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Pre-Sales Process

The pre-sales process is the set of activities that is carried out before the customer has been acquired. The pre-sales process is the specific set of activities that lead up to winning a new contract or acquiring a new customer. Companies generally have a pre-sales team in place which is sometimes referred to as sales support.
The pre-sales team handles a lot of the implementation of the sale and occasionally handles the follow-up as well. The pre-sales process can usually be broken down into two different sets of activities: planning and preparing. These activities involve developing methods or strategies and can include things like:
• Prospecting
• Product research
• Researching your industry or the competition
• Evaluating your products or services in relation to your competition
• Creating strategy calls
When carried out strategically, these two activities can have twice as much impact on generating revenue as finding new leads. The pre-sales process begins when the initial contact is made with the prospect. In a sales cycle, the typical steps you would go through are:
• Finding and initiating contacts with prospects
• Identify the prospect’s needs
• Make an offer
• Manage objections
• Close the sale
• Ask for referrals
A salesperson is responsible for networking and initiating contact with prospects, setting up customer meetings, and sending proposals. And most importantly, a salesperson is responsible for closing the sale. Salespeople will usually have a personal quota they have to meet every month.
Ideally, the pre-sales process and the sales cycle should work together. Here is how the pre-sales process can help you as you begin moving through every step of the sales cycle:
Finding New Leads--Thanks to advances in technology, a salesperson now has more opportunities to find new prospects than ever. However, this doesn’t mean all of those prospects are worth pursuing. Before the sales team begins working with a new prospect, pre-sales will qualify the opportunity to make sure it is worth the company’s time and resources to pursue.                                                                                                                                                               Initial Contact with Leads–Once the lead is qualified, the pre-sales team is responsible for figuring out what problem the customer needs solving. This will help you build rapport with your potential customers and help them begin to believe that you are able to deliver on what you are offering.
Presenting the Proposal–The pre-sales team is responsible for putting together a proposal that will summarize the service being provided to the customer and what resources will be used to deliver that service. The pre-sales and the sales teams should be in agreement on the terms outlined in the proposal. Once it is finalized, the salesperson will deliver it to the customer.                                                                                                                                                      Customer Solutions–In spite of what its name might imply, the pre-sales process does not end once the customer has been acquired. The pre-sales department is also responsible for the technical aspects of finding solutions to the customer’s problems. This can be things like timekeeping, responding to unhappy customers, or knowing how to engage with the customer.
Pre-Sales Strategies
1) Set Goals
a) Weekly, Monthly and Yearly
b) Aim high however realistic
c) In all areas of sales eg
i) Referrals
ii) Conversion Rates
iii) Monetary Figures
2) To truly excel, you must believe in what you are selling
3) Focus on the Positives
4) Aim to help your Customer rather than sell
5) Build a relationship
6) Practice and Rehearse
a) Opening Lines
b) Handling common Objections
c) Closing the sale
7) Know Your Product
a) Weakness and Strengths
b) Special Features
c) Competitors Weakness and Strengths
Conclusion–The pre-sales process is important to finding, winning, and keeping customers. The job of the pre-sales department begins when the first contact is made with a new prospect and usually ends once the sale is acquired. Occasionally, pre-sales will provide transitional help once the sale has been finalized. So what is the difference between companies who are successful in closing sales and those that aren’t? Often, when companies frequently fail to close the deal it is because the pre-sales and sales departments are not effectively working together. The pre-sales and sales departments to work together, both teams must have a level of mutual respect. They also must have a good understanding of the sales process and understand what their individual roles are in the process. They need to have a blueprint for how to navigate complex sales and have a clear understanding of what the customer needs. When the pre-sales and sales teams can work together, they can clearly articulate to the customer how they are able to help them. The customer will understand why they need the product or service and the sale is made.

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