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Pre-sales Workshop

Contents

Presales Process Overview

Roles & Responsibilities

Writing a Winning Proposal

Post-RFP stage

A Generic Framework

What is presales
A set of activities normally carried out
before a customer is acquired
A

typical sales cycles


Suspect
Prospect/Opportunity
Lead

Presales involvement in these phases


differs from situation to situation

What is Presales
Happens along with a sales
person before a sale closes
It is sales support
It is also about being a technical
and business consultant

A Typical Sales Process

Product Knowledge
Prospecting
Approach
Needs Assessment
Customer Presentation
Sales Close
Follow-up

Presales Involvement

Product Knowledge
Prospecting
Approach
Needs Assessment
Customer Presentation
Sales Close
Follow-up

What is not presales

Searching for new suspects,


prospects or leads
Qualifying prospects
Deciding and planning to approach
prospects
Negotiating with customer in closing
a deal

What is not presales

Developing relationship with


customers
Calling for a meeting with the
customer
Deciding the price of a deal
Collecting feedback from the
customer

Presales in IT
Companies looking for vendors to
implement software solutions call for
proposals
Support for Sales in closing a deal
Many times a technical and business
consultant for the potential customer
Crucial link between Sales, Customer
and Delivery
Needs a blend of technical, business
and soft skills

Presales in IT
Needs to work having the big picture
in mind winning the deal for the
company as well as customer delight
Presales role could be specific to
account, territory, technologies and
partners
Plays an important role in making
proposals for RFPs and RFIs

Why Presales
Increasing complexity in customers
business requirements in terms of
variety in technology, number of
components or modules, security and
infrastructure needs
Customer delight is more than
matching customer needs with a right
technical solution. Customers expect
vendors to partner with them in
meeting their evolving business needs

Why Presales
Bidding process is a complex and a
very formal one, with strict adherence
to procedures and timelines
Bidding process involves intelligent
negotiation on price, scope of work,
schedule and other contract
requirements
Therefore is too important to be done
without committed and dedicated
professionals

Without Presales
Making proposals may either end-up
with delivery heads or worse, with
sales
Sales will not have the depth of
technical knowledge to provide a
solution
Delivery heads may not have skills to
match customers business needs
with the right technical solution
Both the teams could be short on
bandwidth to take full responsibility

Place of Presales

Sales
Customer
Presales

Services

Presales in career growth


A great opportunity to know up close
the market and the business of
software, and what sells
Opportunity to get a systemic view of
many things that makes up an
organization and its business
Opportunity to get to know different
cross-sections of customer and
technology solutions

Presales in career growth


People with a technical background
can add lot of value by bringing in
their experience and thereby benefit
from it
Working in presales can also be seen
as a choice for shifting to
management career path
Opportunity to learn a variety of skills
including client liaison, managing
cross-functional teams, leadership,
consulting skills

Presales in career growth


In larger organizations, presales
gives a very good opportunity to
network with all the right people
Since presales is demanding on both
technical and business knowledge and
management skills, its the right place
for a challenging job

Presales is different
Any specific sales engagement is
temporary
therefore the corresponding salespresales engagement is also
temporary
The same is true for the other
cascading engagements between
presales and others down the line
The engagement on an average lasts
for about a month from the start of
the RFP to the end of the RFP

Place of presale
Where does a presale person belong
to
Practices
Center of Excellence or Technologies
Accounts
Territory
Partners
Sales
Sometimes from the project itself

Common Attitude and Perceptions


I am on bench. So they picked me up
to do this job
This is mainly a cut-copy-paste job.
Why do they need me ?
In any case, winning depends entirely
on the sales team and the top
management
After all, I am a technical person I
dont know or want to be a sales
person
I dont see the results immediately, it
usually takes months before I hear

Common Attitude and Perceptions


We are non-billable resources.
Obviously we dont get enough
resources to do the job
I am not trained for this job
Theres just not enough and right
information around to write this
proposal
Theres hardly enough time to do this
work Why cant they inform me
much ahead ?
How do I grow in my career in this
path ?

Common Problems
Presales work is not assigned the
right resources
Not enough training is given
Presales work needs many temporary
resources and therefore gets less
commitment
People who are on bench are assigned
Proposal can have too many technical
components and therefore may need
involvement of many people

Common Problems
May face ownership problems
Demanding on technical, business and
soft skills all at once
Every RFP response suffers from
extreme time constraints

Presales Process

Client
Deal

Opening Game

Market

Winning a Deal

Presales Stages

Pre-RFP

Finalise
reqmts
Shortlist
vendors
Finalise
Evaluation
Criteria
Finalise
Budget
Customer
presentation
by vendor

RFP

RFP Issue
Pre-Bid
Conference
Clarifications
on RFP
Modifications
to RFP
Identify
resources to
work on RFP

Proposal

Post-RFP

Prepare
Proposal
according to
RFP
guidelines

Customer
Visits
Demo of
Capabilities
Presentation
Evaluation

Presales Stages
Roles
Customer
Sales person
Presales person
Finance
Solution Architect
Domain Expert
Technical Consultant
Account Manager

Presales Stages

Delivery

Presales

Sales

Customer

Pre-RFP

RFP

Proposal

Post-RFP

Finalise reqmts
Shortlist vendors
Finalise Evaluation
Criteria
Finalise Budget

Issue RFP
Arrange pre-bid
conference
Provide
clarifications

Receive proposal

Request for site visit


and/or demo
Evaluate and finalize
vendor

Make customer
presentation
showcasing services,
products and
strengths

Receive RFP
Seek clarification on
RFP
Get commitment
from internal
resources
Keep mgmt
informed

Assist presales with


inputs from customer
and about customer
Add commercials to
the proposal

Arrange for
Customer visit
Arrange for demo
and presentation

Provide inputs as
needed

Receive RFP
Identify resources to
work on RFP
Form crossfunctional team
Seek clarifications

prepare proposal by
working with crossfunctional teams or
by taking inputs from
them

Assist sales in
customer visit, demo
and presentation

Provide inputs as
needed (case studies,
testimonials)

Provide inputs as
needed (questions to
customers on
business needs,
technical specs, etc)

Provide inputs as
needed (technical
solutions, relevant
case studies, etc)

Provide inputs as
needed (inputs for
demo)

www.themegallery.com

Information Flow

Provide infn
on products,
services
present
success
stories
seek further
infn on
customer

Customer

Sales

Business
Reqmts
Technical
Reqmts
Constraints
Evaluation
Criteria
RFP

RFP
Infn on
customer
constraints,
preferences,
priorities
Competitor
infn
RFP
Clarifications

Delivery

provided

Clarifications

seek to
understand
business and
technical
reqmts to
form a
solution
understand
seek to
solution

questions on
RFP
questions on
customer
status update

questions on
business and
technical
reqmts

questions on
customer
constraints,
Evaluation
assumptions,
customer
Criteria
problems, etc

Response to
RFP

Pre
sales

Discussion
Use the IFD to discuss about
The gaps in information flow
The inefficiencies
What kind of information loss happens
Identify areas of potential risks
The choice of medium and its suitability

Session 1 -Summary

What did we learn


Questions