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Digital presales impact model (DPIM)

Digital Presales is the use of modern presales enablement technology to scale effectively in both what, and how much is provided to stakeholders like sales and marketing.

Identifying where digital and automation methods fit alongside traditional presales activities is key and even in today's video-enabled world is still difficult to align to your business, so I created the DPIM.

DPIM is a framework you can use to understand where to increase your digital enablement of your current or future presales activites to ensure they provide the most valuable impact at the correct time and place.

There are 3 important and distinct factors to consider when plotting presales impact on the DPIM framework.

1. What activities do your presales teams get involved with?

Modern presales teams get pulled in all manner of directions. Sales, Services, Marketing, Support, Customer Success, Implementation, Partners, Development, Enablement and more... all want a bit of the magic-brush that presales uses. So making sure SCs maintain their focus has never been more important. Too often are follow-up demos offered to buyers who don't need them, or overview demos asked by buyers not ready to receive them. There's been much written already on the topic of wasted demos so I won't repeat it here, but being able to plot what's being done on a framework means laser-focus for creating value not just noise.

2. How much and how often are they asked to get involved?

Let's face it, a presales person is a helpful person, but expecting an SC to be available at a moment's notice can waste their skills and is an unacceptable way to plan a presales engagement strategy.

Automating the evergreen content frees up SCs to use their expensive skills in the most valuable areas, and reduces bottlenecks caused by a strained AE/SC ratio. Digital Presales like demo automation can solve these problems, but it's vital to plot the scale of each activity as it directly relates to the buyer journey.

3. What is your cost/benefit balance to each stage of the buyer journey.

For presales leaders planning impact across the business, trying to understand the cost/benefit of each activity can be difficult. What's more, as hiring new SCs becomes even more expensive the concept of doing more with what you already have becomes ever-more appealing. Knowing where you're getting most value from your teams in key, especially if you want to then understand the consequences of automating various parts of your department for new, or existing capability.

The 10 steps to success, and one free download:

DPIM Presales Framework

The DPIM framework


The DPIM framework

Using the DPIM framework, you plot the buyer group perception of knowledge (how much they think they know) against their engagement with your company (how strong is your relationship with the buyer). Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) enter in the bottom left as buyers transition from being unaware of the need to change, towards intentional action to solve pains, researching, selection and de-risking their decision.


The Buyer Learning Zone

The first thing buyers do is enter the Buyer Learning Zone. Here, they gather information to understand what their pains are, what they need to change to solve them and how they could accomplish this change.

DPIM Buyer Zone

DPIM - The Buyer Learning Zone

DPIM Danger Zones

DPIM - The Danger Zones


The Danger Zones

While comparing options and judging differences there are two danger zones it's important to help buyers steer clear of. One: High perceived knowledge but low connection causes risk of self -qualifying out thus a short but fruitless sales cycle. Two: Low perceived knowledge even with a connection lengthens the sales cycle leading to a risk of doing nothing.


The Closing Zone

Here the buyer can make a decision to purchase, but it can represent a perception of risk if they haven't completed their due diligence or still have unanswered questions. So it's important to help address any concerns quickly and effectively.

DPIM Closing Zone

DPIM - The Closing Zone

DPIM Live Demos

DPIM - Learning with live demos


Learning with live demos

Live demonstrations are likely to remain for most software sales - especially ones where detailed configuration options allow buyers to have the software fit their processes, not just their processes have to conform to rigid software. But this leaves a long time before they can be 'eyes on' with any relevant solution. We've all experienced how static YouTube videos are mainly useful in creating leads not actually providing true insight for buyers. So let's look at how demo automation changes this.


Automated Qualifying Demos

By introducing automated Qualifying Demos we enable SC teams to increase their strategic impact earlier in the DPIM using trackable Qualifying Demoboards. We increase buyer knowledge while remaining connected to their activity.

These are better than the classic overview demo because they are tailored by each buyer to view what interests them the most, can be viewed any time, anywhere and as often as needed. What's more, because they're being tracked to each individual sales opportunity, we can start to build a great picture of what's important to each individual buyer stakeholder.

DPIM Automation

DPIM - Automated Qualifying Demos

DPIM Danger

DPIM - Beware too much too soon


Beware too much too soon..

I am sure, the eagerness of many has led to wanting to demo everything, immediately, as soon possible. That's fine if the buyer likes everything they see - but providing too much too soon can be difficult for a buyer to accurately determine the true value of the software leading them to self-qualify out. Without the AE/Sales in place to address their concerns and help them back on the right path it's easy to lose them.


..or not acting quickly enough

The other danger of then is providing great content too late, which ultimately even if it provides the same information to buyers, is too late in their journey to keep your offering in-scope of their project. Either that, or they'll feel a slow-down of seller assistance and be disengaged enough to never take any positive action. This can be addressed using the next step.

DPIM Speed

DPIM - or not acting quickly enough

The perfect DPIM Presales fit

The perfect DPIM fit


The perfect DPIM fit

This is the perfect fit - the Digital Presales Impact Model.

Buyers are helped through their learning journey, avoiding the danger zones and end up informed at speed, yet confident and happy to be in the closing zone.

Buyers receive a Micro demo from the SDR team, giving them easy to consume guidance and a vision of what's to come from future engagements. Then they get to select what's most important to them using a Qualifying Demo, to learn more about how they can achieve what they need with your solution. Remember these are all automated so your SC team is providing high-value impact addressing both the Demand Gap and Activity Gap with no headcount increase.


With informed buyers, the live demo can now afford to concentrate on differentiators and direct benefits to that particular buyer and their stakeholders across their company. This saves buyers time, SC time and ultimately leads to a more meaningful and balanced buyer/seller relationship.

FAQ demos can be automated too which help buyers understand detailed aspects of your solution in easy to consume snippets which they can share with key stakeholders/decision makers across their business.


Lastly, if you've recorded the live demo and served it through a video automation platform it's there as a record of the conversations your buyer has had, a great resource to check back and de-risk any of their last-minute concerns.

Special secret step 10

Increase strategic value of presales

Your Digital Presales team now provides strategic impact across the whole sales cycle. You've empowered your SCs to extend their effect and increase the value of the SC/Presales function across your business.

Applying the DPIM has addressed what your SCs are able to provide as impact (Activity Gap) and how much and when their impact is felt too (Demand Gap), but at no extra cost to you.

In fact, the cost/benefit factor scales exponentially as your SCs are freed up from countless harbour-tours/overview demos to increase the quality of their now focused engagement, and they continue to find places in your organisation to surface these automated demo boards, further enhancing your impact.

Of course, these are widely known digital presales gaps, and none of this is proprietary information, but the DPIM offers authentic guidance on where and how to apply digital presales in your specific sales cycles to help enable buyers the most effectively.

DPIM Value

DPIM - Strategic Value of Presales

Download the best practice DPIM and blank framework for you to fill in here:

Special thanks to Don Carmichael and Alex Edwards for their guidance, and the rest of the modern presales world for inspiration including Garin Hess and the folks at Consensus.

DPIM is for personal use only. Thank you.

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