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The Customer Success journey begins with Presales

The Customer Success journey begins with Presales

A salesperson is the first point of contact for a Prospect, who sets the right platform for futuristic business for both the organization and the Prospect. But, the actual business conversation starts with the Presales. They set the tone right for the Prospect for continual business and a long-lasting relationship.

Trusted advisor

Presales are just not about delivering a technical closure for a sales opportunity. It is the first step to providing a greater customer experience. The presales team has to invest their time and resources to have a deep understanding of the Prospect’s needs and competitive analysis.

They have the ability to shape up a fruitful conversation that dwells on addressing their needs as well as positioning the product/service above the competitor scenario.

Accelerate the Sales Cycle

The primary focus of Presales is to deliver an experience to the Prospect during every stage of their business journey. This experience, in turn, relates and contributes to achieving the customer’s strategic goals. They help in accelerating the revenue and guide customers/prospects to make the right investment

Expansion of Value

A well-knit Presales team leaves a long-lasting impact on the prospect/customer and business. This top-notch team of the organization should predict the Prospect’s requirements with greater precision and provide technical expertise and show Sales acumen before the purchase is done. The likelihood of renewals or up-sell hugely depends on this experience. This paves way for future expansion of the business.

“Companies with strong presales capabilities consistently achieve win rates of 40–50% in new business and 80–90% in renewal business” – McKinsey

A Presales Engineer is more trusted and respected by the Customers. They are a valuable asset in the sales arsenal and a trusted guide for the customer. Revenue, Customer Satisfaction, future growth, and market presence all begins with this Presales journey. To win and retain lifelong customers, I believe the organization needs to leverage and improve its pre-sales capabilities. They will be a clear differentiator from your competitors.

It needs a special mention in my blogs, as I have had the opportunity to work and lead a team of Presales Engineers in the organizations(Zoho and Freshworks) that I have worked so far. Stay tuned to my blogs for the next couple of weeks to gain deep insights into the Presales Activities, Roles and Responsibilities, and the Importance of Presales.

Make a customer, not a sale

Make a customer, not a sale

“Make a sale, you’ll make a living. Build a relationship, you will create a fortune.”

Sales are imperative for growing any business. Without sales, businesses struggle to survive in today’s competitive environment. However, traditional sales techniques like ‘Always be closing’, cause businesses to fall behind without a futuristic growth.

Before I share my opinions, I’m adding some stats from Hubspot on creating a positive sales experience, according to buyers.

  1. Listen to their needs (69%)
  2. Don’t be pushy (61%)
  3. Provide relevant information (61%)
  4. Respond in a timely manner (51%)

Sales techniques like ABC emphasize heavily to bulldoze through a sale. But, this increases the risk of losing the overall business as the requirements are not fully understood. The customer experience is quite dissatisfactory and this will cause a large impact on the reputation of the business.

“People don’t like to be sold, they love to buy” – Jeffrey Gitomer.

A Sales Superstar knows that a customer is for life. He takes mammoth efforts to build an ever-lasting relationship with the customer and that is what you call a positive Customer Experience. I have had the luckiest opportunity to work with many such Superstars. The conversation between them is quite interesting to observe as it focuses more on the customer’s problems and interests rather than a forced sales pitch. 

Experienced salesperson represents themselves as a knowledgeable person with solid domain expertise in the service they offer. Customers tend to listen to such an expert and this will make a huge impact on their purchasing decision and improve their outlook about the company. Trust and confidence are built forever before the deal is signed.

“After a positive experience, 83% of customers would be happy to provide a referral”(source). 

Don’t jump the gun by pushing through a sale. Instead, tailor the sales process to create a sense of control thus making it easy for the customers to feel that they are purchasing an experience instead of a service.

Customer support “Is it a cost center or a profit-making center?

Customer support “Is it a cost center or a profit-making center?

Customer support is no more a cost center. It is actually a profit center.

I recently chanced upon an article comparing Customer Success to Support. The one that caught my attention in this article was “Customer success generates revenue while customer support is tagged as a Cost Center”. Traditionally, businesses have looked at customer support as an expensive division of the organization. It is considered a necessary evil. However, with more emphasis on Customer Experience(CX) these days, the tides are changing.

In today’s digital world, customers are empowered with technology than ever before. With a post, not more than 30 words, they either promote or destroy the brand. More than anyone else in the organization, they are constantly engaged with customer support. Hence, there is a need for businesses to realign their strategy. A couple of points to be considered during decision-making.

Focus to increase the customer satisfaction level

When problems reported by customers are effectively handled to their satisfaction, they tend to scale up your business more than those who haven’t reported a problem.

Customer problems are indeed opportunities.

The business has to look at customer problems as opportunities. It helps to narrow down and fix the services or products or business processes. It is an opportunity to increase customer experience and add revenue to the organization.

My experience

Having imbibed this quality of looking at every problem as an opportunity, I was assigned a difficult task to retain an unhappy customer. I had one last chance here to overturn the situation. From my discussion, I identified that the customer and his team were unaware of the complete capability of the service. After listening to their concerns, I empathized with their current situation and offered a two-day product level training. This training brought in the necessary product awareness which helped them realize the potential of the service. During the course of this interaction, flaws in business service were identified and fixed. This resulted in improving the overall experience of the service. As an addendum to the existing service, further opportunities were identified resulting in an upsell.

In conclusion, businesses have to come out of this old school thought that customer support is a cost center. This division is a treasure house as it holds critical data about your customer and their experience which provides immense value for your product, marketing and sales team – DIKW.