At a time when sales have become the nucleus of growth for almost every business, pre-sales presents a promising opportunity to boost numbers.
Consider a pre-sales process to be like a warm-up routine that prepares you to win a match. It creates the groundwork for your sales team to do their job with greater efficiency and effectiveness.
Pre-sales support nourishes your sales pipeline in many ways. With a focus on optimizing your workflows, pre-sales aims to find and qualify leads, perform market research, analyze customer data and so much more.
A solid pre-sales framework can empower your sales operations team to maximize sales productivity and outputs. Most importantly: it enhances your chances of reaching your bottom line.
Continue reading this article to learn more about why pre-sales matters and how it can help your sales ops team.
What is pre-sales?
Like the term suggests, pre-sales refers to all the activities that happen before making a sale. Your pre-sales support will do all the legwork to let reps concentrate on building client relationships. This would typically include:
- Strategic prospecting and lead qualification.
- Product and market research to identify potential territories.
- Discovery calls to understand the prospect’s needs and expectations.
- Ideating solutions and creating unique selling propositions.
- Drafting proposals and qualifying the opportunity.
Your pre-sales pros will also pinpoint every lead’s concerns and support the development of a tailor-made pitch. In doing all this, they streamline the sales pipeline and wildly increase your chances of a sale.
📌 Related resource: Best Sales SOP Software
Pre-sales vs. Sales
Pre-sales and sales work in sync to close every deal. However, their responsibilities have stark differences. While pre-sales takes care of finding and nurturing leads, sales reps look into negotiations and conversions.
Here’s a comparative breakdown of the two roles.
In essence, pre-sales pros collect lead information and hold discovery calls to qualify them for the sales team to continue the conversation and build a lasting relationship.
The importance of pre-sales activities
Did you know that companies with a robust pre-sales framework achieve as high as 40-50 percent win rates from new business? That’s just one figure to underline the major importance of pre-sales activities.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest benefits of ramping up your pre-sales efforts.
Qualify more leads
A lengthy list of prospects doesn’t equal more business — not every lead is worth your time. For all you know, most of your prospects either don’t need your product/service or don’t have the money to invest.
This is why it's essential to qualify your leads.
Lead qualification is the process of evaluating every prospect to understand their financial ability and need for your product/service. You have to figure out which leads are willing to buy from you and have the budget to make the purchase.
Your pre-sales team meticulously qualifies every lead through data analysis and discovery calls to ensure that your sales reps pitch to a pool of highly interested clients. This will naturally create a higher probability of converting leads and increasing the win rate.
Maximize your ROI
Your sales ops team allocates resources across the department to ensure everything runs smoothly. A strong pre-sales support would act as a cherry on top — bringing even more organization into the workflow
Pre-sales teams are also responsible for optimum resource allocation to boost productivity and remove bottlenecks. This can catapult your ROI.
Shorten your sales cycle
One of the most significant benefits of building a pre-sales framework is its impact on your sales cycle. Defined as the average number of days it takes to close a deal, your sales cycle is an important KPI metric of your success. The quicker you win a single customer, the more customers you can convert in a month.
📌 Related resource: How to Track, Measure and Increase Your Sales Team Activity
With your pre-sales support taking care of lead research, validation and nurturing, your sales reps have time to focus on closing deals.
Your pre-sales pros can segment leads, leverage sales tools and automate workflows to process leads faster. Now, when the hand-off happens from pre-sales to sales, the remaining steps are easier to complete to mark the deal closed.
Strengthen the sales pipeline
Your pre-sales team will consistently assess and iterate the sales pipeline to boost its efficiency. They'll cover everything from automating workflows to expanding territories. All of this amounts to a well-oiled sales pipeline running at accelerated speeds.
Here’s exactly how your pre-sales can strengthen your sales pipeline.
- Creating selling propositions by targeting common pain points.
- Organizing and leveraging data to fuel lead generation.
- Identifying and segmenting leads for tailored discovery pitches.
- Mapping and improving this entire process.
Your pre-sales engine essentially establishes quality over quantity to fuel your growth and optimize your sales funnel.
Reduce churn, increase retention
While pre-sales activities typically happen before closing a sale, savvy pre-sales teams also play a part in shaping post-purchase customer service.
They can use their sales skills to boost brand loyalty by implementing customer satisfaction tactics. They understand customer needs and share customer feedback with the product/service team for higher satisfaction levels.
By identifying new chances to deliver a frictionless experience, pre-sales pros can indirectly improve your retention rate.
📌 Related resource: The Benefits & Challenges of Sales Forecasting
4 key pre-sales activities for your sales operations team
Building your pre-sales infrastructure starts with ideation and strategy. If you’re ready to power up your sales ops team and multiply your sales numbers, here are four of the most important pre-sales activities to start with.
1. Prospecting and lead qualification
Whether you’re a B2B business or work in the B2C or D2C sector, finding a lead is one of the easiest parts of the job. With so many lead generation channels and resources at your disposal, you can create a virtually endless list of prospects.
But the catch is: more leads ≠ more sales.
You have to analyze which leads are worth your time and resources carefully. This is where your pre-sales pros will work their magic.
Pre-sales support will do the heavy lifting of assessing each prospect. They’ll engage in conversations to understand the prospect’s needs and budgets and decide if they are a good fit for the business.
Sales prospecting and lead qualification are the starting points of your sales process. Perfecting this step can create a consistent flow of good leads and produce a domino effect to enhance the conversion rate, win rate, sales cycle and so many other KPIs!
2. Discovery and pitch
After collating a list of qualified leads, your pre-sales team will enter the discovery phase of the pipeline.
They’ll identify and outline each prospect’s challenges and expectations. This information can empower your closers to offer personalized value propositions to every prospect.
Your pre-sales team will also prepare an initial pitch within the discovery phase. This presentation should ideally spotlight the most compelling propositions for your product/service. It'll answer what problems you're solving in which use case.
A customized and convincing pitch is the key to engaging with eads until the deal closes.
💡 Scribe top tip: Use a process documentation tool like Scribe to equip your team to conduct flawless discovery calls. In seconds, you can auto-generate step-by-step guides. Use this to train the team AND showcase your product's best features to prospects.
Read more about the top 14 sales training topics for your team.
3. Customer proposals
Once the lead qualification and discovery processes are complete, your pre-sales support will design each proposal. A proposal summarizes all the relevant information collected about the lead so far and addresses exactly what they’re looking for.
Your pre-sales pros have to collaborate with the sales staff to prepare and perfect this proposal. It’s a crucial step in the process that's aimed at conveying the customer’s needs and positioning your offer as an ideal solution to tackle these challenges.
This proposal should also include social proof and strong data points that pivot the conversation in your favor. Consider sharing a digital business card that contains all the necessary information. It goes a long way in offering convenience and added personalization.
4. Transactional support
On top of contributions leading up to a sale, your pre-sales pros can also help nurture customer relationships and even retain existing users.
In collaboration with the sales staff, pre-sales support can overlook the proposal's implementation to ensure a hassle-free experience. This includes resolving any queries and escalating concerns.
They also work in the background to boost customer satisfaction levels and identify opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.
Prepare your team for perfect pre-sales
Pre-sales support can offer a massive boost to your revenue generation strategies. Once you train your sales ops team to implement and streamline pre-sales activities, you can expect a 6-13 percent increase in revenue.
A well-defined sales team structure gives your sales team all the help they need to strengthen relationships and close deals.