We know the role of the presales sales engineer is evolving from nerdy sidekick of the account executive towards a trusted advisor to the client; from a second-class citizen to a peer of Sales, focused on storytelling, solutioning, and demonstrating business value. At the same time the pandemic has accelerated a trend towards digital selling and instant availability of demos online, eating away at the traditional function of the sales engineer. That’s where a “demo experience” team becomes crucial in helping presales to cross the chasm during this period of disruption. The DemoX (Demo eXperience) team at Pega has been evolving over the last 10 years. Initially, we enabled our company to scale the presales function, growing revenue and cutting costs of sale. More recently, we are enabling a transformation of the sales engineering role itself at Pega. Now, the team reports directly to the CTO, sitting at the heart of product messaging and strategy, working directly with stakeholders in Marketing, Product, and Sales Engineering.
Join Colm Daly, global head of the DemoX team at Pega, to hear about that journey: what we’ve learned along the way, how it benefits presales practitioners, and how you can advocate for this function within your own organization.
I’ve spent over 20 years in presales roles – even before “presales” had a name! I’ve given some great demos and some terrible demos to Fortune 500 companies across Europe, US and APAC, from C-level to analysts and developers. In leadership roles for the last 15 years, I’ve been focused on scaling out the process across 100s of sales engineers and 1000s of partners across the globe.
For the last 10 years, I’ve been running the DemoX team at Pegasystems in addition to other specialist presales teams. Although the role didn’t have a name either when we started, the function of this global team can best be described by the emerging term “demo engineering”. Based on work I did previously at Chordiant, I’ve grown this from a handful of developers to a global team of developers, creatives and industry experts providing demo assets in various forms to the entire company. While our main user base remains sales engineering, we supply content to partners, account executives, sales associates, and others while engaging directly in the field on specific sales opportunities reusing those assets. More recently, we are collaborating with the Marketing department to extend this to prospect self-demos, completing an expansion from demos in later stages of the sales cycle to the very top of the “demo funnel”.
My background is a combination of technology and business having started out in insurance as an actuary (which gave me a love of data … very useful for demo engineering, it turns out) and then turned to technology becoming a technical architect for various consulting firms before finding my passion for presales.
Presales » Want Presales to grow in status and recognition? You’ve got a friend in Demo Engineering.
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