means discovery. New, new drug entities if you will. so you know, map out, where you get your ideas, how do you test them out?

How long does it take? Where are the bottlenecks? Just map it out for me on this side of glass board. And they did. And I, all the time, I'm, I'm thinking, why is she doing this? She already knows all of this. And so that evening, and I was impatient and I'm making notes, but I'm impatient going, this is a waste of time.

It's a waste of time. And, uh, that evening at the, if I recall, it was a restaurant called the Governor's End. It was very nice. Uh, it R t P, research Triangle Park. Um, I asked her that same question. I said, why did you, why'd you have them lay all that stuff out? You already know all those answers. She said, I do cuz she had a beautiful North Carolina accent.

She says I do. But what's important is that they know that I understand it and there's a huge difference between me saying, I already, I understand your pathways, if you will. And them laying them out such that they know because they've articulated that information that she and I now understand their particular flavor of the pharmaceutical entity discovery pathway.

And I had that, you know, light bulb went off my head and I went, oh, I get it. So the net of this is, Best case, allow yourself with some seasoned, highly successful salespeople that you can just constantly learn from and, and absorb everything you possibly can. Um, because that's, that's the very best situation.

And let them guide you in meetings with prospects and customers. Carol used to do a delightful pre-meeting, um, particularly when we were on the road. We'd get together, the night before for dinner that morning at breakfast or whatever, and, you know, I'd been slaving away, making sure the demo was gonna work, was that era.

Uh, and she says, now I wanna be very clear. Here's where, what I want you to plan to show, and here's what I don't want you to show. And I was like, wait, what? You don't want me to show some of the coolest stuff in this software? And she's like, that's right. I want you to focus on the things that they need and leave everything else aside because they don't care.

And you know, that was like, wait, what? So moral the story. Allow yourself with some of the seasoned, successful performers, those that are a delight to work with and tend to make their quotas on a regular basis. So that's case number one. Before I go on with that, any any thoughts or comments on that?

[00:27:23] Matt Madden: No, I just, one quick comment. I love the insight on just showing them what they care about and how she taught you that or you really had that light bulb moment as well and like learning from there. And obviously that has very much shaped and extended into what you teach throughout. Great Demo! And doing discovery and, um, question we can come back to, I want to ask, did you coin the term harbor tour?

And maybe you can explain that for the listeners too, uh, within aligning that out cuz I kind of, became familiar with that through your work. So,

[00:27:52] Peter Cohan: So Harbor Tour, I wish I had coined that term. No, I cannot take credit for that. I was doing a workshop in Germany just outside of Frankfurt, way back in something like 2005 or thereabouts. And I was describing traditional, demos and I had developed a list of just sort of fun phrases, you know, show up and throw up, spray and pray, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And a woman. with a beautiful English German accent says, ah, she says, you mean Z Harbor tour? And I'd never heard that term before. I said, can you, what do, what do you mean by that? She said, she, and she gave me this and I've been saying it ever since. She says, you know, you put Z customer on Zibo. They cannot get off.

This is German, German woman saying this. And she was just delightful. She says, and then, you know, they can't get off and you drag them around the harbor for three hours constantly asking them, have you seen anything you would like so far? She says, yeah, that's, that's a harbor tour. It's awful. So she invented the term and then I co-opted it and I, sadly, I do not remember her name or I would've given her credit every time.

But, um, if she's out there and she remembers, she's more than welcome to disabuse me of, of.

[00:29:02] Matt Madden: That's amazing. Well, I do recall, I believe on, Great Demo!.com, you guys, you do have a blog post that kind of speaks to the story again. So I can link to that as a refresher or if people wanna go deeper on that and, and also explore some of the other many, many rich resources you have there, which you can come back to.

But, uh, bringing it back to, we saw the best case scenario in that, you know, working and aligning with your sales counterpart. What would be the next scenarios that you think are helpful?

[00:29:29] Peter Cohan: So the next se scenario is the typical garden variety salesperson that you are teamed with that has strengths and weaknesses. And this is where you really need to develop relationships and understand, mutually understand where your strength, your mutual strengths, where your mutual re weaknesses. And from there, map out your roles and reach agreement on those roles.

So for example, you'll have people that have, um, poor situational fluency, for example, in a customer, but they understand the mechanics of how to navigate, bring meetings together. Uh, by the way, it's an interesting little side note you'll hear. PreSales people, bitch and wine and moan constantly about how they're doing all the heavy lifting and salespeople get all the credit and, you know, and get the big commissions.

I will suggest for those people go ahead into sales for a few years and just see how easy it is.

[00:30:26] Matt Madden: Right?

[00:30:26] Peter Cohan: I had that, I had that Matt, I think you had that experience as well. It's like, whoa, okay. This is a not easy and b, enormously stressful. Um, in fact, I'll give you a mini story and then come back. Um, coming back from a two year stint in Switzerland, I thought I was gonna be, given marketing lead up heading marketing and uh, the CEO and the head of sales said, uh, no.

What we think would be really good for you in your growth and development is to, take over sales of the Western region. And I was like, hahaha, that's all very funny, but uh, shouldn't I be going and heading up marketing? And they say, ha ha, ha. No, we really want you to do this. And. I went into it kicking and screaming, and yet it was one of the best moves I ever, uh, had the opportunity to occupy, if you'll So

I would get up in the morning after I, I suddenly realized I've got a $2 million quota, to complete. And by the way, this is back just before the turn of the century, so it was a big number. I got up in the morning, looked in the mirror and said, let's see, 200 selling days a year, 2 million quota.

That means that on average, every selling day, if you will, I needed to be generating an average of $10,000. Sobering, isn't

[00:31:42] Matt Madden: no pressure,

[00:31:43] Peter Cohan: No pressure. So, Going back, um, strengths and weaknesses of both parties. Map out the roles where you strong, where you weak, and reach agreement on who's gonna do what. So doing discovery, salespeople are gonna be stronger at top level challenges, uncovering those levels of needs.

timelines and related types of things. PreSales people are gonna be looking more at the, detailed workflows and the technology supporting those workflows, the environment and related. So partition it, uh, reach agreement, and in many cases you may want to document it. Uh, if you're using discovery documents or demo prep documents, this is a great way to do that so that you actually know you have a contract, you know what you're doing, you know what your partner's doing, and you can come together again after your.

[00:32:31] Matt Madden: after you

[00:32:32] Peter Cohan: Whatever interactions you're having and see that you've done it all, or if you have gaps. And by the way, I'll offer the note that as you get into more complex organizations, you may have multiple salespeople, multiple PreSales people. You may have subject matter experts that are parachuted in or helicoptered in.

Um, I don't know what the difference of that is. and same, same idea. You need to reach agreement on what are the roles, you know, where, where are you strong, where are you not strong, and then follow that process. Does that help?

[00:33:02] Matt Madden: that help? It does, absolutely. And you spoke to that pressure that sales can feel and just you've lived that, leading sales functions within the org and something as you rightly picked up on, just from my body language as you were talking through it, I've seen that, firsthand as a, insider or outside sales professional.

before I was working, uh, within a PreSales role myself,

[00:33:29] Peter Cohan: Yeah, let's, and let's now take a look at the third cadre. And the third cadre are newly minted salespeople that have recently joined the organization. And this is where an enormous amount of whining occurs as PreSales. People will justifiably say, I'm doing all the work at this point, and I'm training this person up, and I'm having to teach them how to do X, Y, and Z and everything else.

And guess what? The faster you can bring that person up to speed and enable them to operate, if you will, on their own, in the areas that they are supposed to be operating on, the better it's gonna be for both of you. So my guidance on this is get over it, be an adult and, and, and again, sit, sit down and say, let's, let's go through strengths and weaknesses, a delightful way to solve this problem, as opposed to simply saying, well, you know, you really experienced, so let me do this or let me do that.

Or, or even just keeping it hidden on A lot of people will be, um, uh, passive aggressive about this. Very frankly. They won't talk about it. They'll just be angry and frustrated. Um, Write it down. you know, you've got a new salesperson that's joined, they've been in the organization three months, they've gone through whatever the, the onboarding process is.

Sit down with them and have the conversation. Hey, you know, with respect to our sales process or our prospects buying processes, whichever map you're choosing to use, here's where I feel I'm strong. Here's where I'm pretty good and here's where I'm weak. if you would do the same thing.

Lay out where you feel you are, and then let's map out the best way uh, to manage our engagements. You know, and maybe we even need to call on a third party. Maybe we need to call on a mentor to join us occasionally to help out. But, you know, this is a case of, to use the analogy, laying your cards down mutually since you're on the same team, uh, is, is really a great strategy forward.

So I hope, I hope at least those ideas help.

[00:35:34] Matt Madden: I think they will for sure. If I saw a new member joining the team, a new sales engineer in our org, and that was their default approach when they first are engaging with account executives. You know, a common process that I've seen when somebody joins the team to be encouraged by my leadership, which I think is great, is to intentionally set meetings to obviously connect with those peers.

But if you're approaching that in those meetings, not only getting to know them, but Even if it's in a second meeting, follow following that first meeting that lay your cards on the table approach to say, transparently, I know my strengths, I know these are areas of growth for me.

And get that dynamic going where you're building that transparency and that level of communication between your sales counterparts out the gate. I would be extremely impressed if I saw that's how, John, who just joined the team, or Sarah who just joined the team is, is going about this process.

Like, that's awesome because I know that they're gonna just get up to speed that much more quickly. And that's a dynamic that I think would speak volumes to how we could anticipate you. You're going to also engage with other teams that you will regularly cross paths with. Is that a fair statement from your perspective, Peter?

[00:36:45] Peter Cohan: Ab, absolutely. And I would add to that, that, you know, business is all about structured approaches and processes. And you can definitely have your unicorns, you can definitely have your outliers, but you cannot expect success if you just come together in a meeting and hope,

[00:37:03] Matt Madden: Yeah.

[00:37:04] Peter Cohan: because hope is not a successful strategy as, as the book says.

Um, so yeah, a structured approach. How are we gonna work together? What's the basis for that? And the basis is where am I strong? Where am I, where am I middle? Where am I weak? Where are you strong? Where are you middle, where are you weak? Maybe we need to bring some other players into this. So we have a whole team, for example, until we're, we're fully up to speed.

shifting gears, did you wanna talk a little bit about what, hiring managers, PreSales, hiring managers are looking for in people coming on board?

[00:37:35] Matt Madden: I would love that. Yeah. From your perspective, I think it's a great segue. So, yeah. Would you wanna just start from, a high level based on all the different teams that you interface with today, the feedback you're hearing out there, through the work you're doing with Great Demo! In doing Discovery, what would you say is most important for candidates in 2023 in heading into next year?

Even at this stage, if they're just kind of earlier in their transition planning process, what should they know about what hiring managers are looking for?

[00:38:03] Peter Cohan: So I'm gonna go in, a structured approach here. I would say there are three pillars that a typical PreSales manager is looking for or perhaps should be looking for. number one, I've mentioned a couple times situational fluency, meaning a knowledge of the vertical or the industry. So the example of pharma and chemistry is a perfect, perfect example because if you don't speak chemists, if you don't understand chemistry, you're, you're gonna fail in this particular, discipline, if you will.

So you need to have people that have that knowledge of the vertical and the industry in those situations to be effective. So that's one. number two is knowledge about the products and the products use cases, um, that can be trained on. It's much easier to learn, if you will. that's what, very frankly, that's what an awful lot of onboarding is or should be.

and the third pillar is technical acumen. So, you know, what do we need to know about Azure? What do we need to know about, whatever, whatever the technology stack is that you're sitting on, relying on or selling. you need to learn that. And again, that is generally speaking, easier to learn and train on, if you will, than, knowledge of the vertical itself.

It's a lot harder to really learn and understand, key accounting principles than to understand how the cloud works, for example. So lemme just pause there because then I've got a list of other things. And I think by the way, that that set of three is pretty typical for most hiring managers. Does that, does that resonate or.

[00:39:35] Matt Madden: that makes complete sense. Definitely.

[00:39:38] Peter Cohan: Um, I'll tell you what else I look for when I'm interviewing people, and I'm gonna, I'm gonna end with the most important one and start with it. And the most important one is passion. I want somebody who's passionate about what they're doing. I want somebody who's passionate about, exploring that ecotone, if you will, between customer, technology, sales and all these other things.

I want somebody who's passionate, uh, is a passionate advocate for the customer and the prospect that is so passionate that they get upset when they realize that things are, are being done wrong, if you will. I want them to surface things and and effect change in the organization, if you will. Um, so let me just pause.

Is that, how does that resonate with you?

[00:40:29] Matt Madden: One thing that I. Could anticipate, might come to somebody's mind, if they're feeling maybe a bit of imposter syndrome as a candidate, where they're passionate about the space, they have a strong opinion about, you know, where things should head or how things should be done.

Because they've been in a vertical, they've got that situational fluency from, you know, let's just say years of experience on a career track as a, practitioner within, let's just say stick with pharmacy for example. They, they've, they've been a chemist and so on, so they have strong opinions there.

But when it comes to what your particular solution or service, does to serve, clients like the space that they used to work within the, the chemists and so on, um, might not feel as strong or might not have as clear a sense on how to. Communicate that passion in a way that doesn't sound overbearing, like keeping it positive.

Do you have tips for like folks in that scenario? I mean, I might be overthinking this, but I could just see a little bit of keeping the cards a little closer to the chest on strong opinions you might have, um, about how things should be done that you feel is passion and others might feel as that person might be hard to work with.

[00:41:40] Peter Cohan: Well that, um, there's a really interesting book, the, the title I've forgotten here, but I'll just see if I can resurrect it. That points out that, uh, depending on the organization, you may actually wanna hire people that are difficult to work with. This is not obvious, but, um, they are often people that are the, uh, some of the greatest idea generators.

Okay, let's put that aside though, cause I do wanna, I wanna come back to two points. passion means you believe in something and you're gonna support it. Now, pragmatism. Mapped with passion, if you will, should give you a roadmap of how far to go with any particular, challenge or thought or whatsoever.

You know, you can be passionate about an idea, and disappointed because the organization doesn't adopt it. That's fine. Get over it. Move on to your next one. So you do, you do need to map to the culture of your organization, to your manager, to the rest of the team. But I wanna see fundamentally is that there's a fire inside this person that wants to get things done, wants to accomplish, and wants to accomplish it for the benefit of our customers.

and make the company better along the way. That's, that's one of the things I'm looking for, um, going back to, imposter syndrome. Never let it go. Let me explain what I mean by that. before we did this podcast, before I did the, uh, the DemoFest, um, presentation last week.

I'm always terrified in a good way, but I'm always terrified. Um, and I suffer from and embrace imposter syndrome. Now why is this a good thing? Because the moment you believe that you know it all, that's when you are the true imposter. me explain, are you familiar with Dunning Kruegger effect or the Dunning Kruegger effect?

So the Dunning Kruegger effect effectively says, people reach a point in learning where they believe they know it all. and that's called Dunning. Dunning Krueger identifies that as the peak of mount stupid. That's their terminology. And, and what they point out is that people don't know what they don't know.

So, for example, pick any topic and you could probably talk about it for a while, and then you're, you're exhausted. But what you don't know, um, I'll give you a small example. Small example. So I've been watching, uh, queen Charlotte, the Bridgeton, you know, follow on series, and they're talking about, and they're showing, king George III as, mad or having certain types of fits and so forth.

So I was thinking, well, you know, I know a fair amount about British history, but was he really mad? Was he not? You know, what's, what is the deal? Um, everybody says Mad King George. Mad King George. Well, that's our, that's our common saying because, you know, when we, uh, when we revolted, um, that was a way of portraying George.


[00:44:38] Matt Madden: well

[00:44:39] Peter Cohan: if you actually read more about it, it's really intriguing. And what we didn't know is very, very surprising. So, The Dunning Kruger Effect. effectively says, be conscious of what you may not know and embrace that because that enables you to move off of mount stupid and continue evergreen learning.

So embracing imposter syndrome, I think is something that we should all do. Just don't get overcome by it. Recognize that we can't possibly know the answers to all the questions in the universe. This is one of the biggest challenges for new PreSales people, is they're asked a question and they think, oh God, oh God, I don't know the answer to that, and they think I should.

No, you, you don't. And the mere fact that you don't know the answer now should tell you two things. Number one, I gotta get that answer and provide it to my prospect and my customer. And number two, embrace the fact that didn't know represents opportunity,

helps respect toter.

[00:45:41] Matt Madden: Definitely. I'm glad you brought up that point too about early PreSales professionals will often run into that situation where they feel like they've got to give a detailed answer or have the answer to everything. And I've seen from PreSales leaders that I've worked under thus far in my career, a key part of their interview process is really understanding how do you handle that situation?

Trying to vet, you know, which direction are you gonna go and how resourceful are you in finding the right answer? And also, what are you gonna do to, you know, better educate yourself and

[00:46:19] Peter Cohan: words in a, in a prospect or customer meeting. Here are seven words. You ready? I don't know, but I'll find out.

[00:46:27] Matt Madden: There we go.

[00:46:28] Peter Cohan: That's it. Nobody expects you to know the answers to everything. Your job is to park that question, meaning capture it, write it down on a, zoom. Write it down in chat or write it a document or put it on a whiteboard face-to-face.

Your obligation is to capture that question accurately, make sure you've captured it correctly, and then find out and get back to your prospect and then you filed away in your personal memory banks and say, okay, that's check. I know that one. And there's probably a thousand more. I don't know.

[00:46:57] Matt Madden: Definitely, definitely.

[00:46:59] Peter Cohan: I wanted to give a few more insights to when I was hiring and still hiring a few of the things I looked for it could be very rapid should we do that?

[00:47:07] Matt Madden: let's do that.

[00:47:08] Peter Cohan: thank you. So we talked about the three pillars, situational fluency, knowledge about the products and use cases, technical human, plus.

I want somebody who has a strong desire to learn. And accordingly, an understanding of their current knowledge and limitations. I want somebody who, who basically is not suffering from Dunning Kruger, or is, I should say, is aware of the effect and says, you know, here's what I know and I'm, and I'm completely comfortable the idea.

There's a lot of stuff I dunno, and I'm eager to learn. number two, I want somebody that has very strong problem solving capabilities. They embrace problem solving. They feel they're strong at it. They're looking for multiple solutions because PreSales is many cases a problem solving enterprise. I wanna see people with a, a real desire to see their prospects and customers succeed.

That's, that's huge. they should be concerned about and interested in their own careers, but I would really love to see that their first and foremost interest are their prospects and customers. earlier today, before we actually started this podcast, uh, Matt and I were talking about, uh, Personal time management skills and discipline.

And this is something that, that I would want people to talk about. Either that they, they feel they're strong or they recognize that they want help with that. why do I say that? Because the single hardest word for most PreSales people to articulate when, asked by a, a sales counterpart, the question, Hey, can you do a demo on X?

The single hardest, hardest word for them to answer is, no, I can't. Or as I, as I, as I typically recommend, well, not yet is a, a really good answer anyway, because they're always overwhelmed. They're always overwhelmed. How many PreSales people allow themselves to be booked into back, to back, to back, to back to back calls and demos.

Don't do that. You need to have time blocked in between, to make notes, et cetera, et cetera. strong documentation skills. I want somebody to be good at observing and documenting what they've heard, what they've seen, what they've experienced. Um, similarly strong observation skills along the same way, strong communication skills.

I want them to be able to work alone and we're on a team. I want 'em to have motivation to accomplish. And in addition to the passion element that we started with, I want them to understand the differences between the what and the how. and this is because this is one of the fundamental challenges of PreSales.

Um, I think since, way back in ancient Greece when our committees invented the, our committees, spiral, the, you know, the thing that used to pump water up, um, He said, Hey, here's what it's good for. You can irrigate your fields using the our committee's spiral and a two. And immediately somebody said, well, how does it work?

And that's when PreSales was invented. So PreSales came in to explain how it works. Well, you turned the crank and it forces the water up. Um, PreSales needs to remember there's the what and the how. There's also the why, which is more the discovery piece, but the what is, what end result this particular person is looking for through using the software.

What is the indel deliverable? What's the result they wanna consume or they want to enable the how is how the software actually delivers that. And being able to articulate and understand both is a huge strength in PreSales. 90% of PreSales people come in believing that all they need to understand and learn about is how it works.

And explain that. I'll give you an example. if you were shopping for a, um, a hybrid car, do you really care how the batteries work?

[00:50:59] Matt Madden: Likely not.

[00:51:00] Peter Cohan: What do you care about?

[00:51:03] Matt Madden: How much is this gonna save me in gas expenses, in environmental impact, and so on.

[00:51:11] Peter Cohan: And that's the what? That's exactly that. So it's what good things does that hybrid enable that the prospect and customers are typically most interested in? Later on, they may ask, how does it work, but only to the depth that they need in many cases to understand how to operate it. So that's the list that I, that I would look for when I'm interviewing or looking for new, PreSales hires.

[00:51:35] Matt Madden: I think that's so helpful cuz some of the questions I've gotten from folks, like Lynn who was on our podcast a few episodes back, who's transitioning from a more technical background, wanting to break into PreSales. He questions about what are the things that I should be prepared for or have examples around when it comes to questions I could be asked, or how should I think about storytelling within the demo that conveys some of the.

Key learnings that I've already gone through thus far in my career in a way that will help give a hiring manager, like what you just described, Peter, if you were hiring for that PreSales role that you're looking to fill, what, what are some of the key things they're looking for there? So hopefully I think it's gonna be really helpful for others.

I was wondering, just one quick question and you know, we can keep it short cuz I know I wanna be respectful of your time, but when it comes to gauging. How well somebody documents something, because I do know that's such a key piece of what we do throughout the role. I mean, every call I'm on, I consider myself chief note taker in the background, even though I know that the salesperson might also be hopefully taking good notes.

But because I've seen oftentimes the notes that I might be looking for might look very different from how they would write it out, what they heard on the call versus what I heard on the call and what's gonna be useful for us moving forward, on the presale side of, of the house when it comes to demos and so on.

Um, I have a process using tools at my disposal, but it seems like there's probably a lot of variation there. And so as a candidate it might be a little hard to think, how do I prepare on conveying that? And how would you, as a hiring manager, I guess, assess that particular point and what recommendations do you have?

[00:53:15] Peter Cohan: Yeah, this is, and this is a little bit of a a challenging deliverable for both parties, but I'll, I'll offer a couple of suggestions. The first is, if you already have notes as an example, from other disciplines or other vehicles, you could just share some and say, here's some examples of, how I take notes or how I track observations and so forth.

But here's, here's something that I tell PreSales managers. And this is kind of fun. So most PreSales managers will look at some resumes or they've, some resumes have been, you know, filtered down. They review 'em, they look at, may, look at the various letters that come in, and then they set up an interview and it's typically of a telephone or a, Zoom interview or something like that.

And they have a discussion. The next step in many organizations is, if this candidate looks like they, you know, look good, they look good, well let's ask them to do a presentation because we want to assess their ability to present and communicate. And that's terrific and a lot of organizations do that.

Uh, I will note for you that we would did that for years and years. And what we realized, and I'm getting to the next level here, what we realized is we were assessing for people's ability to tell. But we were not assessing for people's ability to ask. In other words, we were basically hiring people where we had vetted their ability to present that we never vetted their ability to do discovery.

And so what I ended up doing was changing the regime a little bit and said, this is an my own organization that I, I recommend is to managers. After you go through the initial interview, invite your prospect to do a discovery call, for whatever product they're interested in. And, you, as the manager, can play whatever role they want.

So it could be, you know, something as simple as, Google Docs, I don't care what it is. Um, but you ask them to do discovery and they may not be particularly skilled in it, but you can get a sense of, their conversation skills.

And then, by the way, based on what they learn in that, then they should put together a presentation that maps to what they uncovered in discovery. That's a terrific way to interview, PreSales hires or PreSales new hires, if you will. whether or not they're, coming from PreSales already or they're, coming from some other discipline, you still wanna get a sense of, of how are they at these things.

Um, vetting that is a really good idea. Now, to answer the question about notetaking, you could very simply add the layer and say, so after you're done with your discovery call, please send me your notes. And then you can get a sense of what they heard, what they wrote down, and versus what you remember saying.

And if it's a zoom call, you can compare it with what was actually, transcribed, for example.

[00:56:00] Matt Madden: Yeah, absolutely. I love that recommendation And when we think about what's a really practical way to vet that out, I haven't heard that approach recommended. So thanks for sharing that.

to close, I just would love to have you speak to things that would be good for people to know about, uh, within, the world of Great Demo! And doing discovery or just in general, things that maybe we haven't talked about today that you'd like to put on the radar.

I, I know we did talk about obviously the new version of Great Demo! Coming out soon, but anything else you'd like to share? Um, as a closing point, Peter?

[00:56:34] Peter Cohan: probably the biggest thing is just never stop learning. and with that, in mind, I'll give you two dimensions to pursue here. One is very pragmatic and that is the Great Demo!.com website. resources pages offers an enormous wealth of information. There's the blog, which is, you know, sort of linear in time.

it's got posts. And if you just decided to go back through all those posts, you would pick out nugget here, and a nugget there and a nugget. Another nugget there, a more structured approach is take a look at some of the articles. So, for example, there are articles on, you know, uncovering value. Those are articles on PreSales metrics.

There's articles on storytelling, there's articles on, active listening, for example. So these all represent an opportunity to, you know, in 10 minutes.

[00:57:21] Matt Madden: 10 minutes.

[00:57:22] Peter Cohan: Have an epiphany or two, get some new ideas, try out some new thinking. So the never stop learning idea here is, is really, really interesting.

The other thing I wanted to, share on that, the second dimension is, so I'm a, child that actually was alive and able to watch, the first moon landing. And it was a, an incredible experience to actually watch somebody land on the moon and take those first steps and, ultimately driving around the the moon on those electric cars and so forth.

But I'm now reading a book about how the, the lunar module was ideated developed, uh, tested and then, and actually used, and it's a fascinating. Piece of history. And it's a fascinating, set of information because number one, the lunar module is the only vehicle ever produced space vehicle that didn't have to go through the earth atmosphere effectively, to land yet it had to be able to move through space on its own and then land on another, planetoid, if you will, and, and leave it.

So it didn't have to have, it didn't have to have any particular shape. Cause there's no atmosphere it could be wonky, but it still had to, you know, end up in an, an environment with one six gravity. So there's all kinds of interesting things that they had to think about.

They had to test the processes and procedures that they went through, and the learnings that they went through. To generate the ideas, prototype them out, remembering that you can only prototype them out largely on earth,

[00:58:51] Matt Madden: Yeah.

[00:58:52] Peter Cohan: um, and then put 'em into practice. Uh, included the vehicles themselves, but it also included the test equipment, the procedures, the protocols.

It's an as, it's an astonishing example of, if you will, ongoing learning and implementing processes along the way. Um, and I just think that's, that's a great companion, if you will, to looking at stuff that is directly applicable to your discipline. So the moral there is go outside of your discipline, you know, and don't just read stuff on, Azure if you will, but go read stuff that you may not think might contribute directly, but you'll find that it feeds back in cases that in many cases, ways that you would never contemplated.

So there you go. I hope that helps.

[00:59:39] Matt Madden: That's excellent.

it's amazing how some of that prior knowledge, even if it's just something you read or listened to out of sheer interest as a lifelong learner, how that can come back to serve you in the future. So I, I love that advice,

but yeah, Peter, I would love to have you on in the future cuz I know, I mean, we've already been talking for over an hour and there's so much more we could unpack. Um, Really grateful for your time today and I wanna be respectful But you know, certainly would love to have you back on, down the road, especially after people get hands on with the new version of Great Demo!.

And, just appreciate you giving me the opportunity to be able to get a preview into that. I'm really excited about it. It's been so helpful. Just, learning about, how best practices that you originally recommended, what has stayed in the book, and getting to see what are the new areas that you've built upon.

So everybody, I definitely go encourage you to check that out. I'll link to obviously Great Demo! And book resources in the show notes. And, I would encourage folks to follow Peter on LinkedIn. the Great Demo! Group. Is that the best way for people to stay on the pulse of the book, Peter, moving forward.

[01:00:45] Peter Cohan: Yeah, join the, uh, it's the Great Demo! And doing Discovery Group on LinkedIn. Join that, um, browse the website, Great Demo!.com. And I am more than happy to have one-on-one conversations with folks. If they have questions, they have ideas. My email is p cohan, c o h a n@greatdemo.com and more than willing to have the conversation

[01:01:09] Matt Madden: Awesome. Well thank you so much Peter, for coming on today. Again, it's been a real honor and I appreciate just all the knowledge you've shared.

[01:01:16] Peter Cohan: pleasures mine and never stop learning.

[01:01:19] Matt Madden: Absolutely. Thanks everyone.

2 thoughts on “Episode 010 – A Masterclass on How to Standout as a Candidate, Deliver a Great Demo!, and Thrive in PreSales with Peter Cohan”

  1. Considering Presales? Interviewing? Newly Hired? Check Out This Path to Presales Podcast

    I joined Matt Madden for this 1-hour exploration of your first few steps into presales and opportunities to accelerate your journey. We discussed:

    – The origins story – and what presales can lead to
    – Presales as a cultural ecotone
    – Presales beginnings
    – “Presales” as a term – what’s in a name?
    – Situational fluency
    – Doing Discovery and Great Demo! books – when to read
    – Enabling an unfair advantage for yourself
    – Qualification vs discovery
    – Company culture and discovery
    – Great Demo! origins – the horror of traditional demos
    – Do the Last Thing First!
    – An advanced methodology
    – Great Demo! third edition organization – two books in one!
    – Do the exercises – why?
    – Core methodology vs advanced topics
    – Storytelling in demos
    – Partnering with sales – three scenarios
    – A surprising interaction with a seasoned salesperson
    – Pre-meetings with seasoned salespeople
    – The “Harbor Tours” origins story
    – Establishing roles in accord with strengths and weaknesses
    – Sales is not easy – no pressure!
    – Partition discovery
    – Working with new salespeople – “get over it!”
    – Mapping roles and laying your cards on the table, mutually
    – Structured approaches and processes
    – What are hiring managers looking for?
    – Three pillars: Situational fluency, product knowledge and use cases, technical acumen
    – What else can help you differentiate?
    – Passion… aligned with pragmatism
    – Dealing with Imposter Syndrome – embrace it (in a way)!
    – Dunning Kruger – and Mt. Stupid
    – Be conscious of what you may not know…
    – “We can’t know all of the answers to all of the questions in the universe…”
    – “I don’t know, but I’ll find out…”
    – Strong desire to learn and awareness of current knowledge
    – Problem-solving skills
    – A desire to see customers succeed
    – Time-management skills
    – Strong documentation and observation skills
    – Strong communication skills
    – Understand the differences between the “what” and the “how”
    – End-results vs how it works
    – Some comments about note taking
    – Some guidance for presales managers regarding interviewing processes
    – “Never Stop Learning” and resources available to you
    – The Lunar Module and ongoing learning

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