B2B sales and presales teams that respond quickly to changing customer needs win more deals. But can you adapt scope, timeline and price in real-time without increasing commercial risk?
Article by Dom De Lorenzo, Co-founder at Estii
The rise of presales
The last few years have seen an explosion of presales-centric platforms focused on tracking and optimising the lifecycle of deals – from team and process coordination, to improved response and bid management, to data-driven demo and presentation tools.
These platforms reflect the rapid growth of the presales function within businesses: heavy resource demand on teams and a growing understanding that presales workflows often fall outside the scope of traditional sales platforms.
Along with initiatives like the presalescollective.com and presalesbuyersguide.com, these platforms establish a more precise boundary around what used to be a range of interchangeable roles and responsibilities – sales engineers, solution architects and technical account managers – that bridge the gap between sales and execution.
Does pricing fit within the presales landscape?
The core tenant of the presales is that it is pre sales – focused on qualifying and scoping the buyer's solution before handing over to sales to price, present and close.
In a product-centric business, that flow is linear, and the boundaries are clear: presales determine the need, sales determine the price.
But in a services-centric business, the flow is cyclical, and the boundaries overlap. Both teams must collaborate and iterate over scope, pricing and timelines before and during negotiations, to reach a sweet spot that satisfies the buyer's priorities while ensuring commercial viability for the business.
Keeping scope, price and timelines in sync is a constant trade-off between accuracy, speed and commercial risk.
As the complexity of proposals grows, the number of required iterations increases, while iteration time grows from hours to days to weeks – sucking up bandwidth and costing businesses deals.
The pressure to respond quickly often leads to high-risk, last-minute unqualified additions to scope, or reductions to timelines to help secure the deal at the potential cost of profitability and reputation.
How can teams find the right balance?
Presales understand the balance between scope, time and risk, while sales understand the numbers and customer urgency. But even with the volume of sales and presales platforms available today, iterating quickly between scope and price still sucks. Most teams are still passing copies of complex pricing spreadsheets back and forth to update estimates and pricing before manually updating numbers in the customer proposal and CRM platforms.
This is where Estii comes in. We bridge the gap between sales and presales, speeding up iteration and strategic collaboration across scope, schedule and pricing, so you stay focused, respond faster and win more deals.
The right price in a stunning proposal, in seconds. Sign up for free at estii.com