Build a Winning Presales Process in 2024: A Complete Guide
Is your sales team under constant stress and unsure how to close deals? Are you giving them hours of training, sharing motivational TED talks, and whatnot?
Though sales teams are directly proportional to closing deals, there is one more crucial step you need to ace if you want to take over 2024. It's building a fool-proof Presales process!
A robust Presales process plays a crucial role in achieving success for individual sales opportunities and the sales organization as a whole.
Let's quickly build together a strong Presales process and drive your bottom-line growth.
What is Presales Process?
A Presales process covers all the activities that happen before closing a deal. These activities include product and market research, prospecting and qualifying leads, crafting a unique selling proposition, and lead nurturing.
In other words, they identify, qualify, prepare, and nurture prospects before handing them off to the sales team. This helps the sales team focus on the hottest leads and close deals faster.
Presales: Definition and Need
A Presales process covers all the activities that happen before closing a deal. These include a wide range of tasks such as:
- Prospecting and qualifying leads
- Product research
- Market research
- Data and customer analysis
- Preparing call scripts
- Identifying solutions to customer pain points
- Crafting a unique selling proposition
- Managing deal qualification and proposals
Presales experts are the avengers needed to save your business goals in today's competitive scenario. Like Ironman needs his arc reactor, your company needs a Presales team. Not only to survive but also to compete with a strong iron suit to save customers from pain points by pitching the right product positioning.
- The Presales team is the superhero who helps the sales and marketing teams identify, attract, and retain customers.
- Presales experts create tailor-made execution plan pivotal in finding, capitalizing, and shifting almost closed deals with new and existing partners and accelerating sales.
Difference Between Presales and Sales
Have you ever gotten confused between oranges and mandarins? That's how people get confused between Presales and Sales. These are two different functions that are related but distinctly vary as well.
The main difference between the two comes out clearly in two aspects:
- Focus of the Team and the Goals
Presales' main focus is building relationships with potential customers and educating them about the product or service. On the other hand, sales focus on closing deals and generating revenue.
- Stage of the Sales Process in Which They Operate
Presales typically occurs before the sales process begins. They work on identifying potential customers, understanding their needs, and providing them with the necessary information to decide whether to purchase the product or service. Sales professionals work with potential customers who have already been identified through the Presales process and use their skills and techniques to persuade them to purchase.
Role of Presales in a B2B Sales Cycle
A strong Presales process leads to higher revenue and lead generation. Harvard Business Review's statistics reveal that companies with well-oiled Presales process consistently achieve 40-50% win rates in new business and 80-90% in renewal business.
- Identifying Potential Customers
The Presales professional are the experts in 'Where's Waldo?'. They are the undercover agents who bring all information about customer needs and pain points to the table. They get to the bottom and identify potential customers based on industry, company size, and budget.
- Understanding Customer Needs
If you are familiar with the popular series of Dr. House, you will understand this! Presales is the team of Cameron, Foreman, and Chase, who gather end-to-end information by understanding customer needs and requirements. They conduct interviews, surveys, and all kinds of research to collect information about customers' pain points, goals, and challenges. But they don't break into houses like Dr. House's team.
- Providing Information and Education
Remember the good old saying, how first impression is the best impression? That's what Presales professionals do. Presales professionals play a crucial role in educating potential customers about the product or service being offered.
- Untapping Red Flags
Presales experts understand the objections or concerns about the product or service from their interaction with potential customers. Then they work with relevant teams to address these objections and provide solutions to any problems that the customer may have.
Also check out: Guide to sales cycle
Who is Involved in the Presales Process?
The Presales process typically involves several key individuals and teams within a business. These include:
- Presales Professionals
Presales professionals are responsible for the overall presales process. They work closely with the sales team to identify potential customers, understand their needs, and provide them with the necessary information to make an informed decision.
- Sales Team
The sales team works closely with Presales professionals throughout the B2B sales cycle to ensure that potential customers have the necessary information to make an informed decision. (Find out how to close more deals)
- Marketing Team
The marketing team plays a critical role in the Presales process by developing marketing materials and campaigns to generate leads and create awareness of the product or service being offered.
- Product Development Team
The product development team works closely with Presales professionals to provide technical specifications, pricing information, and other details required in creating product demonstrations and other materials.
- Customer Service team
The customer service team may be involved in the Presales process to provide information about customer needs and pain points.
Creating a Winning Presales Process in 2024
Similar to how the entire Universe revolves around five important elements of nature, master these five important steps that you need to achieve the best Presales process.
Step 1: Qualifying Leads
61% of companies rank lead generation as their number one challenge and we cannot deny it. Finding leads is challenging, and finding quality leads is even more challenging. That’s where pre-sales come in.
But with data analysis and lead evaluation expertise, Presales teams will ace lead generation. Sales teams leverage both sales technology and customer insights to create comprehensive profiles of their ideal clients, analyzing their behavior patterns to pinpoint the most promising opportunities for closure. The lead qualification process then enables the team to focus their efforts and resources on the leads with the greatest potential value.
Here's a quick cheat sheet that you can use for qualifying leads during Presales:
- Budget: Determine if the potential customer has the financial resources to make a purchase.
- Need: Understand the potential customer's pain points and determine if your product or service can address those needs.
- Authority: Identify the decision-makers within the potential customer's organization who have the authority to make purchasing decisions.
- Timeline: Determine the potential customer's timeframe for making a purchasing decision and whether it aligns with your company's sales cycle.
- Fit: Evaluate if the potential customer's needs align with the strengths of your product or service and if there is a good match between their requirements and your offerings.
Step 2: Discovery
Right on cue is customer discovery. This is an important step where the initial contact is made with the customer right after they've been qualified.
This is similar to a pre-screening interview where the Presales team tries to find out what the customer is looking for and their unique challenges. A strong Presales team will have expertise in understanding the business solutions and the customers' business needs. Without understanding these, learning how to best position their product or service solution is impossible, and the next step highly depends on this.
Step 3: Product Demonstration
The actual step for which your potential customers are waiting with all the skeptical glasses right on. But you can turn the skepticism into a beautiful smile by helping them visualize how the product or service can solve their specific needs and challenges. Showcasing interactive product demos with can help customers understand how products solve their challenges more clearly. Offer an interactive experience that keeps potential customers interested and invested in the sales process.
Pro tip: Today's business decision involves more than just a single buyer. There is an entire team of stakeholders who does not get easily convinced by just communicating verbally. What if you can show your product in action? Learn more about Storylane’s interactive product demos and how they can help you make a very good first impression.
Here's how Semrush uses Storylane's interactive product tours to showcase their platform 👇
Check out: Guide to product demonstration
Step 4: The Proposal and Approval
Now, the lead is qualified and validated! Hurray! Not yet. Here, we need to draft a proposal outlining the customer's primary pain points and a tailored solution.
In many instances, the Presales teams will need help to do this. They collaborate with the sales team to review and approve the proposal for the client—a crucial step for both Presales and sales. Remember how we discussed understanding customer needs to learn the pain points earlier? This is where all that hard work pays off. The Presales team will shape the proposal to address the customer's needs.
Step 5: Sales Handoff
Now, the Presales have completed all the work, and the foundation is extremely strong. But it is still not the time to retire. They also play an important role in customer retention by doing a proper sales handoff.
Once the deal is closed, pre-sales work with the sales team to ensure the implementation is successful and aligned with the proposal. It is like how the force lives even without the Jedi or the lightsaber! Presales continue to work on identifying future opportunities for growth, improving client satisfaction, and increasing retention.
Factors Influencing the Presales Process
Here are a few things you should be aware of and keep in mind when you’re creating your Presales process.
- Market trends: Market trends, changes in consumer behavior, shifts in demand, and new technologies influence how potential customers perceive a product or service.
- Competitive landscape: Potential customers always compare the product or service being offered to similar offerings from competitors.
- Customer needs and pain points: Understanding customer needs and pain points are critical to the presales process.
- Company culture: The company culture influences how presales professionals interact with potential customers and how they represent the company.
- Sales and marketing strategies: Sales and marketing strategies, including pricing, promotional activities, and marketing campaigns, can also impact the presales process.
- Internal processes: Internal processes, such as the availability of resources and the efficiency of internal communication, influence the nature of the Presales process.
Tools to Have in Your Presales Techstack
The right tools are like the Mandalorian to lost Presales yodas! They make the process efficient and effective. Here we unmask such reliable Mandalorians that can be useful to have in your Presales tech stack:
Prelio is a comprehensive tool that helps Presales representatives navigate the entire customer journey to the finish line. By providing a single platform for deal management, resource allocation, dashboards, and analytics, Prelio eliminates silos between departments and encourages collaboration.
With Prelio, teams can collaborate seamlessly to share insights and proof of concepts related to deal health, processes, and team performance. This promotes transparency and accountability, which is critical for successful deal management.
CloudShare is a learning experience platform that supports personnel certification, assessment, and training. The platform also provides built-in templates for administrators to design practical scenarios.
Presales engineers use CloudShare's solution to arrange and control personalized demos and host virtual events.
PreSkale is a sales acceleration platform that offers a range of tools to help sales teams increase their efficiency and productivity. With PreSkale Presales, teams can generate targeted leads by using advanced data analysis and artificial intelligence to identify potential prospects.
Their email marketing tool allows Presales teams to create, send, and track personalized email campaigns that help them engage with their prospects.
Storylane is a powerful product demo software that can help you transform your prospect's "aha!" moments into a growth-generating cycle. With its fast and flexible approach, you can easily showcase your product to clients who will love it most.
Click on the 'Start Interactive Tour' Button to check it out 👇
Our interactive product demo platform also offers a no-code editor, interactive guides, the option to add video and audio clips, cross-functional team collaboration, auto personalization, and analytics to track the behavior of prospects.
5) OBS Studio
One of the versatile open-source tools that were originally designed for the gaming streaming community but have become a powerful asset for presales engineers. With a free screen recorder and video editing platform, it is an ideal option for creating polished and cohesive presentations.
With OBS Studio, Presales engineers can use multiple sources, mix them, and create a seamless final presentation.
Creating a killer winner Presales process is not very easy! But that's the best thing that you could do to set your dream of hitting that big number revenue target! Don't believe us? Just ask the experts at McKinsey.
But remember! A winning Presales process is not just about closing deals but also about building long-lasting relationships with your customers. So, take the time to analyze your current Presales process, identify areas for improvement, and make the necessary changes to build a process that works for your business. Let the force of Presales be with you!
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