The pre-sales process is the set of activities that are carried out before the customer has been
acquired. This article will explain the pre-sales process and how you can use it in your own business.
It will also examine why it is important for the pre-sales and sales teams to work together.
Business owners are constantly looking for new ways to scale their business but they often overlook
the pre-sales process. This is a mistake because according to this article in the Harvard Business
Review, companies that have strong pre-selling objectives achieve 40–50% of the new business and
80–90% of repeat business. These numbers are far above average rates and demonstrate how
important the pre-sales process is.
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:
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 Harvard Business Review also found that even though an effective pre-sales strategy can
improve conversion rates by five points, pre-sales still tends to get little attention from upper
How to Use the Pre-Sales Process
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
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
a 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
the 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.
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.
This is important because customer retention is a key aspect of growing any business. According to
the Gartner Group, 80 percent of a company’s future revenue will come from 20 percent of its
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
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.
According to this article, for 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