Pre-sales is essential to a successful sales process. According to the Harvard Business Review, companies with a strong presales process are consistently successful, achieving win rates of 40–50% in new business as well as rates of 80–90% in renewal business.
These numbers alone are enough to get the attention of a sales organization, but presales is about more than simply having a person dedicated to presales on your team. Your company also needs to create a clear and well-defined presales process that helps your presales engineers fill your sales pipeline with promising leads.
How are presales and sales different?
When a layperson thinks about a sales organization, they’re likely thinking about salespeople. Salespeople are the face of the sales process, after all. They make the calls, set client meetings, give demos, and close deals. It’s their job to build and maintain relationships with customers.
Pre-sales engineers do all the work that comes before the sale. Pre-sales is responsible for prospecting, lead qualification, and proposal development. Pre-sales often have a deeper knowledge of the product than reps, and for this reason, they often are tasked with creating materials that show how a product or service will solve the problems experienced by the client. The work the presales engineers do lays the groundwork for the sales team, and also frees up the sales reps to concentrate on high-priority sales leads.
What is a presales process and why do you need one?
The presales process is a part of the sales process, and involves every step until the client is handed off to the sales team, although presales does provide support to the sales team during their customer interactions, as well as after the sale.
Typically a presales process includes the following steps:
- Lead qualification
- Renewing deals
It’s important to have a well-defined presales process if you want your team to be as effective as possible. Having clear steps in the process gives your presales engineers a clear idea of what they should be doing at each step of the sales funnel. It also keeps your entire revenue team on the same page, which is important because sometimes the duties of sales reps and pre- sales engineers overlap.
Building a strong presales process
Just as there is no perfect, one-size-fits all sales process, there’s no one-size-fits-all presales process. It’s up to you to build the process that will best serve your team. There are, however, some best practices that will help you develop a process that works for your organization.
- Examine the deals that went well. Was there a deal that went particularly well? What about a very smooth customer journey through your pipeline. Take a look at the deals that were a pleasure to work on and examine the steps that were taken by your presales team. It may be worth replicating those steps in your presales process.
- Find out where your team needs help. Where do your sales reps need support? Those are the places where presales can step in and help out by providing more information and assistance.
- Nothing is set in stone. If it seems like the presales process can be improved, don’t be shy about stepping in and adjusting it. In fact, you should revisit the process every year or so to make sure it’s still working for you .
- Get organized. Your presales engineers handle a lot of information on a daily basis. They can’t support your sales team if they’re wasting time searching for data in multiple databases or documents. Make sure they’re supported with a central library of information. Ombud’s platform does this by organizing client-facing documents into a single repository of information.
- Embrace automation. To make sure your engineers are doing their best work, give them tools that embrace time-consuming tasks. Ombud, for example, allows collaboration across departments without presales engineers needing to chase subject matter experts (SMEs).
A well-organized presales team is a great help to your salespeople, but they need to be supported as well. Request a demo of Ombud’s Presales Operating System today.