The age-old debate: Presales vs. Sales. It's like the classic rivalry between Star Wars and Star Trek. But are they really two sides of the same coin?
In business, two essential functions make the sales engine move- Presales and Sales.
These two functions are two sides of the same coin when generating and closing deals.
While the sales function has been around for a long time, the presales function evolved more recently and has been gaining more importance in recent years.
Presales are responsible for
providing in-depth technical knowledge
creating demos, and
offering proof of value to potential clients.
Doing so creates a solid foundation for the sales team to present the solution to the client.
The hand-in-glove collaboration of the presales and sales teams is what every organization should strive for to deliver the best value to their clients.
Moreover, the seamless integration of these two functions ensures that potential clients are presented with solutions and the technical details they need to make informed decisions.
Irrespective of their characteristics, are Presales & Sales both equally important?
The answer is a Big YES!
But as businesses need to remain competitive in the marketplace, they must recognize each team member's role and how to maximize its effectiveness.
A study by Zippia found that almost 99% of companies across the globe will be using one or more SaaS solutions in the near future. Hence, SaaS businesses must have a robust sales approach that follows effective demo planning.
Therefore, to cater to the needs of SaaS businesses, Demoboost explains the role of Presales and Sales, what exactly they are, and how companies can leverage the best for their growth by utilizing the two. Read more below:
What Is Presales?
Presales refer to the critical function within a SaaS organization as a liaison between sales and product engineering teams.
The primary objective of presales is to ensure customers' needs are met and challenges are solved by the SaaS business's product or service. This critical function evolved from its early iterations as a support function for sales teams to its broader and vital role in driving innovation and product development today.
The Origin of Presale
Presales began to emerge in the late 80s due to the difficulty of technical sales.
Engineers, who possessed the necessary technical knowledge to navigate technical sales, often found themselves bogged down with repetitive customer inquiries or product demonstrations, making it difficult to close sales.
This gap led to companies pulling their engineers from sales and, instead, fielding a dedicated team that would focus specifically on product demonstrations and technical support for potential clients. Thus, highlighting the emergence of dedicated presales responsibility.
Over time, presales have become more than mere support to sales teams.
They are now a critical function essential in driving product innovation and development.
Through customer insight and interaction, presales teams can highlight the shortcomings of current products.
It also recommends new features and capabilities that address customers' needs.
Presales teams also analyze data and provide business insights to sales teams.
These insights enable sales teams to be more strategic in their approach and client interactions, furthering the likelihood of closing more deals.
In addition, because presales teams work very closely with engineering teams, they are a vital conduit for product updates and improving existing SaaS offerings.`
Importance of Presales for Company Growth
The significance of presales in a SaaS business cannot be overstated.
By gathering customer insights and analyzing data alongside sales teams, they help drive product and feature development, ensuring that offerings meet customers' evolving needs.
And giving this critical function a high focus within the Sales organization enables businesses to grow sales while ensuring crucial customer cultivation effectively. This approach ensures a customer centric sales process which in the end effect turns into sales.
Statistics & Figures that Show the Importance of Presales for Business
In recent years, the role of Presales has seen significant growth, with a remarkable 17% increase in LinkedIn job postings as observed until January 2022, even amid an ongoing economic downturn.
In companies with over 50 employees, Presales teams are now:
1.6 times the size of Product Management
3.8 times Customer Success, and
4.4 times Sales Development
This growth is only outpaced by Sales, which remains
4.3 times larger than Presales
Presales is a critical component of modern sales organizations, equipped to help buyers navigate the increasingly complex sales process by addressing:
Assessing value propositions, and
Accurately answering questions about product capabilities.
The presales team comprises skilled professionals with in-depth product knowledge and technical expertise who work hand-in-hand with sales teams to help close deals by ensuring that the customer's needs are met and that they ultimately make an informed decision.
It continues to be a key driver of growth and success for businesses worldwide. As the sales landscape evolves and becomes more complex, Presales will remain a valuable asset, helping organizations to stand out in a crowded marketplace and drive profitability long into the future.
Pre-sales: How Does It Help in Improving Sales?
Presales is a strategic approach that helps improve sales in many ways. Let's dive deeper into how presales benefit sales using the following:
1. Understanding the needs of the customer
The pre-sales team collaborates extensively with customers to understand their business requirements, pain areas, and objectives. This comprehension is essential for building a tailored solution that suits the customer's needs.
2. Creating tailored solutions
Presales have a unique mix of customer facing and technical skills. This allows them to uncover the needs of the buyers and translate them into tailored technical solutions.
3. Customer solution presentation
Once a solution has been designed, the pre-sales team must present it to the customer in a clear and straightforward manner.
4. Working with other teams
To ensure that the suggested solution corresponds with the company's broader strategy and product roadmap, the pre-sales team must work with other internal teams, such as product development.
What are Some Presales Activities for the Sales Team?
The presale process includes researching and engaging the buyer before a salesperson closes the deal. Depending on the size of the organization, there may be many pre-sales experts who specialize in this process, or it may be part of the responsibilities of every salesperson.
1. (Co-) Leading the discovery calls
The first step in developing a tailored solution for the buyer is gaining a deep understanding of their needs. That’s where the discovery calls come in. Presales are uniquely equipped to conduct the discovery calls in order to uncover and name the buyers challenges, processes and needs in order to provide them with a solution that will truly deliver value to their business.
2. Preparing presentations
After making discovery calls, the presales may begin crafting product presentations. These presentations can include additional in-depth information about the product and examples of how it could improve a company's current operations.
3. Request For Proposal And Proposal Assistance
Request for Proposal (RFP) and Proposal Assistance are important presales activities that ensure the customer's demands are thoroughly understood and a compelling solution is given in response to the customer's request.
An RFP is a formal document detailing the customer's requirements. A customer may frequently release an RFP to numerous vendors to solicit bids for the project. The pre-sales team will carefully analyze the RFP and collaborate with other internal teams to generate a response that fits the customer's needs as a pre-sales activity.
4. Conducting Competitor Research
Presales must also remain on top of competitive information. If competitors were invited to the same RFP, presales need to be able to name their unique selling point in order to win the deal.
5. Conducting Customer Analysis
On top of the discovery call, additional desk customer research is a critical presales process. This analysis is used to gain a thorough grasp of the, potentially un-named, customer's needs, which aids in creating a tailored solution that satisfies their requirements.
6. Creating Detailed Buyer Personas
Developing detailed buyer personas is a crucial presales activity that requires building a thorough understanding of the customer's target demographic. This data is then used to prospect the potential leads with relevant messaging.
What Is Sales?
Sales is an overarching deal lead starting from qualification to closing the deal. Sales kick off the relationship with the buyer, map the internal stakeholders maps, pull in the presales teams where needed and finally close the deal. Hence the most important role of the sales team in the organization is generating revenue.
Therefore, investing in a sales team can financially reward businesses.
What are Some Sales Activities for Teams to Perform?
Several fundamental sales activities are essential to the success of every sales company. These actions are intended to identify potential clients, create relationships, and eventually close deals that drive revenue and growth for the organization. Below are some common sales activities.
Prospecting is locating potential clients likely to be interested in the company's products or services. Reaching out to new potential buyers may entail cold phoning, emailing, or using social media. Prospecting may consume over 40% of your overall sales time.
B. Qualifying leads
Qualifying leads is one of the initial phases in the presale process. It often entails investigating firms interested in a product. When a sales rep discovers a lead, they may contact them personally or attempt to learn more about the company online.
C. Relationship building and Credibility establishing
To make sales, it's crucial to develop strong relationships with the buyers. This involves more than knowing their needs and building trust. Sales teams must establish a rapport and offer continuing support to show their awareness of each customer's requirements. Even if they never meet all the stakeholders, sales know they must map out the organization and convince the right people. Finding a champion who can help promote their products or services internally is key to success in any sales initiative.
Sales teams must be skilled negotiators to close deals. They must understand how to handle different motivations and objections from customers and know when it’s best to walk away from an unfavorable deal.Read more here about objections handling.
E. Deal Closing
The sales team's ultimate purpose is to close deals that generate revenue and growth for the organization. This process includes negotiating pricing, resolving objections, and developing a sense of urgency that encourages the customer to act.
Presales and Sales: A Match Made in Heaven!
Now that we have discussed the Presales vs Sales basics, it is imperative to understand how the two compliments each other. Let’s have a look:
Effective salesmanship hinges on timing, with the Account Executive (AE) and Solution Engineer (SE) masterminding the opening, nurturing and closing of deals.
The AE plays a significant role in prospecting activities and qualifying potential clients. Sometimes, the SE may also participate in the discovery process.
Once the client's needs are identified, the pre-sales team matches them with appropriate product solutions to create compelling demos. It's a delicate dance where each party has a part to play, necessitating seamless coordination and prompt timing. This interplay of art, science and time can yield remarkable sales results.
Ultimately the sales and presales share the same goal- closing the deal. Presales however, oftentimes also look at KPIs like deal progression through the funnel or demo conversion rates.
3. Level of interaction
Sales are the leaders of each deal they are working on. They pulled the presales team at the right time and ,in the best performing companies, presales became the co-leads of the deal. They work like hand-in-glove to ultimately build a trusted advisor relationship with the buyer in order to close deals effectively
Pre-Sales & Sales Process: Why Do You Need Both?
Both pre-sales and sales activities are critical components of a company's overall sales strategy, and each performs a distinct but complementary role in the sales process.
The importance of pre-sales and sales teams in achieving exceptional results in business goes beyond leaps and bounds.
Their complementary skill sets make them the dream team that brings forth success.
Sales teams are responsible for identifying and qualifying prospects while engaging pre-sales teams during the discovery phase.
The sales team's primary objective is to uncover the buyer's needs and pain points while pre-sales play the critical role of translating them into specific product solutions.
Their technical expertise and knowledge of every product detail are essential in creating tailor-made buyer solutions.
By applying a certain level of creativity, they can sufficiently customize the product to meet the buyer's unique needs.
Moreover, pre-sale teams develop sales narratives that enable AEs to deliver an excellent pitch, even when they are not present.
This comes in handy when the sales teams need backup to help them convert leads into buyers. When it comes to closing, sales teams are the designated closers.
They, then, map out the stakeholders, tailor the pitch to each of them, build lasting relationships with buyers, and work towards developing a champion.
Overall, the presales process and sales teams are intertwined and essential to the success of any business. Both bring critical skills and talents to the table, which enable businesses to grow, thrive and succeed.
Why Choose Demoboost for Streamlining Pre-Sales & Sales Processes of Your Business?
Demoboost is an advanced sales demo platform that helps teams achieve maximum efficiency in their sales process. With Demoboost, craft personalized demos, and target specific contacts with the most relevant content.
Additionally, the software provides detailed analytics and reporting capabilities, so users can get insights into the users' needs and requirements to measure their involvement with the product during the buying journey.
Alongside, sales teams have all the tools they need to close more deals and increase ROI.
Demoboost is designed to help sales reps reach prospects faster and more precisely through the power of effective demos. It enables them to identify and deliver tailored messages in an automated way.
Schedule a Demo today and start turbocharging your business’ sales.