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What is Presales


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Presales in IT and software industry. Training Session 1

Published in: Technology

What is Presales

  1. 1. Pre-sales Workshop
  2. 2. Contents 1 Presales Process Overview 2 Roles & Responsibilities 3 Writing a Winning Proposal 4 Post-RFP stage 5 A Generic Framework
  3. 3. What is presalesA set of activities normally carried out before a customer is acquiredA typical sales cycles  Suspect  Prospect/Opportunity  LeadPresales involvement in these phases differs from situation to situation
  4. 4. What is Presales Happens along with a salesperson before a sale closes It is sales support It is also about being a technicaland business consultant
  5. 5. A Typical Sales Process Product Knowledge Prospecting Approach Needs Assessment Customer Presentation Sales Close Follow-up
  6. 6. Presales Involvement Product Knowledge Prospecting Approach Needs Assessment Customer Presentation Sales Close Follow-up
  7. 7. What is not presales Searching for new suspects, prospects or leads Qualifying prospects Deciding and planning to approach prospects Negotiating with customer in closing a deal
  8. 8. What is not presales Developing relationship with customers Calling for a meeting with the customer Deciding the price of a deal Collecting feedback from the customer
  9. 9. Presales in IT Companies looking for vendors to implement software solutions call for proposals Support for Sales in closing a deal Many times a technical and business consultant for the potential customer Crucial link between Sales, Customer and Delivery Needs a blend of technical, business and soft skills
  10. 10. Presales in ITNeeds to work having the ‘big picture’ in mind – winning the deal for the company as well as customer delightPresales role could be specific to account, territory, technologies and partners Plays an important role in making proposals for RFPs and RFIs
  11. 11. Why Presales Increasing complexity in customer’s business requirements in terms of variety in technology, number of components or modules, security and infrastructure needs Customer delight is more than matching customer needs with a right technical solution. Customers expect vendors to partner with them in meeting their evolving business needs
  12. 12. Why Presales Bidding process is a complex and a very formal one, with strict adherence to procedures and timelines Bidding process involves intelligent negotiation on price, scope of work, schedule and other contract requirements Therefore is too important to be done without committed and dedicated professionals
  13. 13. Without PresalesMaking proposals may either end-up with delivery heads or worse, with sales Sales will not have the depth of technical knowledge to provide a solution Delivery heads may not have skills to match customer’s business needs with the right technical solution Both the teams could be short on bandwidth to take full responsibility
  14. 14. Place of Presales Sales Customer Presales Services
  15. 15. Presales in career growthA great opportunity to know up close the market and the business of software, and what ‘sells’Opportunity to get a systemic view of many things that makes up an organization and it’s businessOpportunity to get to know different cross-sections of customer and technology solutions
  16. 16. Presales in career growthPeople with a technical background can add lot of value by bringing in their experience and thereby benefit from itWorking in presales can also be seen as a choice for shifting to management career pathOpportunity to learn a variety of skills including client liaison, managing cross-functional teams, leadership, consulting skills
  17. 17. Presales in career growthIn larger organizations, presales gives a very good opportunity to network with all the right peopleSince presales is demanding on both technical and business knowledge and management skills, it’s the right place for a challenging job
  18. 18. Presales is differentAny specific sales engagement is temporarytherefore the corresponding sales- presales engagement is also temporaryThe same is true for the other cascading engagements between presales and others down the lineThe engagement on an average lasts for about a month – from the start of the RFP to the end of the RFP
  19. 19. Place of presale Where does a presale person belong to  Practices  Center of Excellence or Technologies  Accounts  Territory  Partners  Sales  Sometimes from the project itself
  20. 20. Common Attitude and PerceptionsI am on bench. So they picked me up to do this job…This is mainly a ‘cut-copy-paste’ job. Why do they need me ?In any case, winning depends entirely on the sales team and the top management…After all, I am a technical person… I don’t know or want to be a sales person I don’t see the results immediately, it usually takes months before I hear…
  21. 21. Common Attitude and PerceptionsWe are non-billable resources. Obviously we don’t get enough resources to do the jobI am not trained for this job…There’s just not enough and right information around to write this proposal…There’s hardly enough time to do this work… Why can’t they inform me much ahead ?How do I grow in my career in this path ?
  22. 22. Common ProblemsPresales work is not assigned the right resourcesNot enough training is givenPresales work needs many temporary resources and therefore gets less commitmentPeople who are on bench are assignedProposal can have too many technical components and therefore may need involvement of many people
  23. 23. Common ProblemsMay face ownership problemsDemanding on technical, business and soft skills all at onceEvery RFP response ‘suffers’ from extreme time constraints
  24. 24. Presales Process
  25. 25. Winning a Deal •Market Analysis Market •Strategic PlanningOpening •Account Planning Game •Branding •Account Management Client •Relationship ManagementMiddle •Opportunity ManagementGame •Pursuit Management •Proposal Management Deal •Presentation End •Negotiation Game
  26. 26. Presales Stages Pre-RFP RFP Proposal Post-RFP • RFP Issue• Finalise reqmts • Pre-Bid• Shortlist Conferencevendors • Customer • Clarifications• Finalise • Prepare Visits on RFPEvaluation Proposal • Demo of • ModificationsCriteria according to Capabilities to RFP• Finalise Budget RFP guidelines • Presentation • Identify• Customer • Evaluation resources topresentation by work on RFPvendor
  27. 27. Presales StagesRoles  Customer  Sales person  Presales person  Finance  Solution Architect  Domain Expert  Technical Consultant  Account Manager
  28. 28. Presales Stages Pre-RFP RFP Proposal Post-RFP • Finalise reqmts • Issue RFP • Receive proposal • Request for site visit • Shortlist vendors • Arrange pre-bid and/or demoCustomer • Finalise Evaluation conference • Evaluate and finalize Criteria • Provide vendor • Finalise Budget clarifications • Make customer • Receive RFP • Assist presales with • Arrange for presentation • Seek clarification on inputs from customer Customer visit showcasing services, RFP and about customer • Arrange for demoSales products and • Get commitment • Add commercials to and presentation strengths from internal the proposal resources • Keep mgmt informedPresales • Provide inputs as • Receive RFP • prepare proposal by • Assist sales in needed • Identify resources working with cross- customer visit, demo to work on RFP functional teams or and presentation • Form cross- by taking inputs from functional team them • Seek clarifications • Provide inputs as • Provide inputs as • Provide inputs as • Provide inputs asDelivery needed (case studies, needed (questions to needed (technical needed (inputs for testimonials) customers on solutions, relevant demo) business needs, case studies, etc) technical specs, etc)
  29. 29. Information Flow • Provide infn on products, service Customer s • present success stories • seek to understand • seek further infn business and on customer •Business Reqmts technical reqmts • Technical to form a solution Reqmts • seek to Delivery • Constraints • Evaluation • understand Criteria solution provided Sales • RFP • Clarifications • questions on RFP • questions on• RFP • questions on customer• Infn on business and • status updatecustomer technical reqmtsconstraints, prefe • questions onrences, priorities • Response to RFP customer constraints,• Competitor infn Pre Evaluation• RFP Clarifications sales assumptions, •Criteria customer problems, etc
  30. 30. DiscussionUse the IFD to discuss about  The gaps in information flow  The inefficiencies  What kind of information loss happens  Identify areas of potential risks  The choice of medium and its suitability
  31. 31. Session 1 -SummaryWhat did we learnQuestions