More on the shortcomings of pre-sales

Todays sales review call showed just how bad it can be.

The lead pre-sales engineer tells the team about a proof of concept he is just starting; no attempt is made to explain our objectivs or summarise¬† why we are talking. I see no understanding of value and qualification of the opportunity is zero; worse wtill he didn’t realise how lost he is.

If I ask what we are expected to prove to be successful and I hear a response that has no relevence to the client or their business I am dismayed and when the engineer recites the 3 or 4 features of the product I knew the game was lost. “We are going to prove our value by showing BAM, CE and correllation data”

I really cannot imagine that a customer would understand what this statement meant.

When proving a solution to the client the objectives must be stated using language and metrics that a client understands. While a technical requirement might be to capture customer experience data and business activity metrics the objective should be phrased in an entirely different manner.

“we will capture operational metrics in real-time that will help the client to detect fraudulent [erroneous, non-compliant] activities so that they can reduce operational risk [reduce IT costs through better utilisation] by ……”

The fact that no-one else on the executive team takes any real notice of the depths of the problem is most worrying.

After two iterations I still don’t know what the client needs, or whether they have even been asked to sign-up to any specific deliverables. And as for how to sell a vision and ultimately a solution – looks like I need to pull this back to the start and requalify.