Presales Glossary

Presales Glossary

Consensus Specific Terms


The browser plugin by Consensus which allows users to operate various features of our application easily and at any moment. More info here.


Personal Intro Videos give your Users an opportunity to add a video card on the Who Are You page of your DemoBoards. This allows Users to add a personalized message to introduce themselves on top of the personalized Demo you send them!


Screencast-O-Matic. The screen recording software provided by Consensus to our customers, included in the price. A full masterclass is available; we can send it to you whenever you wish.


A preview screenshot of an aspect of your software or service, with hotspots a viewer can click on. Each hotspot can have text and/or video to explain each topic.



A business with potential to purchase software or services from a vendor. Note, a buyer can also be a prospect or customer.


A business with whom a vendor has an existing commercial agreement. For example, Consensus is the vendor, Salesforce is the customer.


Here at Consensus, we work with champions all the time. They’re the person at a prospect or customer that’s trying to affect change within their organization and believes this is possible by choosing Consensus to help facilitate that change.

They are the primary stakeholder for us in that business, and they’re the only one that can make the purchase happen. Often referred to as the buyer, main buyer or champion buyer we learn to identify this person early on, because champions close deals.

What’s more, without someone inside the prospect organization making a strong case, you’ll be severely limited in your ability to influence the outcomes, especially if you only rely on live meetings.

False Champion

A false champion will say they support your ideas, but they won’t act on them

The red flag here is they still perceive the ideas as yours, not theirs. They don’t feel empowered by you or your ideas so will distance themselves from sharing or promoting your guidance. They haven’t seen yet how to turn your guidance into success for themselves. To turn a false-champion into a champion, you’ll need to work with them to help them see a vision of personal or business change that is achievable, timely, and valuable.

Don’t give up on either fans or false-champions though, because they could soon be your champions!


A fan will create and support popular opinions, but is not willing to stake their own success on creating outcomes.


Anyone at a business who has a vested interest in the project you are helping with. You possibly may never communicate directly with all your stakeholders, so enabling them with personalized content through your champion is crucial.


A business with whom a vendor has a potential commercial agreement.


A company who supplies software or services to another business.


Activity Gap

What our presales people are asked to do as opposed to what activities would be the best use of their time. As a finite resource, presales individuals can only meet a certain part of the buying journey.

Usually, this is once buyers have understood what they want to change and need to see which vendor can provide these things – the ‘Comparison’ stage. Buyers want a demo in the ‘Research’ stage, but do you want presales consultants spending every waking hour demoing generalistic overviews?  As a massively authentic source of knowledge, presales can help buyers earlier in the buying journey (Change & Discontent), and later too by helping close deals (Fear & Commitment).

But there’s not enough people – hence the gap in what you need, to what you can provide. Intelligent Demo Automation helps by letting presales consultants record their demos, tuned to the exact stage each buyer is experiencing in their change journey.

What’s more, now presales have time for additional valuable activities they can demo not just the main software, but also 3rd party products, professional services, upsell functionality, go through documents, quotes, customer references and a multitude of other activities – all which can be recorded and served up instantly. For more info Click here

Demand Gap

The number of hours that are going to be required in the future because of increasing demand without linear budget increases.

On a recent trip to London, I met a presales consultant who demoed the same thing, 6 times a day 5 days a week. He was not happy – he knew the buyers wanted something more useful, but there was no time to spend going off-piste.

By recording the overview demo and having sales serve it up at a moment’s notice whenever a buyer needed, this person was then able to offer a more customized service to his buyers for when they had specific questions. They got to watch the demo multiple times, and whenever suited them. Plus, with multiple stakeholders involved with different requirements, they were able to pick what mattered most to them. How pleasant!

Now buyers get that demo instantly – unlike when they ask your old-school competitors… For more info Click here


An activity where a vendor shows capabilities to a buyer or customer. In the software world we commonly show software, but a demo is often also the demonstration of services or benefits brought by the vendor without a software interface. Examples of these other things are documents, presentation slides, virtual or in person interaction including notes, whiteboarding, integration and technical explanations and websites.


Because businesses have specific challenges, in order for vendors to accurately present a solution they must first know what about their own capabilities meets the needs of their buyers. Often buyers have a clear idea of what they want, but also this is often restricted by the knowledge they have about the options available. So there must be a balance struck between discovering need and showing solutions.

When solutions are shown and they do not meet the needs or understanding of the buyer, they are seen as irrelevant. However this is commonly because there are various stakeholders within a buying group, and they have varied needs. Discovery therefore is designed to help vendors align solutions to needs.

Note, discovery to qualify a lead to an opportunity is different. This difference is explained in Qualification.

Single, Standard or Branching Demo

  • These are 3 styles of Intelligent Automated Demo used by Consensus to provide a range of capabilities to the vendor.
  • Single Demos are one video file which can be sent and the interaction tracked in Demolytics.
  • Standard demo allows vendors to provide an intro video and then let each viewer personalize their demo to their unique interests, based on the feature videos available to them within the demo.
  • Advanced Branching demos provide the ability to group Standard demos into one experience by adding a branching question. Based on how buyers answer this question, they’ll then receive a predetermined demo that aligns with how they answered the branching question.


A Demoboard is a branded personalized landing page generated by a Sales Rep within Consensus for a specific Organization/Recipient(s). It provides the ability for the buyer to view a demo a


Using Demolytics, the vendor gains insights into the feature choices selected by buyers in single, standard and branching demos, and a heatmap of which parts of each demo they watch, skip or watch again.

Demolytics are also used to analyze the effect of sending Demoboards to buyers. This topic is explored more in our online Knowledge base, so for more information on Demolytics click here


Most commonly thought of as an activity supported by PowerPoint slides, a presentation can also include the use of other technologies like whiteboards (real & virtual), websites, documents, limbic and interactive elements, and software and/or services demonstrations and explanations. Presentations should only be carried out after discovery, not just after qualification.

Qualify / Qualification

There are various qualifications that happen during the interaction between buyer, and vendor. Sales will commonly use qualification like BANT (budget, authority, needs, and timeline), but this in no way takes into account the applicability of the vendor’s solution to the future changed state the buyer is trying to achieve. Because of this, many leads get turned into opportunities which are misaligned and are likely to increase costs, and decrease win rates.

Therefore we’ve seen the rise of presales adding their own qualification stages to the buyer journey, especially the Demo Qualified Lead. Because we know there are specific stages through which buyers must travel in their understanding, research, comparison, selection and deployment of any solution.

Interaction & Psychology


The activation of an emotional response by recipients of a presentation or demo, brought about by the presenter doing something memorable or unexpected in order to get attention and elicit a more active connection with the message. Examples include relating a concept you’re explaining to something in the room, perhaps you’ve got a prop you’ve brought with you to help draw an analogy. The ultimate aim is to be memorable, connect with your audience and drive them towards a specific call to action. For more about Limbic opening and the science behind it see SAP’s great article click here.


An objection is where someone questions an explanation or presented concept in a meeting. People usually raise objections because of 2 reasons:

  1. They know the answer, and want to show off their personal knowledge or power to other participants of the meeting (this is often an unwise move for the person, but it happens frequently nonetheless).
  2. They don’t know the answer and would like to know more.

The most dangerous objection is the one never voiced. It’s a wise move to ask your audience what objections or concerns they have about the concepts you’re describing, because either they are too nervous to offer them unprompted, or they are an advocate for an alternative perspective and will actively push against your proposal.

Active listening

We can hear what people say, but often we’re already trying to think how to respond. Have you ever asked someone a complex question only for them to respond with an answer to a different question? That’s because they feel they’ve got a point to push and aren’t interested in your opinion. How rude!

Master the technique of active listening by concentrating on what the person is saying, understanding WHY they are saying it and only once they have finished, formulate your response. A good way to do this is to repeat a summary of what they’ve asked back to them before answering, in clarification – because sometimes you may have misunderstood their point.

Taking a moment to pause once you’ve summarized their question or statement is totally OK. It shows you were listening, and it shows you care about making sure your response is correct and useful.

Demo Crime

A demo crime is a somewhat jokey description of any activity that goes against the basic training of a presales person. Examples of demo crimes are:

  • Not sharing your screen when you think you are
  • Sharing your screen when you think you’re not
  • Sharing the wrong screen
  • Sharing your calendar, email, chat, notes, bookmarks or other distractions/commercially sensitive information
  • Recording a meeting before asking if the participants are OK with it
  • Interrupting someone who is talking
  • Being rude or derogatory
  • Being late to a meeting
  • Leaving early to join another meeting unless agreed earlier with participants
  • Moving your mouse around all the time causing a distraction
  • Reading straight from the text on a slide (summary should be on the slide, with voice as further explanation)
  • Having too much on a slide
  • When presenting to a room, hiding behind your laptop (you should move, work the room or stage)

Official selection processes

Cost to respond

The cost and time burden of responding to any of these selection processes is most commonly solely placed upon the vendor. This should be taken into account when calculating CAC (the Cost to Acquire a customer).

IT/Security Questionnaire

IT and security stakeholders are a significant player in the adoption of any new technology by a business. In order for them to check the multitude of details they need, a security questionnaire is often used. This can be in spreadsheet or document form, or more often these days via an online portal by someone like OneTrust. They are usually lengthy to complete so getting these early is a good idea. Not so early though that technical presales reps are required to complete them for under-qualified deals that are unlikely to close. It’s a balance.


An Invitation to Tender usually is a very prescriptive document which vendors may respond to, can often be a fixed price and the vendor must present what they can offer for that price. The burden of describing what is needed rests more on the buyer, rather than the vendor.


A formal written offer to supply or carry out software and/or services for a stated price. This should include an executive summary, description of the capabilities and benefits proposed by the vendor, how the buyer can get from their current state to their future changed state, and a summary of the costs. A full quote can be a separate document. A proposal can also include other documents, links, and media to aid the buyer in their selection. Commonly there will be a functionality and IT questionnaire to be completed by the vendor as part of the proposal.


A Request for Information, is a preliminary process whereby a business can gather basic information as to the vendor’s capabilities, usually in order for them to be included or excluded from further discussions or RFP processes.


A Request for Proposal. Part of the Tender process (sometimes the only part used) which usually follows a timeline-based selection process where potential vendors are reduced by way of elimination based on a Proposal drawn up by a vendor.


A documented process by which a business can invite vendors to bid for the opportunity to deliver their software and/or services to meet specific requirements.

There will usually be a high-level description of the project, the opportunity for vendors to explore requirements using Discovery, and a presentation of the solution. Once presentations have happened a shortlist will commonly be created with perhaps just 2 vendors, and more detailed meetings will happen.

Consensus is Intelligent Demo Automation that scales your presales function.
Lend your voice to help us uncover the state of sales engineering
This is default text for notification bar