Don’t be Fooled – The in-house, SDR Pre-sales Challenge –
More often than not, the B2B pre-sales function is treated as the orphan child of many in-house sales organizations. This happens because, “culturally” speaking, the required skill set of the sales development reps (SDRs) engaged in this activity is perceived to be of less importance than those of quota driven sales closers. However, this could not be farther from the truth. As technology becomes more and more complex and potential buyers are bombarded by an ever-increasing diversity of competing offers, the preparedness, professionalism and technical acumen of the presales rep are of paramount importance. In order to generate a pipeline of quality leads to support a sales force, the presales effort must be staffed by individuals who make the effort to understand the individual customer’s needs, are talented communicators and are comfortable with the technical aspects of the product. These qualities are not always innate and must be developed over time through training and coaching – especially the ability to listen and quickly identify any hidden pain points the prospect may have. This, along with the aptitude to convincingly deliver the value proposition and keep the conversation going is what makes great presales agents.
Under-estimating the effort in time and money required to staff, train, manage, supervise and sustain a fully operational in-house presales function happens frequently. The impact of staff turn-overs and volume fluctuations are hard to predict but invariably create inefficiencies, cause disruptions and cost money. Sometimes the decision to bring presales internally is based on “it just feels right” or “provides better control”, but the reality, based on industry surveys and studies, demonstrates this is not necessarily true.