Newsletter, Volume 10

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                                                 News by SEs for SEs

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Dear Pre-Sales Colleague:

A tough business climate is not an excuse for Technical Decisions to stop moving forward.

This newsletter explains how to leverage your SEs to keep deals moving forward and grow your Technical Sales Funnel by 22% or more -- even in this tough business climate.

Keep Moving Deals Forward and Grow Your Technical Sales Funnel
The reality of the current business climate is that few companies are spending until credit and access to money loosens up.  Regardless of how good Sales Reps are, if customers are not spending, business decisions stall.  In many cases, customers don't want to see their buying cycles delayed either -- they still have problems that need solving.
Note that the customer's Solution Decision is independent of their Business Decision.  For sales cycles that take 6 to 9 months, Solution Decisions can still move forward for many months regardless of the Business Decision status and the customer's ability to spend.
Solution Sales Process 
Bottom Line:  In a down time SEs play a vital role in keeping the Technical Decision part of deals moving forward, even when sales reps are stuck in the muck.
Leverage Your SEs to Move Deals Forward and Grow the Technical Sales Funnel

This implies that SEs are more than just demo jocks.  SEs need to be enabled and empowered to drive revenue and reduce cost of sales throughout the entire technical sales cycle. 
SEs, through their technical constituents, continue to discover compelling business pain, map that pain to solutions, move technical evaluations forward, differentiate and establish compelling value, persuade technical decision makers to choose your solutions, etc.
Financial models show that small manageable 5% improvements in key pre-sales metrics can grow the Technical Decision Sales Funnel 22% independent of business decision cycles and customer spending.  10% improvements can grow it 48%.
Bottom Line:
  SEs keep it moving forward.  SEs whip the Technical Sales Funnel into great shape.  SEs queue up a volume of technically closed deals for sales reps for when customers start spending again.
For $X investment in pre-sales performance improvement, SEs can be enabled to incrementally grow the annualized Technical Sales Funnel $100X or more: 
  • In one case, a team of 6 SEs grew the annualized Technical Sales Funnel $3,265,533 in 6 months on a $25,000 program investment -- a 131-fold return.  Productivity per SE grew over $500k per year.  (Recall in our Nov newsletter that this can be amortized over many quarters to minimize the financial impact).
  • In another case, in 5 months an SE team improved productivity nearly $1M per SE.
A Plan of Attack
Sales Management, as tempting as it is to lay off your SEs, you need them now more than ever to keep deals moving forward.  Realistically, this is a good time to prune out the unproductive deadweight in your organization.  Consider using a portion of those freed up reqs to ramp up and sharpen the effectiveness of your pre-sales SE team to drive the Technical Sales Funnel and reduce your cost of sales.  
Leverage your SEs to set yourself up to be in excellent shape for when the economy picks up again.


Philip Janus
Founder & CTO