I’ve been in the PreSales and solutions space for a long time.
I was a solutions practitioner and leader for many years at startups and large enterprises. I co-founded PreSales Collective, a community designed to support and up-level solutions professionals. Through that experience, I worked with thousands of members and built programs to create an ecosystem and ultimately evolve our profession into a critical need for GTM/revenue leaders.
To say I’m passionate about PreSales is an understatement. So after a six-month self-imposed time out, I'm excited to begin my role as the Chief Solutions Officer leading go-to-market at TestBox!
Why demo automation?
When I took a step back to reflect on what today’s sales and solutions teams truly need to evolve the profession, the answer quickly became clear: demo automation.
A few months ago, I started what would be the longest open-ended discovery call of my career. I spoke with investors, analysts, entrepreneurs, recruiters, sales and solutions leaders, and everyone in between. We discussed the challenges they were facing within their organizations and investment portfolios.
One theme kept coming up over and over again: solutions professionals are spending far too much time creating and managing demo environments and POCs, leaving them little time to be the strategic business partners they should be. And the cost of this to businesses is substantial.
Mix in the new normal in the software industry — pressure on ratios and demands to cut costs — and you have a perfect storm of SEs that have expanding scope and responsibilities with less time than ever before.
Demo automation products are quickly becoming a critical business need, and the space is gaining momentum. In fact, G2's 2023 State of Software report noted that demo automation saw the highest traffic of all of the new software categories created between September 2022 and September 2023.
But here’s the problem: most demo automation prospects and customers agreed that there is a lack of differentiation between vendors, which is causing confusion for buyers. Further, a number of companies are solving this problem in very different ways. Understanding the technical how is actually very important when it comes to provisioning demo environments.
Unfortunately, my research also revealed that some companies are leading with misleading messaging and products that don’t do exactly what they say that they do.
So I decided to fill my time and mind researching this space. The result? The State of Demo Automation in 2024, an 18-page analysis of the space that ended in me changing course from pursuing another entrepreneurial endeavor to accepting an executive role in software.
As the solutions profession moves from a technical resource to a strategic executive-level influencer, we will see revenue leaders enable solutions teams to become another set of strategic eyes and ears in closing revenue and creating happy customers.
Demo automation will play a significant role in up-leveling the profession as solutions professionals evolve to meet the demands of modern buyers and go-to-market motions shift to facilitate better buying experiences.
When I encountered TestBox, I was blown away. TestBox has a stellar team building a world-class, category-defining product for PreSales professionals. And they were looking for someone with my skillset to come in and drive their GTM with a solutions-centric mindset.
Check. Check. Check.
I’ve watched TestBox transform from a marketplace that allowed buyers to test multiple B2B software products side-by-side to what I believe is the clear winner in the demo automation category.
Why? TestBox is built differently than the others because it was built for a different use case. To make their marketplace successful, they had to provide users with live and fully integrated products to test, which is why TestBox is well-positioned to be transformational in this space.
After speaking to VCs, analysts, prospects, customers, and everyone in between, it was clear that this category is gaining momentum, and TestBox’s product approach is leading the way.
I believe in the problem TestBox is solving. TestBox is the product that I wish I had when I was a solutions professional and leading solutions teams, and I find myself imagining how much more time we would have had for revenue activities if TestBox existed then.
Additionally, this opportunity gives me the chance to actually practice what I preach.
I’ve long been bullish about the critical role that solutions professionals play in driving GTM motions and revenue growth. As the Chief Solutions Officer at TestBox, I’ll lead the GTM function and be responsible for building and maintaining an incredible customer experience from first touch through signature, implementation, and ongoing success.
Leaning into my background in hospitality, operations, software, and community building, my goal is that TestBox delivers a world-class buying and customer experience. We will build our GTM motion with the customer at the center of everything that we do.
I couldn’t be more excited to join TestBox. I’m grateful for Sam Senior’s partnership and trust (hear more about why Sam hired a Chief Solutions Officer).
If you have ideas or questions about the demo automation category, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I look forward to helping TestBox elevate sales and solutions organizations worldwide.