The days of presales professionals having to hack their own tools to optimize their own work are coming to an end. Over the last few years, several vendors catering to the needs of presales professionals have emerged. A recent presales buyer’s guide, published online by Chris White and Kerry Sokalksy, does a great job of contextualizing presales tools into the following five categories. 

5 Tools for Sales Engineers

  1. Presales Oversight & Management: Tools primarily designed for presales leaders to scale operations, track activities, provide utilization insights, manage presales master data, enable performance analysis, and measure the revenue impact of presales on the sales pipeline. 
  2. Presales Opportunity Execution: Tools that provide direct benefits to the individual contributors to more effectively manage day-to-day activities, capture data, and have a centralized workspace. Also, provide a better means for collaboration to streamline work.
  3. Demo Automation: Tools that help presales expose products to buyers earlier, more easily, and with more consistency. Several vendors take varying degrees to accomplish this same end goal. 
  4. Response & Knowledge Management: Tools that help presales respond more effectively to Request For Proposals (RFP) and Request For Information(RFI) submitted by buyers. This is an area that is more mature compared to other categories. 
  5. Presentation & Data Solutions: Tools that help presales and sales better present a solution to buyers that is tailored to their use case and/or profile. 

To learn more about tools for engineers, you can also look at Chris and Kerry’s 60-minute video, which explores in depth the emerging vendor ecosystem of presales tools. The market is still early, but more and more vendors are entering the space to serve presales professionals, a community that is critical to technical sales