Presales differs from sales; do you know the difference? This term may not be familiar to you, or you might not be totally clear on its meaning. This lack of knowledge could actually be hurting your success. “Having a solid presales strategy can make a big difference in your company’s ability to convert customers efficiently,” writes HubSpot’s Lestraundra Alfred. By putting as much focus on presales as closing, sales teams can create a more well-rounded strategy.
Presales: What is it?
“Presales support refers to the distinct activities that occur before the sale has been closed. This typically includes qualifying, proposing, and renewing deals.”
From Alfred’s definition, it’s clear that presales encompasses many activities that you may already do. But the key is to make sure that these elements work together so you seamlessly get to the closing stage. Key elements include:
- Qualifying leads
- Making discovery calls
- Prepping presentations
- Conducting competitor research
Whether you have part of your team dedicated to presales or you are doing it all solo, it’s vital that each of these elements get done. It can be tempting to neglect one because the deal seems ready to close; resist that temptation. “A solid presales strategy gels with an organization's sales process — making life …,” Alfred explains. Plus, you'll give yourself confidence for the path ahead. Denise Gibson, director of AdMall Sales, points out that "The more information you can have when you make that first live visit is priceless. It gives you confidence in your sale and confidence with your prospect as well. First impressions are important."
Be sure to perform certain activities during each and every presale phase of a sale. Below are just a few:
- Qualifying leads. This may seem like a given, but if a lead seems perfect, reps may coast right past this important task. It's a waste of resources to continue on with a lead who isn’t a good fit. Even if they initially appear like an ideal prospect, make yourself put them through the qualification process.
- Making discovery calls. This is another important step in the presales program. Picking up the phone (or video chatting) is important because it gives you an understanding of just what a prospect needs from your solution. These calls, as Alfred points out, “make well-informed, ultimately effective value propositions.”
- Prepping presentations. While presentations themselves aren’t part of a presale process, the preparation for them is. Alfred explains that all of these activities build on each other; presentation prep relies on the information gleaned from discovery calls with qualified leads.
- Conducting competitor research. Presales must include this activity. Why? “Your value proposition can only be so compelling if it's not distinct from others within your space,” Alfred explains. It’s that simple. You need this type of research to create a well-rounded thorough explanation of why your solution is the best and only choice for the prospect. Note also that satisfaction with a current supplier and a competitor having a better product are top objections reps hear, according to SalesFuel’s Voice of the Sales Rep survey.
Bringing it all together
Presales and sales work in tandem to close deals. While sales typically get the most attention, your presales activities are just as important and impact the outcome. By completing each of Alfred’s suggested steps, your presales program will clear the path for a smooth sale.
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