The shortcomings of pre-sales

I often hear that selling should not be confused with implementing.

As with many such statements I hold two opposing views.

It is important to make the pre-sales process simple and ensure that the client understands the value of the solution that they are considering BUT equally important that the client understands the technical merits of the product and how they will implement and use it.

Don’t over-complicate the process but don’t treat me like an idiot.

Too many pre-sales people have only ever been in pre-sales; they lack operational knowledge and have no benchmark for the way that an organisation will work. I would not buy from someone who lacks the depth of knowledge and expertise necessary to deliver my project.

Pre-sales must prove they have the competency to implement my solution and guide me to use it: I need my pre-sales team to:

  • develop the architecture for my solution
  • advise me on the project plan; the whole plan including my activities – afterall they have done this before?
  • articulate the assumption and likely risks they are making
  • tell me what I must do to make the project successful
  • lay out the milestones and measure of my project so I can judge success and risk
  • work with me and my technical team to solve the inevitable problems that will arise during my project

How many of your suppliers are able to deliver this and how many of the pre-sales people are capable?