How to keep your skills current as a Presales Expert

Over a long career in presales it is easy to sit back and let others tackle the new products or focus just on a niche area.  Here are some tips I find helpful at staying current in Presales and always on my game.

  • Keep a technical edge

    • Get new skills where they are relevant to your solutions.  Whether that is cloud, or APIs, or new programming languages or techniques, just keep learning the new things.  Keep your brain working and you'll be surprised that you find new ways to present value to customers.

  • Talk at events – have a number of topical presentations that you are ready to give

    • By appearing publicly you get a chance to hear new questions, practice giving a talk on certain topics many times and gain recognition and knowledge that will be industry recognized.  It helps you as the speaker as much as it helps the audience.

  • Be able to demo any solution at some level

    • Know your standard demo, what the key points in giving a "Great Demo" for your product is.
    • Know how to meet each customers special needs - have a few use cases that you are ready to talk about if they are relevant, as they will really make your vanilla demo give real value to the right customer.  But don't let these bloat your standard demo.

  • Have some areas that you define as your personal contributions. For example:

    • Partner/Alliances – strategic and tactical
    • Support the Sales leaders and their teams
    • Support the major opportunities and the team involved
    • Supporting your team, mentoring or coaching

What personal contributions or ideas do you have on keeping a strong technical edge over a long career in presales?