"Doing Discovery" by Peter Cohan
The "Dash To Demo" is a curse of the technical sales profession. It's no good giving the best demo or pitching the perfect product presentation if you don't have a clear target. "Doing Discovery" can help you solve that problem.
In over 350 pages, Peter Cohan lays out a methodology and a philosophy for the *most* essential part of the sales process. It's about time someone wrote at length about this topic! The book contains theory blended with practical application, tips, techniques, and multiple "what-ifs." You'd be hard-pressed to find a scenario that is NOT covered in the book. However, your most challenging problem will be figuring out which parts of the methodology to apply and which are not relevant to your portfolio. You'll need to compress the text down to the essentials for those of you operating in a highly buyer-educated, rapid sales cycle environment.
It's essential reading for every Sales Engineer. That said - arm yourself with sticky notes, highlighters (real or virtual), and a pencil. There are no chapter numbers, no index, and there is a massive amount of text. It's not for visual learners! A suggestion for the Second Edition (already made to Peter) is to "do the last thing first" and start with some graphics.
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