I recently met for coffee with Josh Aranoff, an amazing presales leader that has over 20 years of presales experience with companies like Salesforce, and now leads a 100+ presales team for a high growth publicly traded company. Throughout our conversation, the topic of presales metrics that matter to the C-Suite surfaced and Josh shared an experience on how he worked to provide his sales leadership with the metrics that matter most to their business. Below is an elegant and simple framework he developed that entails solution selling, engagement of resources, account planning and strategy.

Graph of solution selling

To better understand how a framework like this may be applied to your environment, let’s examine each of these three pillars in more detail:

  • Solution Selling is essentially the approach where you can deliver playbooks for better technical discovery to qualify or disqualify an opportunity. This is a complementary role to the economic discovery that sales professionals do within their own sales motion. Playbooks can also be created for technical demonstrations and workshops to ensure that processes which enforces best practices are being followed. Presales metrics tracked are aligned with the sales organization’s meeting their monthly, quarterly and yearly bookings goals.
  • Engagement of Resources helps presales identify ways to accelerate technical sales velocity. That can include activities like engaging technical partners and professional services that can help the prospect or existing customer recognize the value of the solution they purchased as quickly as possible. Presales metrics measure whether net new and install win rates have been met and satisfy year over year growth rates.
  • Account Planning & Strategy is great approach to measure presales partnering with his/her sales representative to develop account plans, track organizational alignment with partners, measure the attach rates of partners on opportunities, track evaluation statuses. Presales metrics can include joint account plans created, partner revenue generated, partner attach rate on opportunity, eval duration and technical win rates that result in bookings.

Many aspects and dashboards can be created on the presales business as this department adds value to businesses in a myriad of ways. However, Josh’s approach to working with Sales Leadership and simplifying the things that matter to his key C-Suite executive was elegantly done. Developing a simple framework that helps your C-Suite quickly identify the areas on where presales adds value is a smart approach to getting a seat at the C-Suite table. These type of actions are why Josh adds value to his C-Suite and is able to get the ample support to ensure he runs a world class presales organization that continues to help drive up the enterprise value for a very well known publicly traded company. Thanks Josh for sharing your story.

If you want to create your own success story like Josh below are 10 questions for you to potentially ask your CRO so you can identify the metrics that matter to your business the most.

  1. What are our target booking goals for net new, upsells and cross sells?
  2. What is the target attach rate for presales across all of our opportunities?
  3. At what phase of the sales process should we attach a presales professional?
  4. What percentage of opportunities should follow a presales playbook?
  5. What percentage of opportunities should have a joint account plan between sales and presales?
  6. What is the attach rate of presales on net new business and expansion into existing business?
  7. What should be our conversion targets from presales tech win to sales negotiation win?
  8. What should be our target sales cycle by market segment and vertical?
  9. What else should we track that will provide leading indicators as to whether we can win together?
  10. How do we focus on the three things that matter to the business the most?