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We Didn’t Hold Anything Back

Our first Real Talk: PreSales Collective webinar – I’ll be honest with you – it was emotional. It got raw, it got real, and it was honest and cathartic. 

Not quite what you expected from a sales engineering webinar? Well, here’s what went down.

Our panelists were Audrey Jaspart from Hubspot, Chris Browne from Dynamic Signal, and Adam Lazzara from Sprout Social, and they all contributed so much to the conversation – insights from their extensive experience, deep professionalism, and plenty of grace when talking about sometimes difficult topics. Thanks, team! You can watch the complete replay here if you missed it.

Our topics for the session came directly from the PreSales Community – we surveyed hundreds of sales engineers on the biggest issues they face about teamwork and collaboration with their sales colleagues. I got to rep the sales side, and Audrey, Chris, and Adam went deeper into the SE perspective. 

We talked about who owns what, the rules of engagement between AEs and SEs, measuring success, and resolving conflicts. Our biggest takeaways: 

  • We’re asking presales to do too much – since so much SE work goes on behind the scenes, too many sales teams don’t really understand what they’re asking of their SE partners on each prospect. Creating custom demos for each meeting when sales doesn’t understand what goes into creating them – it can be too much if SEs are spread too thin across the org. 
  • There’s not enough effort to understand the function – too many AEs are wasting presales time with menial tasks or meetings with unqualified leads. Sales leaders often keep presales tasks totally tactical, without acknowledging that they have strategic insights to offer too. 
  • More communication leads to way better outcomes – proactively having conversations about tactics, strategy, and what’s coming up next can help presales from being dragged into unproductive conversations with unqualified leads, and help everyone feel better about how they work together. It should be much more than a delegate-and-forget relationship. 
  • Preparation together is key – AEs bringing SEs into a meeting blind is bad for everyone, even though it’s also super common. Giving presales broader business context on a lead before the meeting happens helps from a planning perspective, and discussing meeting flow and who owns what beforehand means everything runs smoothly. 
  • Celebrate wins like you’re playing a team sport – so many sales teams are incentive-driven, but they don’t include presales in those incentive or recognition programs even though they’re bringing those deals in together. Presales might need to create their own incentive program aligned to overall sales goals so they’re not dependent on sales for recognition of a job well done. 

This is just a few of the incredible insights everyone shared on our first Real Talk Webinar – I can’t wait to see what we get into in our upcoming three sessions in the series. Get these on your calendar now: 

December 15: New Year’s Resolutions – this is our year-end gripe session where you can air your final grievances by asking the experts, get practical advice on how to resolve problems, and take a big final exhale as we exit 2020. 

January 13: PreSales ARE the Process – Presales is being leveraged as an extension of senior leadership in designing and enforcing the process, so come learn how best-in-class organizations deploy this resource beyond just the demo. 

February 16: PreSales in the New Customer Journey – the buyer journey changed pretty radically in 2020, so join our panel of experts as they talk about the new expectations buyers have and how PreSales is leading the way in adapting to these changes. 

Based on how real and truly informative – and transformative – everything got on our first Real Talk Webinar, you won’t want to miss a single one. See you next time.

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash