Hub Exists to Serve Presales Engineers

Take a moment to consider everything a strong presales team brings to an organization — and not just the greatly enhanced sales and revenue figures. (We’ll get to those.)

Presales engineers are uniquely qualified for some of the most important and specialized activities in the sales cycle, starting with technical discovery to ensure fit and keep focused on the right prospects. Effective product presentations and demos require intricate knowledge of the technology — the very expertise that presales brings. Their expertise is also needed for ‘solutioning’ — combining various products in the portfolio. And their deep product knowledge allows presales to excel at establishing the product’s value in a prospect’s mind.
No wonder McKinsey and Co. found that companies with strong technical sales teams consistently achieve new business win rates of 40% to 50% (those figures we promised) and 80% to 90% renewal win rates. They also found that investing in presales can lead to five-point conversion rate improvement; a 6% to 13% revenue improvement; and a 10% to 20% faster trip through the sales cycle for prospects.

So where’s the investment in presales tools?

Why, then, do so many companies refuse to make those investments? Technical sales has been a consistently under-resourced C-suite blind spot. They have not provided the presales tools for effective, revenue-enhancing presales management strategies.

According to Peter Cohan, principal with California-based Great Demo!, the middle of the funnel is often a data desert, where most companies “do not have concrete information on the activities and success rates of their presales teams. They are managing by gut.” That’s no way to run a team of ambitious, tech-savvy presales engineers. But without the right tools, what else can they do? “Establishing a baseline is the information the organization needs to identify areas to improve and optimize MOF conversions,” Cohan added. In many companies, the investment in an effective platform that could easily supply that baseline data simply hasn’t been made.

Motivating Presales Engineers

Investing in the right presales tools also keeps the presales team engaged and motivated by supporting them with the tools they need to deliver what’s expected and more.

According to Chris White, founder of D.C.-based sales training firm TechSalesAdvisors and author of The Six Habits of Highly Effective Sales Engineers, many presales engineers feel more respected by customers than their own organizations. “To customers, we’re viewed as a trusted advisor. The secret weapon.” Speaking from considerable experience, he notes, “Most deals stall somewhere in the middle of the funnel, so smart companies are starting to invest there.”

Many companies are finding there’s more money to be made MOF than they are currently seeing. And investing in presales is one of the most effective ways to power presales and let the middle of the funnel deliver its full potential.