The Pre-Sales Diary: The emerging role of the presales and its infinite landscape.

I must admit, thinking of a professional which has anything to do with ‘Sales’ at first seemed quite demeaning, especially for an IT guy. No offense meant to my fellow Sales professionals whose career I respect a lot but one which is quite plagued by stereotypes.

Let me get this straight, Sales professionals are kool, dynamic and at times quite creative people. They are experts of deals, know how to conquer the social network within companies, markets, industries and regions. They represent a driving force in business development. Yet when it comes to technology and professional services, not many sales professionals get it!

That is why we have Presales. People who bridge the gap, the chasm so to speak between Sales and technology acquisition. Presales are subject matter experts who romantically guide the potential customer with the right solution and solve their business problems. They are not driven by Sales targets nor have quotas (usually). What they do have (again, very ideally speaking) is a knack to solve business problems using their technical skill set and prior vast experience in delivering solutions and consultancy.

Frankly speaking, the first time I heard the term ‘Pre-Sales’, I felt the connotations like a Preview of Sales, or what is to come. Something felt Premature.  I also got the feel that this bunch is not comfortable implementing solutions. All my misconceptions are getting cleared now as I see this as a role made for those who like to tread on unchartered territories all the time, who like to be paratroopers and land into new environments, understand the patterns, recommend the best solutions all in a competitive, game like environment where most of the time, you are dealing with a staunch nemesis.

Pre-Sales is an infinite landscape because you get (and represent) a breadth of knowledge both in business functions and technological environments. Most presales i’ve known are usually product specialists but the role demands a very good idea of enterprise software and how to really place your product with the right mix of configuration and services. AND YOU MUST WEAR THE BUSINESS HAT!

The role demands credibility, agility, and competency, more so than anyone else as this role is the brand ambassador for the company and product(s) he/she represents. Most of the times, the potential customer trusts the pre-sale to give the right advice which is devoid of commercial interests. This puts the pre-sales into a position which demands authority and responsibility.

It is by no means a job for everyone but for those who live it, enjoy it by the lead…

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