Why Do Your Always Busy Pre-Sale Engineers Underperform?Why Do Your Always Busy Pre-Sale Engineers Underperform?
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Why Do Your Always Busy Pre-Sale Engineers Underperform?

McKinsey observes that companies register a 40–50% higher win rate for new business and 80–90% higher renewal business with strong presales capabilities.


While singing praises for the presale capabilities, McKinsey writers also rue the fact that presale remains a widely ignored voice in the C-suite.

However, ignorance may not be the reason for the underperformance of the pre-sale designers, but a result. The resource-guzzling nature of pre-sales also contributes to the leadership's high expectations and trimming down when disappointed.

Here’s what factors contribute to the underperformance of your presale team. Perhaps, addressing them will help you achieve the desired outcomes from them:

An Average Pre-Sale Job Description

“Reflecting on my pre-sales engineering role I realized that the collaboration of pre-sales engineers with the product managers is crucial for achieving:

  • The product vision and strategy
  • A focus on the customer needs and feedback
  • Optimal pre-sales processes and workflows”

Writes a LinkedIn user after spending a few years as pre-sales engineer. Her post beautifully summarizes the crucial system integrator (SI) role pre-sale engineers play in the business.

The average Job Description for a pre-sale engineer begins and ends with the word ‘collaboration’. Pre-sale engineers will collaborate with product development to design the solution and prepare demo content. The sales teams will use the demo content as the ammunition in the field.

Average job description for a pre-sale engineer or designer mentions the following:

  • Collaboration with different teams involved in business growth:
    • Marketing teams for demand generation
    • Product development teams for product understanding and design
    • Design teams for generating technical and commercial sales contents
    • Sales teams for demonstration and closure
  • Developing deep understanding of products/solutions
  • Staying up to speed with the latest developments and supply chain challenges
  • Deciphering customer pain points and needs
  • Locating and addressing upselling opportunities with customers (liaising with customer service and account management teams)
  • Staying updated with industry developments to maintain parity and staying competitive

Thus, a pre-sale engineer needs to have strong intelligence about the market scenario, target customer’s business, product design, and the supply chain for the production. So, a typical pre-sale engineer must be one of the most well-informed members of the team.

Pain-Points of the Pre-Sale Engineers

The widespread role of a pre-sale engineer affects the performance of the OEM’s sales teams and their vendors. Similarly, an underperforming pre-sale engineer at OEM’s client partner could shadow the growth of the OEM. So, what hinders pre-sale engineers from delivering under such a critical role?

  • Lack of time for learning new products and training
  • Lack of participation in the online/offline vendor events
  • Overstretched with number of proposals
  • Multi-tasking over a wide range of responsibilities, i.e., lack of focus
  • Share Project Context with the OEM/VAD and incorporate their response into proposal design
  • Get product documentation bundle for the proposal or demo presentation
  • Inability/dependency for access to gated content of the OEM

The speed of information flow is one of the greatest pain points of pre-sale engineers. This could be from their internal production teams or from the vendor OEMs. Both can hinder the efficiency and speed of pre-sale teams to respond to RFPs.

Leaders should ensure that pre-sale system integrators are the most informed candidates in the sales channel. A well-informed pre-sale SI can speed up in-depth solutions for the sales teams and existing clients leading to higher RFP responses and closures.

The McKinsey and HBR article states that ironing out pre-sale challenges can achieve a higher conversion rate, up to 13% increase in revenue, and up to 20% higher velocity of the sales funnel. But how?

How Do You Keep Pre-Sale Teams Updated?

Market and product intelligence are the two most important ingredients for your pre-sale teams. The quality of both the input variables invariably derives the output for your pre-sale teams. While you can capture leading publications and thought leaders for market intelligence, a Product Information Management (PIM) system can speed up product data flow for your teams.

Modern PIM systems integrate a ton of features enabling rapid capture, enrichment, and validation of available product data. SaaS based PIM systems like Neurologik’s ProductHub can reduce time for the following critical functions by up to 90%:

  • Incorporating, sorting, and storing of product data from various sources and formats
  • Validating freshly acquired data
  • Adding and publishing rich product attributes for finer classification
  • Creating product configurations
  • Creating and updating digital assets with new product information
  • Sharing the data with various teams on demand and in the requested formats

ProductHub combines the features of PIM, MDM, DAM, CMS, etc. to offer a seamless product information hub for enterprises. Being a SaaS solution, PIM supports a global workforce, as well as global markets, even for a start-up organization.

Rich product attributes let your pre-sale engineers find and use the most relevant product data almost in real-time. Also, the team can retrieve data in the format they need and add it to their solution designs quickly.

The time saved in research and information gathering can help pre-sale engineers to respond to RFPs, consumer demands, and change in customer requirements faster. Faster responses increase the chances of winning consumers several folds.

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