Presales Toolkit

Table of Contents

Presales Toolkit

Hemispheres | Left & Right Hemispheres Roles, Facts & Information

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 customersโ€™ 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 Customerโ€™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 donโ€™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. Donโ€™t oversell your products with wrong means and knowledge. Once you lose the faith form the customer it becomes hard to win it again.

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—˜๐—ป๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ธ๐—ฒ?

๐——๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜† โ€“ If Sales isnโ€™t doing discovery, theyโ€™re wasting everyoneโ€™s time. Show up and throw up is a clear sign of amateur-hour sales teams.

๐—ฆ๐—ผ๐—น๐˜‚๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐—ก๐—ข๐—ง ๐—™๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€ โ€“ If proper discovery is done, determining the customer is a good fit, capable SEs can craft a targeted demo that nails the customerโ€™s requirements. If they really know their stuff, they suggest solutions the customer hasnโ€™t considered.

๐—ค๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฃ๐—ข๐—–๐˜€ โ€“ POCs should be unnecessary if the SE nailed the demo – theyโ€™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.

๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ ๐— ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€ โ€“ All meetings should be recorded using tools like – enabling easy out-of-band sharing, in addition to capturing statistics about attendee engagement.

๐—ฉ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜‚๐—ฒ & ๐—ข๐˜‚๐˜๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜€ โ€“ 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 everyoneโ€™s time.

๐—ง๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—”๐—ฑ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ฟ โ€“ Sales Engineers who lack domain and technical expertise – PowerPoint jockeys that canโ€™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.

๐—ฃ๐—ข๐—– ๐—ฆ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด โ€“ 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.

๐—ฃ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ & ๐—ฆ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฒ โ€“ SEs should be able to explain how the product is scaled to ensure acceptable performance.

๐—–๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—›๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ-๐—ผ๐—ณ๐—ณ โ€“ All collateral generated during the pre-sales cycle should be accessible by all teams – Sales, Services, Partners, Customer Success, Support, etc. Itโ€™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.

๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—–๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€ โ€“ 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.

๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ก๐—ข โ€“ Good SEs know when the product isnโ€™t a good fit. They must have the support of their leadership to say NO – avoiding downstream implementation and churn disaster.

๐—–๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† โ€“ 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

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