Newsletter, Volume 8

Web graphic
 
Newsletter
                                                 News by SEs for SEs

Quick Link
Dear Pre-Sales Colleague:

Those of you who visit our web site may have seen our
"Pre-Sales Ponderings".  In this newsletter we will preview some new questions and reflect on the current ones.

Pre-Sales Ponderings:
 

Do You Need to Quickly and Cost-Effectively Prove the Value of SEs?  
Can Your SE Managers Manage?
Do Your SEs Own Solution Closure?
Does Your SFA Tell the SE's Side of the Story?
Do Your SEs Empower Your Partners?

 
 
 Do You Need to Quickly and Cost-Effectively Prove the Value of SEs?   
 
A Sr VP of Sales Operations at a $multi-billion company recently lamented to us, "We're spending a half a billion dollars on our SEs every year and we have no idea what we're getting in return".  Yikes. 
 
In many organizations SEs have acquired an image of being merely tactical technical "demo daemons".  Walk in blind.  Spray and pray.  Show up and throw up.  The technical crutch on a 4 legged sales call.  Given the SEs' stereotypical reputation, it is no wonder that executives find it hard to believe that SEs are capable of driving business value.
 
Indeed, it is a challenge to determine the measurable business value of a pre-sales organization.  With years of experience behind us, we have it down to a science.
 
Though our case studies show pre-sales initiatives significantly improve bottom line benefit, executives need to see it for themselves and they don't want to spend a lot of money acquiring that proof point. 
_______________________________________________________________________________

 
 Can Your SE Managers Manage?
 

Pre-sales managers are often promoted from within.  This is ok as long as the new manager can actually manage.  But all too often, new managers are former rock star SEs who had no other career path available to them.  Unfortunately, being a rock star SE does not necessary imply they will be an effective manager.
 
The lesson is, be sure to invest in the managerial skills of those being promoted from within.


_______________________________________________________________________________

 
 Do Your SEs Own Solution Closure?
 
Empowered SEs own and project manage the entire technical sales cycle.  In alignment with their Sales Reps, SEs own their schedules, manage their own priorities, delegate resources, assess and minimize risks, and are accountable for project managing technical decisions.  When Sales Reps and SEs divide and conquer the sales cycle and SEs implement structured engineered best practices, marvelous efficiencies emerge.  Funnels become cleaner, deals sizes grow, win rates improve, and time to technical decisions decrease.   
 
 
_______________________________________________________________________________

 
 Does Your SFA Tell the SE's Side of the Story?
 
No commercial sales methodology includes pre-sales process.
No vendor exclusively focuses on improving pre-sales operational performance, other than SEDC.
And no CRM or SFA includes the pre-sales view of accounts.
 
One should expect the SE's view of deals to be different than the Sales Rep's view.  Qualification will be different, technical stakeholders will be different, their decision criteria will be different, etc.  We should also expect the SE's technical sales funnel to be larger than the Sales Rep's business sales funnel.  Yet, few organizations have visibility or measurability into these dynamics, largely because traditional SFAs are not designed to capture the SE's technically-oriented view of the world.
 
_______________________________________________________________________________

 
 Do Your SEs Empower Your Partners?
 
One of our clients is a $2B application solutions company.  Their average transaction size is $10k.  Generally, we would estimate a company this size might employ up to 500 SEs. 
 
This client drives 70% of their business through partners.  And they have a team of only 100 SEs.  About 10% of these SEs work directly on "enterprise-class" deals.  The remaining 90% are Channels SEs who "clone" themselves to make their Partner SEs (PSEs) as smart as they are.  Channels SEs mentor 5 PSEs at a time through the exact same technical training and sales skills training as is provided to internal SEs and Sales Reps. 
 
Over many months, PSEs can be empowered to "own solution closure".  Once a PSE is deemed self-sufficient, they graduate the program and another PSE takes their place.  The Partner SEs army drives significant bottom line revenue while a relatively small in-house Channels SE staff drives large operational efficiencies.  Every dollar invested in the partner pays for itself many times over in return.
 



Sincerely,

Philip Janus
Founder & CTO
salesengineering.com