Sales and Presales can have a tumultuous relationship despite working for the same organization. While personality clashes might account for some of the misalignment, the biggest challenge stems from each team having different objectives.
The best way to nurture the working relationship between Sales and Presales is for team leaders to first understand the priorities and pressures the other has to deal with. Then, find ways to help achieve those priorities.
Sales and Presales leaders have different roles and targets they need to meet, and, most often in the case of Sales, those targets directly affect their employees compensation. But, with some understanding and cooperation, Sales and Presales leaders can get back to what’s most important, closing deals.
Sales Leader Priorities
Outgoing and persistent, Sales cares deeply about building and maintaining relationships with prospective and existing buyers. They act as customer advocates throughout the entire lifecycle of the deal, often even past closing.
Members of the Sales team carry a quota causing them to sometimes be described as “coin operated.” Sales leader priorities tend to focus on activities that will help them close more deals, grow pipeline, and generate expansions.
Top List of Sales Leaders Priorities:
- Hitting quota
- Accurate forecasting
- Increase deal velocity and close rates
- Driving AE participation
- Filling the pipeline
- Decreasing Customer Acquisition Cost
Presales Leader Priorities
Known for their technical understanding and consultation expertise, Presales professionals are generally brought in during the middle of the sales cycle. They are invested in guiding customers through their journey and making sure they have all the information they need to make an informed decision.
Though Presales are often more introverted than their Sales counterparts, they are dissatisfied to remain in the shadows or be unsung heroes. Presales leader priorities include getting that recognition and being part of discussions surrounding the future of their organization.
- Focus on and track revenue driving activities
- Protecting team schedule
- Get a seat at the table
- Recognition of impact on deals
- Optimizing team productivity and efficiencies
- Hiring/ramping new SE talent
“One reason I love the Consensus KPIs is it allows us to attribute things like pipe gen, velocity, qualification, stakeholders directly to the SEs. We unlock their skill digitally that allows them to have a greater impact up funnel.”-Todd Janzen, Global VP of Q Branch at Salesforce
Turning Differences Into Strengths
Despite having different objectives and goals, Sales and Presales teams have to work together. Clarifying the priorities for each team is an important first step, but once those have been identified, it’s up to the team leaders to find a way to help each other out.
- Have open communication about upcoming deals and their requirements
- Divide roles and responsibilities clearly and fairly
- Have recurring meetings to confirm expectations are being met
- Provide feedback often whether good and bad
- Celebrate success together giving public recognition to everyone who helped
Use Automation to Help
Having access to automation can alleviate some of the strain between Sales’ and Presales’ mismatched alignment. When Sales Engineers create and maintain a demo library through an interactive demo application, that enables Account Executives to send buyers demos on-demand without waiting.
Depending on the capabilities of the platform, your customers will not only be able to skip the demo bottleneck, but will be able to select what topics they see. At the same time, Sales will be able to track the topics that were viewed most and discover any additional stakeholders the demo might have been shared with.
Ways interactive video demos help:
- Increase deal velocity by reducing demo lag time.
- Maximize Presales value by removing unqualified demos.
- Improve communication between Sales, Presales, and customers.
“AE enablement is one of the biggest pains and under-identified parts of the SE role. We get a bunch of AEs in a room to train them on doing demos….did it work? Will they demo themselves? How do SEs get credit for that? Short answer is who knows. Consensus allows us to track the impact of AE enablement…..they just need to send an email with a video.”-Todd Janzen, Global VP of Q Branch at Salesforce
When Sales and Presales work together, they have the potential to close more deals than they can alone. Sales and Presales leaders who understand each other’s goals and actively help achieve them, have less internal conflict and misalignment. When everyone is on the same page, they create a strong working relationship that will help them achieve their shared goals.