Colorado Springs firm helps pre-sales workers cut to the chase in product demos

By Ned Hunter Published: August 9, 2013 | 3:55 pm 0

Call it "training blackout" - that moment during educational sessions when people's eyes glaze over, heads collapse into hands, and spines snap at the hips as employees slip lower into their chairs.

What causes the blackout is not necessarily a boring speaker, said Bob Riefstahl, but the presentation of an abundance of unnecessary information, such as teaching employees sections of computer programs they'll never use.

Riefstahl has worked to address that kind of information overload through his 12-year-old Colorado Springs company, 2WIN!Global,which has grown at about 25 percent annually, even as the economy has struggled.

2WIN!Global designs training programs that teach pre-sales and software demonstration workers how to give presentations on complex technology products so their company has a better chance of making a sale later.

From its office at 517 S. Cascade Ave., 2WIN!Global spends a week to several months studying each company's products, then designs presentations without the superfluous information.

"People tend to show everything a product can do, which is very ineffectual because it makes it look complicated," Riefstahl said. "That leads buyers to say we don't want it."

Riefstahl should know. As a former vice president of sales for Nxtrend and a 20-plus-year veteran of the software sales industry, he helped train dozens of salespeople and sat though hundreds of his employees' presentations and demonstrations. It was after one presentation from an outside company when he decided he could do better. That was in 2001.

Today, 2WIN!Global's clients include seven of the 10 world's largest software companies, among them SAP, Microsoft and Oracle. 2WIN!Global has no competition in Colorado Springs or Denver, Riefstahl said, but it competes against international companies that are vying for the same clients.

The company has 18 full-time employees and another 15 overseas on contract. 2WIN!Global has trained people throughout North America, Europe, South Africa and the Far East, and has translated its programs into more than seven different languages, Riefstahl said.

Since its inception, 2WIN!Global has developed 12 training programs covering topics that include how to: manage a team to improve skill sets; become a better presenter; give better pre-sales demonstrations; and conduct more effective sales calls. Within the next 24 months, Riefstahl wants to expand his programs to include the medical technology and financial industries.

Although it may sound as if his company's products rehash the work of Dale Carnegie and other sales gurus, Riefstahl said that's not the case.

"The difference is, everything we do is very tactical and specialized," he said.

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Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275.

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