A couple years ago, Harvard Business Review identified presales as one of the most “often overlooked opportunit[ies]” at an organization’s disposal to generate greater revenue growth. The article, “To Improve Sales, Pay More Attention to Presales,” noted that “companies with strong presales capabilities consistently achieve win rates of 40–50% in new business and 80–90% in renewal business—well above average rates.”
When we look across our partner community, we feel these stats hold true today. The partners who pay attention to presales close bigger deals, faster and keep their ongoing run rate growing. In fact, we find that presales capabilities can be even more important for next-generation technology solutions that typically require a lot of education and handholding to overcome adoption barriers.
While organizations know they need to build out a technology infrastructure that will enable them to adapt to changing business conditions and defend against an ever-evolving threat landscape, they tend to still be hesitant to deploy the latest cloud and cybersecurity solutions. One reason is there are so many interdependencies associated with choosing and putting a solution into production. There is hardware, networking, and software layered on top of each other, plus competing business objectives, departments, and processes that need to be navigated.
Effective presales can help address the complexities and overcome the issues that may be stagnating an organization’s decision-making abilities. Presales complements marketing and sales operations, providing the bridge that enables customers to understand and see how a solution will address their needs, so they can confidently make the decision to buy.
Presales encompasses the ability to effectively qualify the customer and scope what they need. It includes being able to put together the right bid – this means identifying the right solution, with the right scale and capabilities, that will address that customer’s problem and provide the value they are looking for in their investment. Presales also goes so far as to ensure organizations have the technical capabilities and confidence they will need to deploy and use the solution they are considering buying.
Technical sales are rarely buy and forget – they require ongoing management and nurturing, so presales should take stock of the customer’s environment and resources and create contingency plans that will ensure the ongoing success of the deployment. This may entail providing training and hands-on experience with the solution or identifying appropriate managed services to accompany the sale that can fill gaps or augment operational limitations.
By upping presales capabilities, the Harvard Business Review reports that organizations “can yield a five-point improvement in conversion rates, a 6–13% improvement in revenue, and a 10–20% improvement in the speed of moving prospects through the sales process.” Unfortunately, presales rarely gets the dedicated resources it needs to generate these benefits. Particularly in the cybersecurity space, where talent is at a premium – (ISC)2 estimates the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs will hit 1.8 million over the next five years.
We see our partners struggling every day to keep up with the demands they are facing. There are constantly new capabilities, new business models and new threats that have to be understood. Staying on top of what’s happening now with customers is a full-time job, never mind trying to anticipate and figure out what’s going to happen in the future. This is where presales as a service can come in. For the first time, partners can get the help they need to take advantage of the benefits robust presales capabilities can provide. We, at Cloud Harmonics, are excited to unveil our Presales as a Service offerings that put our team of experienced, certified engineers at our partners’ disposal to improve their ability to accurately identify opportunities and close deals.
Our Presales as a Service capabilities give partners access to technology accelerator programs, testing environments, proof of concept (PoC) support, and technical training that make it easier and more efficient for partners to qualify and bid on opportunities and anticipate future needs, leading to more successful and profitable deals. For more information on our Presales as a Service offerings, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.