What’s common between a fortune 500 dream tech powerhouse and a 500 people IT-solutions company? Apart from the great people, it’s the tussle between Sales & PreSales. Achieving harmony and a perfect alignment between the two warring factions is the zen of B2B sales productivity.

Ever wondered what they mostly think about each other? 🙂

Sales about PreSales:

  1. Tends to get too technical and lose the customer in the first 5 minutes – indeed some incredible feet.
  2. Jumps into the product features right away without even explaining how that capability impacts your business. Simply put: PreSales has a script and they narrate it in autopilot mode.
  3. PreSales people are nerds! They can talk about the product, its features, but can never drive a conversation depending upon the actual requirement. CEO or an IT manager, they’re all the same for them.
  4. My deal is all over the place after their demo.

PreSales about Sales:

  1. Talks too much. All faff no substance!
  2. We’re the one who closes the deal and they take the commissions.
  3. Never understands about the customer’s pain points and key business drivers fully, tries to push the case to PreSales without qualification and blames the PreSales for no sale.
  4. Sales never do the background work on the opportunity. Targets the wrong audience and not the decision makers and there is also no analysis of competitors on the deal.
  5. No proper information, warnings or alerts on the previous is ever passed on to PreSales making the walk blindsided.
  6. Over commits to get the deal done.

Organisations have understood the importance of both these functions and give equal importance to both. But unless and otherwise if the team is not going to work together, the organisation’s overall objective cannot be achieved. A survey conducted by Harvard Business Review suggested that the presence of a strong collaboration between the PreSales and sales teams in any organisation will:

  • Increase Revenue by 7-14%
  • Movement along the sales process will be improved by 15-25%
  • Conversion Rates increase by 5-10%

In reality both Sales and PreSales are right and at the same time they are wrong. This is the dilemma that every organisation faces while trying to address the issue.

Often credits are not given to the team on the success and blame game starts when things go south. The teams are indeed at war even if they succeed. It is thus believed that building a value proposition amongst the team can address both the groups issues simultaneously.

Shift the focus of the sales process from the sales and PreSales to a customer centric one. An ideal value proposition revolves around the capabilities of the product and the customers key business objectives. This can help both sales and PreSales to address all the issues that they have stated above.

Addressing the alignment challenge:

  1. Sales: Be realistic and clear on what we are trying to achieve, it will go a long way in the customer relationship. If you fail to gain the trust of the customers and you do not understand the problems or the business drivers. Every single time you will be up against the financial side of the deal.
  2. Deal Qualification is a must: Make sure before every single demo or proposal request, you have aligned your Power, Understood their top challenges, what makes them successful this year and the client/ prospect agrees to the impact your solutions will bring on their business. This information should be passed to PreSales every single time.
  3. PreSales: While Sales can drive the process of validating a value proposition helping the customer towards a decision making, make sure you have a talk track customised for every new customer you sit infant of and every role who is listening to you in that call/meeting.
  4. Invest in a sales process which is consultative, trains your teams in asking smart questions to uncover the prospects scenario and most importantly is repeatable and measurable.

Having a framework that would enable sales and PreSales alignment will help organisations benefit out of it. Has your organisation achieved the perfect balance between Sales & PreSales?

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