We’re increasingly becoming aware that PreSales is at the center of influence in many organizations - but many of our internal partners and teams haven’t quite gotten on board yet. The battle to build the influence of PreSales within your organization can be an uphill battle, but it’s easier with the right tactics. In our recent PreSales Leadership Collective Executive Summit, we had a session on how to increase our influence the right way hosted by:
Tony Francetic, Solutions Consultant Manager at Thomson Reuters
What PreSales Brings to the Table
Tony has spent a long time in his career advocating for the insights and value that PreSales brings to any organization. There’s so much we can do beyond just supporting sales. In his own team, he’s seen a growth in their numbers and also their influence across the company, and he’s come up with an effective strategy for doing this on your own team.
If you're going to be effective in PreSales, you need to be good at:
- Understanding the marketing strategy of the business so there’s consistency
- Knowing the product roadmap so you can articulate the vision
- Clearly articulating the value of the product
- Having strong sales acumen and presentation skills
And if that’s not enough? We’re also engaging with customers at a level that produces a lot of data: what those prospective customers like and don't like about your product, industry trends, insights about competitors, etc. And that info should be leveraged across the organization - that’s where our influence lies.
With these three critical components in place, you can win that uphill battle for PreSales influence.
This is the essential tool for success on the quest to build PreSales influence in your organization. Many discussions with executives need to focus on the future of PreSales: how you can go beyond sales, like aligning to marketing and product, and how we can influence those spaces as well. Having a clear strategy and vision is an imperative.
Then any solution you’re looking to buy or staff you’re looking to onboard becomes more palatable and interesting to the decision-makers on your executive team. But don’t forget - everything feeds back to that revenue that PreSales can help increase.
In today’s organizations, there are lots of areas to acquire data, and as a leader you need to strategically access those. They’ll help you to justify a lot of things, like adding headcount or increasing responsibilities, because you can show the impact of your PreSales team to align to and reinforce that vision.
There are lots of resources that can help you there because it can be a challenge, depending on your internal environment. For example, one of his own challenges with data is that half of his PreSales team uses a 20 year old in-house built CRM, and half use Salesforce - that’s hard to aggregate.
One of the things Tony has loved about joining the PreSales Collective is how welcoming and helpful everybody in the community is. That goes back to what the heart of a really great PreSales team is: the desire to help. We want to help the sales team meet their goals, help our customers build or grow their companies, and help each other as well.
The power of community can help us empower each other in our businesses to be an advocate for the influence PreSales truly has. PreSales right now has a really cool opportunity to reshape how organizations view the PreSales team, and not just in sales. We’re at the center of influence these days.
Where to Begin
Once you have those three critical components in place, it’s time to put your strategy into place. First, look at the teams you can directly influence out of the gate where you have the highest impact to build and grow upon. Tony chose sales, marketing, product development, and customer success.
For example, he saw some marketing campaigns being put together and his team plugged in to help craft the message. They picked out the features that were most relevant to the public, and created a new relationship where the marketing team proactively now turns to his team to help craft those messages.
For product, he and the leaders hold a Statement of the Union meeting on the product roadmap every month so everyone can stay on top of things. PreSales gets a heads up on what’s coming, and can also provide feedback to make it better. In customer success, sales training is their focus and PreSales helps drive how they educate new sales reps as they come into the company.
PreSales can be an influencer that adds a lot of value overall. Once you prove your team’s impact in high-value areas, keep looking out for those other opportunities and this will help you build the team and the structure for a strong and influential future.