If you want to boost sales productivity, you need to hire more sales reps – right? This is one way to force up conversions, but there could be a better way. It’s time to look more closely at presales.
Presales support offers is a highly effective opportunity for growth, but it’s so often overlooked. When done well, it can improve everything from conversion to revenue.
In fact, a survey by McKinsey and Company found that a good presales approach can increase revenue by up to 13%, sales by as much as 20% and boost conversion rates by a whole 5 points.
What actually is presales?
Presales expertise covers a whole range of crucial tasks, all of which are designed to optimise the middle area of the sales funnel. Think of it as laying the groundwork before the deal is done. key areas of presales include:
Technical discovery: This involves filtering out prospects that aren’t the right technical fit for your products and services, thereby reducing funnel noise and bringing forward opportunities that are worth pursuing.
Product presentation: One of the most useful things a presales engineer can do for your sales team is to build the bulk of the sales presentation. This means demonstrating the merits of the product and precisely matching those benefits with the needs of the target customer. Presales experts can weave powerful stories to inspire the customer, rather than focusing solely on functionality and features.
Product demonstration: Building on the work done on product presentation, the presales function can also deliver a hard-hitting demonstration. This establishes product value, tells a story that resonates with the customer and drives the process one step closer towards making the sale.
Solution development: As all sales experts know, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every customer. Presales work can help your sales team be flexible and creative, to utilise the product portfolio to develop the right tailored solutions for each prospect.
Evaluation management: The presales team are perfectly placed to handle evaluation work, including using playbooks and templates to help increase your ‘technical win’ conversion rate.
So, is it worth investing in presales?
If your ambition for the coming year is to drive up sales and conversions, you need to pick the most cost-effective approach. You could simply throw more sales reps at the problem, and increase the headcount there. Or, you could look into whether presales investment is a wiser use of your money.
It may involve a period of trial-and-error, and getting the ratio of presales engineers to account executives right is crucial for your ROI. TechCrunch has some useful insights on getting this ratio right, with a range of scenarios to optimise presales productivity. It could be worth reading up before you make any major changes.
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