Pre-sales support (sometimes referred to as sales support) is often overlooked, but crucial for companies with complex sales processes or online sales with no salesperson involved. For these types of offerings, pre-sales support can significantly improve sales numbers as well as client satisfaction.
What is Pre-Sales Support?
Pre-sales support helps with finding, winning and keeping customers, depending on the scenario.
For large-scale technology sales, pre-sales support teams are typically made up of technical experts who are knowledgeable about not only the technical aspects of the product itself, but of the industry and the competitive landscape in which the prospective client or customer is operating.
In B2C and online sales, pre-sales support focuses on answering consumers’ questions about the product or service as they make their decision. This helps the sales team focus on the process and the key relationships, without having to be consumed with the product or technology details. Here are some of the things that a pre-sales support team can focus on:
- Qualifying leads: Pre-sales support teams, using their industry and audience knowledge, can create qualifications to predict which leads are most likely to move through the sales funnel.
- Fielding questions: With their deep understanding of the product or offering, pre-sales support can be available online or by phone to help consumers get the answers they need in order to make a buying decision.
- Prioritizing deals: In large B2B sales processes, the pre-sales support team can help to strategically decide which deals to focus on. Sales teams can also be a big part of this strategy, but pre-sales support brings a unique perspective given their technical experience.
What are the Benefits of Pre-Sales Support?
Harvard Business Review recently found that “companies with strong pre-sales capabilities consistently achieve win rates of 40–50% in new business and 80–90% in renewal business—well above average rates.” While this sounds great in theory, it can be challenging to implement a strong pre-sales support function. The sales operations and pre-sales support teams have to establish clear roles and responsibilities, particularly with highly complex sales processes. The relationship between the two teams must be tended to in order for them to work together well. But when it works, it’s well worth it. Below, we break down the top benefits of strong pre-sales support.
Efficiency in the sales process
Pre-sales support brings their technical expertise and thorough understanding of the potential client’s needs to every step of the sales process. In turn, salespeople have more time to focus on the commercial side of the sales process.
This division of responsibilities provides accuracy when qualifying leads and deals. They can also help to position your offering in the most differentiated manner given their knowledge of the industry and competitive landscape.
Likewise, pre-sales support can be a critical resource for improving marketing ROI. They can provide feedback from their conversations with customers to help improve content so that the marketing collateral resonates well with the ideal buyer.
In a world where sales and marketing are usually at odds with each other, pre-sales support can help bring alignment by sharing about their interactions with end users.
Winning new customers
In B2C sales, pre-sales support is essential to educating consumers about the product, service or SAAS offering they are interested in. This means fielding questions or explaining features in a one-on-one conversation with a consumer, to help the person make a decision and move forward in the sales funnel. In more complex B2B sales, since presales support engineers have a deep understanding of the client and their needs, they can help the sales team propose the ideal solution. Beyond that, they can answer technical questions from prospective stakeholders regarding the RFP or implementation, that the sales person may not be able to answer. When deals get close to closing, clients typically ask for case studies and referrals, leaving sales and marketing teams scrambling. Without the technical background and relationship with some of those clients, this rarely yields a good result. Pre-sales support can be providing these examples firsthand in conversations throughout the sales process.
Consistent client satisfaction
Maybe the most important, yet most overlooked benefit of pre-sales support is the impact on the client once the sale is made. The involvement of pre-sales support in the sales process increases the likelihood of the product or technology being the right fit for the customer, and also streamlines implementation where applicable.
From a product management perspective, pre-sales support can provide feedback to the product teams to help improve the product based on the many conversations they are having regularly with customers and prospective buyers. Pre-sales support can also provide advice to customer support teams using their knowledge of the competitive landscape and its implications on the needs of clients and consumer.
Pre-Sales Support with Simplr
Interested in strengthening your pre-sales support, but not sure you have the resources? Simplr provides companies with top-notch customer support that’s scalable and affordable, including pre-sales support for qualifying leads. By fielding potential customers’ questions through email, messaging and social, Simplr allows gives sales teams to possibility of increasing revenue by keeping their focus on high priority sales leads.
"Our customers like being able to chat with a human on the other end. I feel like there's no difference between our Simplr Specialists and our in-house agents. It's still acting as another person who works for us on the other end of the email or chat. We haven't had any customer reaction to the change that we made. It was a pretty seamless change for us.” - 5 / 5 stars! - Laura Cantor, Eleven Commerce (Reviewed November 26, 2018)