Newsletter, Volume 4

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Pre-Sales Performance Excellence Newsletter
News By SEs For SEs
Dear Pre-Sales Colleague:

How do you stack up as an SE?  Are you a demo daemon, an average evangelist, or a pre-sales process protégé? 

Take our quiz to get a SEnSE of your SE-ness.

In This Issue
SEnSE of SEness Quiz

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Choose an answer only if its statement is completely satisfied.

1)  Working with customers, you usually work with people

a)  Who love your product or who the sales rep tells you to work with

b) Who are evaluating your solution
c) Who are most influential in the technical decision
2)  You spend most days

a)  Keeping customers, sales reps, and managers happy

b)  Providing customers good solutions and good value

c)  Positively impacting the operational sales performance for your company

3)  When a customer explains a business problem, you      usually react by

a) Suggesting a solution
b) Suggesting a solution and explaining its quantified operational business impact
c) Asking what the problem's impact is on their business operations and job functions

4)  Which best describes how most sales reps use you?

a)  Here and there in the sales cycle.  Mostly for presentations, demos, and proof of concepts

b)  Throughout the sales cycle.  They appreciate your advice and insight regarding the opportunity

c)  You are responsible for acquiring the technical decision in alignment with the sales rep.  You are empowered to set your own priorities and delegate resources.

5)  An important deal with strong potential is stalled.  You

a)  Wait to take direction from the sales rep regarding next steps and/or wait for the customer to contact you

b)  Try once or twice to call your customer coach, champion, or your channels partner to get a status

c)  Persistently chase the customer's technical evaluators until you get a clear status

6)  A Sales Rep asks you to do a demo tomorrow.  You

a)  Enter the appointment into your calendar

b)  Ask the rep to explain the customer's business challenges and prepare a custom demo

c)  Have the right to refuse to do the demo if the sales rep cannot adequately explain the deal's qualification

7)  What kind of skills training do you receive?

a)  Product or technical training, or no regular training

b)  Quarterly, product or technical training and a day or two of sales skills training

c)  You participate in a regular pre-sales performance improvement program

8)  Your role is supported by what productivity products?

a)  You have no SE specific tools, or tools are not used very regularly

b)  An SFA like Siebel or has been modified for you, or there is a portal with some tools like a knowledgebase and quote system

c)  You have a library of SE specific tools that you can't live without.  Tools help you improve your productivity, reduce your cost of sales, and grow revenue

9)  How is your performance measured?

a)  You have no incentive plan, or your incentives are based purely on revenue achievement

b)  Your incentive plan includes quarterly performance objectives for completing activities outside the normal line of duty

c)  Your incentive plan includes strictly enforced quarterly performance objectives.  A significant portion of your incentives is based on non-revenue quantified performance metrics such as win rate, time to acquire technical decisions, the accuracy of the sales funnel, etc

10)  Your role with channels partners is to (If your company        has no partners -- answer b)

a)  Help partners with their deals whenever they call you.

b)  Help with their deals and improve their technical capabilities

c)  Proactively enable partners so they are as smart as you about your solutions and your sales process

Score your SEnSE of SEness.  Give yourself the following points then total them
a -   1 point each
b -   5 points each
c - 10 points each
If your total score is...

70 to 100 - You are an SE rock star!  Initiative and pre-sales process are the name of the game.  Contact us and share your notes.

35 to 69 - There is room for improvement. Consider process and skills improvement in certain key areas of professional development.  Contact us to discuss some options.

0 to 34 - Your world could be a better place.  Seriously consider formal SE process and skills improvement.  Contact us to discuss some options.

Philip Janus
Founder & CTO