Viewpoints on Pre Sales, Sales support at Software Service Firms

Very good article on Pre Sales. It answered most of the questions i had about Pre Sales. Must Read…

What is Pre Sales?

Pre Sales includes the entire gamut of activities involved in preparing to engage with prospects, clients and others and includes specific responses to client requests. Clients or companies that need software services and project implementations generally call for proposals or expect responses from their vendors and service providers. Although it is hard to generalize on the nature of or the contents of such proposals, most documents follow a structured framework: detailing the project, asking vendors for suggestions or solutions or proposals along with cost estimates regarding the work to be done. Typical Pre-sales support activities include:

  • Responding to client requests: Responses to clients could include informal responses, pointers to publications, colleterals or other references or take more specific forms like responses to proposals including: Request for Proposal (RFPs), Request for Information (RFI) and specific Statement of Work (SoW) or Work Orders
  • Supporting client visits: In some cases, clients or prospective clients may make a trip to offshore vendor’s offices for a personal visit prior to engaging with them. This could include offshore client visits targeted at offshoring
  • Visiting clients and/or making presentations: Engaging clients for larger, complex deals involves a number of activities, including making presentations, meeting with clients to discuss specific aspects of their (client’s) initiatives, to get a better understanding of the context in order to make specific recommendations in proposals. This may also include preparing proof-of-concept demonstrations and solution mockups.
  • Competitor Analysis and market scanning: This is a crucial aspect of pre-sales since many clients evaluate responses from multiple vendors, and responses should address such competitive scan. The analysis could include using online tools, subscribing and analyzing research reports, analyst studies, market research data etc.
  • Sales Support: Such activities may include supporting sales and account teams in responding to general client queries about solutions and capabilities. This could include partnering with onsite/client facing Sales or Business Development Managers to identify and convert prospects into customers.
  • Interfacing with other internal groups (within the organization) while responding to client requests. This is especially true of larger software service firms where Pre-sales people from one group/division may have to rope in Subject Matter Experts from other groups while responding to a client request or proposal
  • Marketing support: Large service firms work hard at differentiating themselves from others by formulating marketing messages and evolving Go-to-market solutions or customized offerings. This may also take a form of alliances with other software product development firms or niche vendors. Pre-sales activities may include leveraging such alliances to showcase extended capabilities to clients.

Blogmarking it for Future Reference:

Pre-sales support is a necessary evil:



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