Mark: Welcome back to another episode of “Burning Presales” podcast, where I’m joined today by the wonderful John Hodgson from Bright Dynamics. Welcome, John. Thanks for coming along. And I hear you’ve been doing all kinds of interesting research. So, why don’t we hear a little bit about that, maybe about from the candidate’s perspective?
John: Yeah, of course. So, thanks for having me on, first of all, Mark. So, we have been carrying out a survey of presales leaders, and effectively, we are looking to understand [00:00:30.102] what hiring managers in presales look for when they hire, and how they go about kind of assessing those characteristics. And so, the results have been really interesting. And I think if you kind of reverse engineer them from a candidate’s perspective, then you get a good idea in terms of what hiring managers they are looking for, you know, should you be interviewing. So, to kick things off. So, so far we’ve surveyed [00:01:00.185] 65 hiring managers, so it’s a pretty good amount. They’re at different levels of leadership, and from all over the world. So a few things I’d say. So, you know, first of all, in terms of general characteristics, motivation trumps everything in terms of what they’re looking for. So, you know, 97% said that motivation was 8 out of 10 or above. And then soft [00:01:30.239] skills and cultural fit came in quite close after that. And hard skills on the other hand is a mere 17.5%, which is interesting.
Mark: It really is. That’s quite surprising. I’ll look forward to diving a little bit more into that. So, what advice would you have for candidates as they’re trying to work through planning for their interviews then?
John: Okay, so [00:02:00.107] again, going back to the results. So, we asked across 12 different competencies, so kind of soft skills, and then across nine kind of components of the sales cycle. So, working with the account executives or discovery and so on. So, of the nine skills, the top…well, I’ll go from the third top upwards. So, discovery was third most important. So, that came in at 77%. Demos and presentations [00:02:30.465] at 87%. And then a whopping 93.6% rated partnering with account executives as 8 out of 10 or above as important in terms of a skill. So, I think often it’s not something that it’s something that will come up in interviews, but it’s…