The Rapid Rise of Digital PreSales: Using the Disruption to Your Benefit

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Dec 5, 2022

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We recently covered how pressure from several forces has caused an explosive change for the sales process, more specifically for Sales Engineers (SEs):

  • Changes in B2C influencing B2C
  • More millennials in management roles
  • Ballooning buying group sizes
  • Pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Increased demand for PreSales

These aren’t simply a blip on the screen, either — the changes are here to stay.

Using the Breakdown as Benefit

While rapid changes cause friction or even a breakdown of your entire process, there’s a benefit to them all happening at once. This eruption creates a big swell of energy and momentum you can use to your advantage. 

In fact, many organizations have already started shifting to a digital sales model.  

My recommendation is not to resist these changes; instead, jump in with both feet. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to combat each force individually. These recommendations will help you embrace digital PreSales and make future processes more effective.  

1. Leverage Millennials 

Millennials are poised to make up a majority of the workforce by 2025. The trends they create today will be common policy before long. 

Half of millennials prefer to have no sales rep interaction. Instead, they value experiences and flexibility. If you create a great buying experience, they're going to be more open to working with you. 

Millennials also want vendors who are willing to adapt to their work style, so start leveraging millennials within your own organization to establish a digital PreSales model.

2. Be Asynchronous 

Customers are increasingly demanding real-time digital interactions. But with remote work becoming the norm, the lines between work life and personal life have blurred. 

Buyers want to retain a work-life balance, and they're accomplishing that by researching solutions at their own convenience. They don’t want to wait for vendors to have an opening in their calendar; they're texting, emailing, and watching automated demos all while bringing their kids to soccer or walking their dog. 

So it’s on you to guide buyers through their buying process. Ensure you’re prepping the stakeholders with everything they need between meetings, and only use live meetings when absolutely necessary.

3. Deliver a Buyer Enablement Experience 

Buyer enablement is the shift from seller to “buyer coach.” Since B2B buyers expect a faster, more self-guided experience, as well as support when they sell to other stakeholders in their organization on your behalf. They need someone to guide them through the buying process rather than sell to them.  

Buyers want to do their own research but are often overwhelmed by the amount of information available. Developing a buyer enablement strategy allows you to deliver the information customers need while still providing them the freedom to do research on their own time. 

4. Establish Demo Qualified Leads (DQL)

In the 2022 SE Compensation and Workload report, respondents reported at least 30% of demos are under- or unqualified. These unqualified demos use up precious SE resources and create demo lag time, forcing buyers to wait on average a week or more for a demo.

Counterintuitively, the solution here is to do fewer demos. First, qualify the prospect before granting access to PreSales. While there’s no single perfect strategy to create a DQL methodology, some organizations have found great success requiring the customer to view an automated video demo before receiving a live demo.  

Establishing a DQL criteria will go a long way to eliminating unqualified demos and regaining precious SE time. 

5. Automate Where You Should

If you want to establish a solid, buyer-centric process, then you have to incorporate automated demos. More than half (60%) of organizations are automating some part of the demo process. 

Having automated demos benefits both you and your customers. You no longer have to present repetitive, possibly unqualified demos, and your customers can receive the information they want on demand. This also fits into the DQL process if you require the prospect to view the automated demo before receiving a live one. In short, you’re reallocating low-value, repetitive activities to higher-value activities by automating some demos in the buying process.

If you’re not sure which demos to automate, use the six demo types to see where automation fits into your process.

6. Delegate What You Can 

SEs don’t need to be the only ones responsible for delivering demos. In fact, 30% of PreSales organizations are already delegating demos to other teams. 

High-level demos, such as the vision and micro demos, can be delegated to BDRs or AEs, especially if these demos have been automated. Early in the sales process, customers aren’t looking for a deep dive into the product, making the PreSales’ expertise overkill for that conversation.  

Delegating demos using an intelligent demo automation tool has the added benefit of uncovering stakeholders, mapping out topics that interest them most, and preventing SEs from being overrun with underqualified requests.  

Conclusion

The eruption of digital PreSales can be leveraged to benefit your career. If you think about this disruption as an opportunity, you can ride the wave and use the momentum to bring strategic thinking and process to your larger sales and revenue function. I’ve seen this create upward mobility for many of our customers. Some have even risen from Head of PreSales to Global Head of Buyer Enablement within their organizations.

PreSales teams that are already doing this are propelling themselves to the forefront of their companies’ strategy. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on this opportunity. 

 

Powered By:

About Consensus

Consensus is intelligent demo automation software that helps you scale PreSales. Using Consensus, your sales engineering team builds a library of reusable interactive video demos that Sales sends out on-demand. Consensus automatically personalizes the experience and tracks engagement, bringing prospects to live demos better educated and ready to talk specifics. This not only reduces unqualified demos to near zero and can double your SE team’s productivity, it also removes the "demo lag time" for prospects and shortens the sales cycle by as much as 68%.

Author: Garin Hess

Founder and CEO at Consensus

Unlock this content by joining the PreSales Collective with global community with 20,000+ professionals
Read this content here ↗

We recently covered how pressure from several forces has caused an explosive change for the sales process, more specifically for Sales Engineers (SEs):

  • Changes in B2C influencing B2C
  • More millennials in management roles
  • Ballooning buying group sizes
  • Pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Increased demand for PreSales

These aren’t simply a blip on the screen, either — the changes are here to stay.

Using the Breakdown as Benefit

While rapid changes cause friction or even a breakdown of your entire process, there’s a benefit to them all happening at once. This eruption creates a big swell of energy and momentum you can use to your advantage. 

In fact, many organizations have already started shifting to a digital sales model.  

My recommendation is not to resist these changes; instead, jump in with both feet. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to combat each force individually. These recommendations will help you embrace digital PreSales and make future processes more effective.  

1. Leverage Millennials 

Millennials are poised to make up a majority of the workforce by 2025. The trends they create today will be common policy before long. 

Half of millennials prefer to have no sales rep interaction. Instead, they value experiences and flexibility. If you create a great buying experience, they're going to be more open to working with you. 

Millennials also want vendors who are willing to adapt to their work style, so start leveraging millennials within your own organization to establish a digital PreSales model.

2. Be Asynchronous 

Customers are increasingly demanding real-time digital interactions. But with remote work becoming the norm, the lines between work life and personal life have blurred. 

Buyers want to retain a work-life balance, and they're accomplishing that by researching solutions at their own convenience. They don’t want to wait for vendors to have an opening in their calendar; they're texting, emailing, and watching automated demos all while bringing their kids to soccer or walking their dog. 

So it’s on you to guide buyers through their buying process. Ensure you’re prepping the stakeholders with everything they need between meetings, and only use live meetings when absolutely necessary.

3. Deliver a Buyer Enablement Experience 

Buyer enablement is the shift from seller to “buyer coach.” Since B2B buyers expect a faster, more self-guided experience, as well as support when they sell to other stakeholders in their organization on your behalf. They need someone to guide them through the buying process rather than sell to them.  

Buyers want to do their own research but are often overwhelmed by the amount of information available. Developing a buyer enablement strategy allows you to deliver the information customers need while still providing them the freedom to do research on their own time. 

4. Establish Demo Qualified Leads (DQL)

In the 2022 SE Compensation and Workload report, respondents reported at least 30% of demos are under- or unqualified. These unqualified demos use up precious SE resources and create demo lag time, forcing buyers to wait on average a week or more for a demo.

Counterintuitively, the solution here is to do fewer demos. First, qualify the prospect before granting access to PreSales. While there’s no single perfect strategy to create a DQL methodology, some organizations have found great success requiring the customer to view an automated video demo before receiving a live demo.  

Establishing a DQL criteria will go a long way to eliminating unqualified demos and regaining precious SE time. 

5. Automate Where You Should

If you want to establish a solid, buyer-centric process, then you have to incorporate automated demos. More than half (60%) of organizations are automating some part of the demo process. 

Having automated demos benefits both you and your customers. You no longer have to present repetitive, possibly unqualified demos, and your customers can receive the information they want on demand. This also fits into the DQL process if you require the prospect to view the automated demo before receiving a live one. In short, you’re reallocating low-value, repetitive activities to higher-value activities by automating some demos in the buying process.

If you’re not sure which demos to automate, use the six demo types to see where automation fits into your process.

6. Delegate What You Can 

SEs don’t need to be the only ones responsible for delivering demos. In fact, 30% of PreSales organizations are already delegating demos to other teams. 

High-level demos, such as the vision and micro demos, can be delegated to BDRs or AEs, especially if these demos have been automated. Early in the sales process, customers aren’t looking for a deep dive into the product, making the PreSales’ expertise overkill for that conversation.  

Delegating demos using an intelligent demo automation tool has the added benefit of uncovering stakeholders, mapping out topics that interest them most, and preventing SEs from being overrun with underqualified requests.  

Conclusion

The eruption of digital PreSales can be leveraged to benefit your career. If you think about this disruption as an opportunity, you can ride the wave and use the momentum to bring strategic thinking and process to your larger sales and revenue function. I’ve seen this create upward mobility for many of our customers. Some have even risen from Head of PreSales to Global Head of Buyer Enablement within their organizations.

PreSales teams that are already doing this are propelling themselves to the forefront of their companies’ strategy. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on this opportunity. 

 

Powered By:

About Consensus

Consensus is intelligent demo automation software that helps you scale PreSales. Using Consensus, your sales engineering team builds a library of reusable interactive video demos that Sales sends out on-demand. Consensus automatically personalizes the experience and tracks engagement, bringing prospects to live demos better educated and ready to talk specifics. This not only reduces unqualified demos to near zero and can double your SE team’s productivity, it also removes the "demo lag time" for prospects and shortens the sales cycle by as much as 68%.

Author: Garin Hess

Founder and CEO at Consensus

Unlock this content by joining the PreSales Leadership Collective! An exclusive community dedicated to PreSales leaders.
Read this content here ↗

We recently covered how pressure from several forces has caused an explosive change for the sales process, more specifically for Sales Engineers (SEs):

  • Changes in B2C influencing B2C
  • More millennials in management roles
  • Ballooning buying group sizes
  • Pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Increased demand for PreSales

These aren’t simply a blip on the screen, either — the changes are here to stay.

Using the Breakdown as Benefit

While rapid changes cause friction or even a breakdown of your entire process, there’s a benefit to them all happening at once. This eruption creates a big swell of energy and momentum you can use to your advantage. 

In fact, many organizations have already started shifting to a digital sales model.  

My recommendation is not to resist these changes; instead, jump in with both feet. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to combat each force individually. These recommendations will help you embrace digital PreSales and make future processes more effective.  

1. Leverage Millennials 

Millennials are poised to make up a majority of the workforce by 2025. The trends they create today will be common policy before long. 

Half of millennials prefer to have no sales rep interaction. Instead, they value experiences and flexibility. If you create a great buying experience, they're going to be more open to working with you. 

Millennials also want vendors who are willing to adapt to their work style, so start leveraging millennials within your own organization to establish a digital PreSales model.

2. Be Asynchronous 

Customers are increasingly demanding real-time digital interactions. But with remote work becoming the norm, the lines between work life and personal life have blurred. 

Buyers want to retain a work-life balance, and they're accomplishing that by researching solutions at their own convenience. They don’t want to wait for vendors to have an opening in their calendar; they're texting, emailing, and watching automated demos all while bringing their kids to soccer or walking their dog. 

So it’s on you to guide buyers through their buying process. Ensure you’re prepping the stakeholders with everything they need between meetings, and only use live meetings when absolutely necessary.

3. Deliver a Buyer Enablement Experience 

Buyer enablement is the shift from seller to “buyer coach.” Since B2B buyers expect a faster, more self-guided experience, as well as support when they sell to other stakeholders in their organization on your behalf. They need someone to guide them through the buying process rather than sell to them.  

Buyers want to do their own research but are often overwhelmed by the amount of information available. Developing a buyer enablement strategy allows you to deliver the information customers need while still providing them the freedom to do research on their own time. 

4. Establish Demo Qualified Leads (DQL)

In the 2022 SE Compensation and Workload report, respondents reported at least 30% of demos are under- or unqualified. These unqualified demos use up precious SE resources and create demo lag time, forcing buyers to wait on average a week or more for a demo.

Counterintuitively, the solution here is to do fewer demos. First, qualify the prospect before granting access to PreSales. While there’s no single perfect strategy to create a DQL methodology, some organizations have found great success requiring the customer to view an automated video demo before receiving a live demo.  

Establishing a DQL criteria will go a long way to eliminating unqualified demos and regaining precious SE time. 

5. Automate Where You Should

If you want to establish a solid, buyer-centric process, then you have to incorporate automated demos. More than half (60%) of organizations are automating some part of the demo process. 

Having automated demos benefits both you and your customers. You no longer have to present repetitive, possibly unqualified demos, and your customers can receive the information they want on demand. This also fits into the DQL process if you require the prospect to view the automated demo before receiving a live one. In short, you’re reallocating low-value, repetitive activities to higher-value activities by automating some demos in the buying process.

If you’re not sure which demos to automate, use the six demo types to see where automation fits into your process.

6. Delegate What You Can 

SEs don’t need to be the only ones responsible for delivering demos. In fact, 30% of PreSales organizations are already delegating demos to other teams. 

High-level demos, such as the vision and micro demos, can be delegated to BDRs or AEs, especially if these demos have been automated. Early in the sales process, customers aren’t looking for a deep dive into the product, making the PreSales’ expertise overkill for that conversation.  

Delegating demos using an intelligent demo automation tool has the added benefit of uncovering stakeholders, mapping out topics that interest them most, and preventing SEs from being overrun with underqualified requests.  

Conclusion

The eruption of digital PreSales can be leveraged to benefit your career. If you think about this disruption as an opportunity, you can ride the wave and use the momentum to bring strategic thinking and process to your larger sales and revenue function. I’ve seen this create upward mobility for many of our customers. Some have even risen from Head of PreSales to Global Head of Buyer Enablement within their organizations.

PreSales teams that are already doing this are propelling themselves to the forefront of their companies’ strategy. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on this opportunity. 

 

Powered By:

About Consensus

Consensus is intelligent demo automation software that helps you scale PreSales. Using Consensus, your sales engineering team builds a library of reusable interactive video demos that Sales sends out on-demand. Consensus automatically personalizes the experience and tracks engagement, bringing prospects to live demos better educated and ready to talk specifics. This not only reduces unqualified demos to near zero and can double your SE team’s productivity, it also removes the "demo lag time" for prospects and shortens the sales cycle by as much as 68%.

Author: Garin Hess

Founder and CEO at Consensus

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