How PreSales Intelligence Can Drive Business Performance

David Mcculley
Co-Founder, EVP of PreSales

Without Analytics And a Data-Driven PreSales Process, You Will Never Have the Information You Need to Make Quality Decisions. Learn How PreSales Intelligence Can Drive Business Performance for Enterprise Sales.

How PreSales Intelligence Can Drive Business Performance

There's no debating; presales is critical to a successful enterprise sales process. However, as the buying process has increased in complexity over the years, so has the buyer. Today, buyers are more informed, have more options and demand more product information. 

Many sales organizations are starting to understand the huge impact of presales on revenue and are taking steps to invest and build out teams. 

According to the Harvard Business Review, "Souping up the presales engine can yield a five-point improvement in conversion rates, a 6–13% improvement in revenue, and a 10–20% improvement in the speed of moving prospects through the sales process."

“Souping up the presales engine can yield a five-point improvement in conversion rates, a 6–13% improvement in revenue, and a 10–20% improvement in the speed of moving prospects through the sales process.“

While the impact of presales driving revenue is great, the evaluation phase and the POC process is mostly unstructured and chaotic. This is problematic for leaders who depend on deal data to manage the process and hit projections. 

For instance, sales engineering leaders need evaluation intelligence data to make informed decisions and manage risk. But how is this possible when the critical information needed is scattered amongst SEs and different papers and documents?  

If leaders are unaware of what POCs on the team are struggling, delayed or falling behind, how can they get the team together to find out what challenges exist and strategically solve problems or find acceptable resolutions? 

Because of the lack of data-driven decisions, these end-of-the-quarter battles often lead to uncomfortable conversations. Instead, leaders need to focus on data-driven presales to avoid the problems of an inherently chaotic technical evaluation process. 

Data-Driven PreSales is about having access to intelligence that can drive a process on how teams are built and how to focus moving forward. Historically, SE to AE team ratios are not optimized based on real data and instead are random guesses based on industry. Recently, one of our customers in the Cybersecurity industry, improved the SE evaluation workload by 40% and now has the data to strategically build the sales team. 

This is just one example of how presales intelligence can really drive performance, but this type of intelligence is useful in many ways throughout the presales process. 

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

How Analytics Can Help Drive Performance for presales 

Day-to-Day Operation 

One of the main areas data-driven analytics can provide insight into are the day-to-day operations of all your team evaluations. This means when you log in every day, you have visibility to see all the POCs on your team, you can see which ones are healthy, which ones are delayed, who needs assistance and which priorities need focus. 

Performance Over Time 

In addition to the day-to-day operation, another element to understand is how the team performs over specific time periods. How is the team performing quarter-over-quarter? How are we performing year-over-year? This type of insight can redefine how the pipeline is analyzed and modeled. 

POCs

Imagine believing you have a 30-day POC process, but the analytics return and you're closer to 40 days. Or you are reviewing the different phases throughout the POC cycle and discovering that the POCs you thought only took three days to set up actually take your team 10 days. Through the data, you have an opportunity to find out what the problem is and streamline the process. 

Success Criteria 

The same is true with looking at a POC, technically. You may believe you need certain success criteria when those success criteria don't have much bearing on getting a technical win. Without collecting that data and looking at the analytics quarter-over-quarter, you'll be hard-pressed to determine your strong success criteria.  

Building Your Team 

The quarter-over-quarter analysis could also define how you build out your team. For example, one of the things you may be interested in learning is the point of diminishing returns for an SE. How many POCs can be handled before all of them suffer? This is important information you need to manage your team, but it is virtually impossible to have this insight without data-driven analytics.

Data-Driven PreSales for the Win 

Without the analytics and a Data-Driven PreSales process, you will never have the information you need to make quality decisions. Ultimately, it all comes down to qualified deals and ensuring that the data supports you in doing the right opportunities with a high win rate.