Retrospective on DemoFest 2021

This week we saw the second year of DemoFest - a presales focused virtual conference run and hosted by tools company Consensus. Once again I got a lot out of attending some of the sessions as I could fit them into my early evening and between sessions. 

If you want to discuss Demofest, we're running a clubhouse session today

A few highlights to me:

Over 3000 presales professionals registered or joined sessions so it shows the growth in the profession up to now!

Keynote: The SE of the Future, with Todd Janzen from Salesforce Q Branch

Todd is always an impressive speaker to me and he didn't disappoint this time. He spoke about changing buying behaviors, and new ways that presales need to work to engage with customers and also colleagues.

John Care's - Trusted Advisor Sales Engineer interactive session

John ran this based on his book  and this session was really exciting because of the high level of interaction and engagement he drove with the audience. I can highly recommend his book, but also this session even if you haven't read the book yet. 

The focus is about how to avoid focusing on yourself and instead make sure you are delivering value, reliability and credibility to your customer or prospect. 

Don Carmichael - When did Presales suddenly Become Cool?

I love working with Don and listening the podcast he and his group have going with Two Presales in a Pod. His session looked at how presales has become a more recognizable and "cooler" profession now than ever before, and how the profession has taken on many of the skills of sales and marketing professionals to grow in importance to companies today. Some great Q&A and crowd interaction here too, which is to be expected from a Rockstar like Don.

Clodagh Moriarty's Out of the Blocks: Getting Presales Onboarding Right

This session had some of the best content for me, and things I will actively be using and reshaping to help onboard the next generation of presales team members in my organization. It is not just about hiring right, but also making sure your new hires feel welcome and are quickly integrated into the company. I feel like much of this also would be useful for new acquisitions as well, as that is an important time to ensure good integration.

Expert Panel at the end: Presales/Sales relationship

The event finished with a good session from Garin Hess on his book, Selling is Hard, Buying is harder, and some good interaction around the lessons within, and then got to a panel discussing the Presales/Sales relationship. For me these kinds of sessions often descend into negative discussions on what could sales to better, or why presales is the best, but I'm glad our panel helped avoid too much of that.

There were a lot of other valuable sessions and in a few weeks they will release all of the recordings, so don't worry if you missed out, they will get back to you.

Now - on to the next presales event!