SaaS Pre-Sales: How To Secure A Prospect

Software sales cycles can get fairly complex, especially in B2B operations. When managing the sales process, one of the most important areas to get right is software pre-sales. 

Software pre-sales covers all of the essential tasks you perform before connecting a prospect with your sales team to close the deal. By carefully managing your pre-sales process, you’ll be able to streamline your sales pipeline and generate more sales. 

This guide covers everything you need to know about this process. 

What is Pre-Sales?

Pre-sales refers to all of the processes and activities that take place before closing a software sale. These include tasks such as:

  • Prospecting and qualifying sales leads
  • Performing market and product research
  • Performing data and customer analysis
  • Developing call scripts and demo scripts
  • Creating a USP for the product
  • Understanding customer pain points and identifying solutions to these
  • Managing deal qualifications and proposals

Sales and pre-sales work closely together. Before sales, you need to perform prospecting, lead qualification, research, and proposal preparation. This is all done to identify, nurture, and qualify sales prospects. Once this has been done, pre-sales hands the prospect over to sales.

You need to have a solid software pre-sales system in place to support the sales team. Without this, you won’t be able to identify sales opportunities, get prospects on demo calls, and close new deals. 

As important as it is to have a strong sales team and closing process, this won’t be necessary if you don’t put in the legwork during pre-sales.

How to Master Software Pre-Sales

Implementing a strong software pre-sales pipeline is essential if you want to close more deals. 

Typically, a pre-sales pipeline will include the following stages:

  • Lead qualification
  • Discovery
  • Proposal

Then, the sales team takes over to get the lead on a product demo and close the deal. 

Let’s break down these processes in more detail. 

Lead Qualification

Lead generation is the first step, but you need to make sure your leads are high-quality and sales-ready. This is a critical task of pre-sales.

Pre-sales teams evaluate leads to determine which leads are most suitable and have the best possibilities of turning into closed deals. This helps sales teams put their time and energy into leads that result in better win rates.

Discovery

After the lead has been qualified, the customer discovery stage takes place. This is when initial contact is made with the prospect.

Pre-sales teams use customer discovery to understand the prospect’s pain points and figure out what they’re looking for. This helps the sales team to make a more compelling pitch.

Proposal

This is the stage just before the sales team presents a product demo. 

The proposal preparation stage takes place after a lead is qualified and validated. The pre-sales team then drafts a proposal around these qualified leads’ pain points to help establish a personalized solution for each lead. 

Now the pre-sales and sales teams will collaborate to review and approve the presentation for the prospective customer. 

Once this is prepared, the sales team will go ahead in presenting a product demo. 

6 Software Pre-Sales Tips

Now you know the basic processes involved in software pre-sales. It’s time to implement and refine your pre-sales strategy! Here are some tips and best practices to help you maximize your success. 

Have a Clear Process in Place

Software pre-sales activities are most successful when you have a clear process in place. 

Make sure that pre-sales teams have a formula to follow, and that your pre-sales process is consistent. This should involve clear steps and stages, with corresponding activities for each stage. 

This helps keep everyone on the same page and makes it easier to navigate complex software sales cycles. 

Ensure Good Communication Exists

You need to have a strong communication system in place between the marketing, pre-sales, and sales teams. You also need to have a transparent communication plan in place for reps to communicate with leads and customers.

This helps you understand customers and deliver the best possible solutions to them. Good communication also streamlines collaboration between teams, making it easier to transition between the different stages in the software pre-sales and sales cycle.

Establish Each Team’s Roles

Establish clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each team at each stage of the pre-sales process. This will help you avoid confusion while keeping your software pre-sales strategy as efficient as possible. 

When everyone knows what they need to do, it becomes easier to distribute talent across your sales pipeline. This will also help you capitalize on opportunities with the right team members. 

Encourage Collaboration

A successful sales process involves well-managed collaboration between teams. This includes collaboration between your marketing, pre-sales, and sales teams. 

As you develop your software pre-sales strategy, ensure you focus on creating an environment of collaboration across your sales pipeline. This will help you make the most of each prospect and sale. 

Personalize the Experience

One of the biggest factors influencing the success of your software pre-sales strategy is personalization. 

Every prospect is unique and has different pain points. It’s essential that your pre-sales process considers the individual needs of each prospect and personalizes your strategy around these needs. This will help you deliver personalized demos and sales pitches, which will make 80% of consumers more likely to buy from your business. 

Be Ready With Specifics

Customers are likely shopping around and comparing products during the pre-sales stage. This means they will have plenty of questions about the technical aspects of your software and what specific features they’re looking for. 

Be ready to answer these questions and turn the prospect’s specific queries into opportunities to showcase your product’s benefits.

Conclusion

Getting your software pre-sales process right is vital for your sales success. The better you are at pre-sales, the more effectively you’ll be able to engage with high-quality sales leads and close deals. Pre-sales will also save you time and effort while maximizing every opportunity your business faces. 

So, follow the tips above and refine your software pre-sales process if you want to boost your business’s success.

The best way to boost your software pre-sales process is to offer highly engaging product demos. With Saleo, you can optimize your product demo experience to improve engagement and interest, and maximize your close rates. Book a demo to see how Saleo can transform your pre-sales process!

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Principal Demo Solutions Engineer, Salesloft