Ive developed various tools for complex software solutions presales selling and going to table them here;
- Sales and SE working together EQ+IQ=$$$$
- RFP Evaluation Method
- RFP Response template
- Public service procurement panels (I did this in every company so far. Seriously! haha)
- POC Best Practice
- Sales and Influencing Engagement Method
- Win Plan
- Reference Architectures, HLD, DD, Configs, Assessments, ROI, Maturity Strategy.
- Channel Strategy
- Design and BoM
Within 30 Days
- You will be expected to get hands on knowledge and experience with the platform
- You will be expected to deliver a crisp demo
- You will be expected to familiarise yourself with products and messaging and understand how we do things
- You will connect with your peers throughout your region and the rest of the organisation to learn and share experience
Within 60 Days
- You will be expected to have mastered messaging and competently present our proposition to your team
- You will be educating customers on technologies and competitive differentiators
- You will be Proactively distributing new product information to our Partners and peer members within your assigned territory or region
- You will be assisting Sales in the identification, qualification, design and sizing of opportunities against prospect criteria
- You will be assisting Sales in building and executing Account Plans
- You will be configuring features to meet customers’ requirements during the sales process
Within 90 Days
- You will be Providing technical thought leadership and advice to enterprise customers on how to transform their digital experience leveraging architecture
- You will take total ownership of the technical sale and processes
- You will be independently identifying and qualifying technical opportunities
- You will be Developing and maintaining trusted advisor relationships with key customer stakeholders
- You will be Independently delivering sales pitches, technical and whiteboards presentations,
- You will be Utilising both internal and external resources to ensure successful deployments, that enable the customer to be self-sufficient following the sale
- You will have Built effective relationships with Partners, the Customer’s technology group and staff (products, services, marketing and support)
- You will be Sharing best practices and developments in methodologies both internally and at Partner and Customer events
Skills Required by Security Pre-Sales Resource:
- Possess the presentation, verbal and written skills: In order to become a good pre-sales resource, a good business acumen along with excellent verbal and written skills is essential. These skills are imperative for making a trusted advisor to the customer. Once a respectable trust over potential customers is established, the acceptance of proposed solution/product can happen. Only excellent knowledge about cyber security will be futile until the pre-sales security consultant is able to share it with the clients in an effective way. The delivery mechanism varies from person to person but it plays a crucial role in building trust. A security pre-sales resource needs to render live product demos, webinars, group lecture and many more. He / she should be thorough enough (w.r.t. technical skills, soft topics and have great business sense) to make a successful career.
- Deep Knowledge of Security Architecture and Design Experience: A security pre-sales resource should be proficient in security designs. He or she has to always balance the risk mitigation using their designs. They must know how to satisfy the customers and this can be achieved only if they know defense-in-depth and have command over security architecture. For almost all the organization security is important and the base is routers and switches. They must have a base understanding of routing and switching.
- Knowledge of the security solutions landscape and industry trends: If you want to become a successful security pre-sales resource for your organization then you must keep yourself updated regarding all types of solutions that can be thereof a problem. You don’t only need to be aware of the solutions but also know how to implement the solutions. They can be core, emerging, dying or stale.
- In-depth knowledge of the products that you will be selling: It is the core requirement of your job. Such a resource needs to have every minute detail of the product being sold. A security resource should be able enough from understanding datasheets to configuring the devices. Product understanding is a must for person in shoes of security pre-sales consultant.
- Personal Integrity and strong ethics: A sales engineer is the one who laid down the foundation of the success of the product. Hence such a person should possess personal integrity and strong ethics. If you want to achieve success for the long term then you have to work with ethics and always bind yourself with these. Don’t oversell your products with wrong means and knowledge. Once you lose the faith form the customer it becomes hard to win it again.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝗦𝗮𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗘𝗻𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲?
𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗰𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 – If Sales isn’t doing discovery, they’re wasting everyone’s time. Show up and throw up is a clear sign of amateur-hour sales teams.
𝗦𝗼𝗹𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗡𝗢𝗧 𝗙𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲𝘀 – If proper discovery is done, determining the customer is a good fit, capable SEs can craft a targeted demo that nails the customer’s requirements. If they really know their stuff, they suggest solutions the customer hasn’t considered.
𝗤𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗲𝗱 𝗣𝗢𝗖𝘀 – POCs should be unnecessary if the SE nailed the demo – they’re a huge time and resource drain. The probability and value of the deal must be high enough to justify the investment in a POC.
𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗱 𝗠𝗲𝗲𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 – All meetings should be recorded using tools like chorus.ai – enabling easy out-of-band sharing, in addition to capturing statistics about attendee engagement.
𝗩𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗲 & 𝗢𝘂𝘁𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀 – All pre-sales work must align to the value and outcomes that can be delivered for the customer. Feature-based show-up-and-throw-up activities waste everyone’s time.
𝗧𝗿𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗔𝗱𝘃𝗶𝘀𝗼𝗿 – Sales Engineers who lack domain and technical expertise – PowerPoint jockeys that can’t go off-script, need to go. A real Sales Engineer has deep domain expertise, able to bend the product to their will and explain solutions at a granular level.
𝗣𝗢𝗖 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 – A video should be recorded and stored in a POC library, enabling easy sharing with the customer and future customers. A recorded POC allows all parties to review the content out-of-band, helping avoid scheduling challenges and speeding the review by stakeholders. Also, recorded POCs are a great enablement tool for SEs to learn from. The code created for the POC, and a video of its demonstration, should be stored for future reference.
𝗣𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 & 𝗦𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗲 – SEs should be able to explain how the product is scaled to ensure acceptable performance.
𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗛𝗮𝗻𝗱-𝗼𝗳𝗳 – All collateral generated during the pre-sales cycle should be accessible by all teams – Sales, Services, Partners, Customer Success, Support, etc. It’s common for downstream teams to fly blind due to a lack of upstream collaboration. Customers get VERY frustrated having to redo the discovery process for the implementation team.
𝗥𝗲𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗖𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗿𝘀 – Sales teams should be acutely aware of reference customers and their use cases – having a collaborative rapport that enables potential customers to get real-world perspectives.
𝗦𝗮𝘆 𝗡𝗢 – Good SEs know when the product isn’t a good fit. They must have the support of their leadership to say NO – avoiding downstream implementation and churn disaster.
𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 – SEs should be product experts and curate high-quality community content. The more engaged with the community, the better – developing credibility and uncovering new opportunities