#PresalesTalks: How to shine in a Presentation Interview

Today we talked about what is often the final stage for a presales hiring process - The Presentation Interview.  Usually done to a panel, this simulates a real life demo or presentation.  There are many differences and variations. Some companies want to see you show something you are comfortable with already, others want you to learn their product and present something from it.

To succeed in these sessions, you need to show what you are capable of in a customer session. You should think of all aspects of a session, including engagement with all stakeholders, objection handling, time management, and what your next steps with the customer should be.

The real aim of these sessions should be to assess how well someone reacts under fire.

Make sure you try to structure your session:

  • Introductions
    • Roll Goal poll - to find out what they want and what they want to achieve
  • Objection handling
  • Time management
  • Next Steps / Call to action
  • Will they say No sometimes?
    • Make sure you say No, if the question should mean that
    • Have a good way of saying No...
  • Keep it on track - check the time, usually a 30 minute session
  • Try to be complete 
    • address each participant & their goals
  • Make sure you treat it like a business meeting with purpose & next steps
  • Make sure it is interactive
    • Have questions for each member of the hiring team
    • You aren't feature dumping or training
    • Let them drill in and ask their questions
  • Why should you ask why?
    • You encourage conversation between customer stakeholders
  • Make sure your camera angle is good

Comment from: We the SEs podcast - Ramzi - episode #204 Support The Customer by Holding Something in Reserve

Something you ask in an interview

What do you do if your sales partner says something inaccurate

"Dealing with moron AEs"

Demofest session - how to interview your interviewer by Akshat Srivastava

Sometimes on the company's product, sometimes on something they are already comfortable with.

Best size of a panel?

Usually a small panel of 3 is best for decision making, sometimes stretching to 4-5.  However some candidates talk of horror stories with 9-10 panelists, each with their own focus or reason to be there, or worse still, some with no real reason to attend.