The face of sales is rapidly evolving with the digital age pushing business further into the future. People are selling online more than ever, whether it’s for B2C or B2B products. That said, it’s important to keep up-to-date on the latest sales hacks, trends, and news that’s transforming the world of sales and business.
One growing priority as of late has been creating a better pre-sales strategy. Just what is pre-sales and what kinds of pre-sales tools should your company use to sell in the 21st century and beyond?
What Is Pre-sales?
Pre-sales involves all the activities that make sales teams more ready and equipped to sell. It involves research, validation, preparation, and lead nurturing, among many other things. Once companies have pre-sales strategies in place, it puts them in a better position to market and sell to warm or hot leads. That leads to more efficient touchpoints and more closed deals. In a nutshell, pre-sales sets sales teams up for success.
There are a lot of pre-sales tools available to businesses today. Some of the most common softwares include:
- Top CRM systems for business — or Client Relationship Management systems, tools used to qualify leads and push them through a funnel
- Business intelligence tools — Tools used to gather, crunch, and present relevant insights that make the sales process more effective
- Lead nurturing tools — Tools that scrape, nurture, and qualify leads before someone even contacts them so that your company has a better and more filtered pool of prospects.
All the pre-sales best practices that come into play help sales teams effectively sell online—or even offline. By doing so, companies acquire more effective and efficient sales channels and efforts, saving time, resources, and energy for better results.
Advantages of Doing Pre-sales
So why should your company start doing pre-sales? Here are compelling reasons for your company to invest in pre-sales tools and strategies.
1. Gather actionable insights and research
Effective sales aren’t only about talking and presenting well. It’s also about listening well. 69% of customers say that the sales process would be a lot better if salespeople listened to their needs. Thankfully, there are now many presales software to help you listen to the market and get better insights into what works overall and within your context. Marketing and pre-sales teams can use pre-sales tools to look into consumer behavior and trim them down into quantifiable metrics that will guide sales strategies and pitches.
2. Automate data gathering and lead generation
With the advent of artificial intelligence and computer learning, businesses are now able to automate repetitive business processes that used to take so much time and resources to complete. Companies can now outsource their most draining administrative tasks so that sales and marketing teams can focus on high-level processes and activities like ideation and doing the actual sales calls and outreach programs.
3. Determine a target persona
Truth be told, your business offering isn’t for everyone. Don’t put that false burden on your company. What helps more is if your company focuses on zeroing in on the segments of people that your product or service will resonate with best. In recent times, the top businesses have focused on creating target persona avatars—fictional characters that best illustrate their ideal customer. Pre-sales tools help you map out and better visualize who your ideal customers are. By drawing out an accurate target persona, you can better focus our sales strategies and efforts on the prospects that matter most.
4. Create messaging that resonates with your target audience
Lastly, pre-sales tools help you make a sales pitch personal that really lands well with your target persona. Pitch planning should be part of the pre-sales flowchart process if companies want to improve close rates and lessen sales team busyness. Using pre-sales tools help companies achieve that and more.
Features That Your Pre-sales Tools Must Have
So now that you know why your company should start investing in pre-sales strategies and tools, let’s talk about what you need to look for in your pre-sales tools. Here are some features that your pre-sales tools must have in order to set your sales enablers and salespeople up for success.
1. Cloud-based access
The first feature any pre-sales tool must have is cloud-based access. Many software today are moving away from on-premise functions given that more and more companies are shifting to remote or hybrid work setups. Studies show that there will be over 100 zettabytes of data stored in the cloud by 2025. So it only makes sense that your pre-sales tools be on the cloud as well. Cloud-based access also allows for better collaboration, given that anyone can now access information within your system from anywhere they are at any time of the day.
2. Task automation
Job automation increased by 14% every year, with junior roles being the most affected. Task automation is present in pre-sales tools as well, making launch times on sales campaigns a whole lot faster and at a fraction of the manpower cost. Some of the task automation that pre-sales tools can do for companies include:
- Proposal template creation
- Proposal sending
- Lead information gathering
- Insight and numbers crunching and analysis
- And many more
3. Smart data gathering
One of the biggest functions to make CRM tools and business analytics tools blow up is their ability to crunch data. We live in a time when data is a currency of extreme value. Lead scraping tools, for instance, can now scour the whole web to gather contact data of leads such as emails, contact numbers, LinkedIn profiles, social media handles, and so on. With these kinds of pre-sales functions in your company’s arsenal, you save time and resources having to manually Google leads one-by-one and gather their contact details.
4. Sales funnel engineering
Sales and marketing teams can also use pre-sales tools to visually represent a sales funnel. A great example of this feature is how CRM tools create visual sales funnels so that sales teams get a better visual experience when pushing people through a customer journey. By design, what this does is give sales teams more clarity in what the process should be like and what to do once a lead or potential customer gets to that point of the journey.
5. Client presentation tools
It’s not a secret that a compelling presentation plays a big factor in sales success. Well, presentation-quality actually starts at the sales enablement level. Pre-sales tools help companies create clear and compelling presentations to their sales team so they’re equipped to mimic that presentation with their clients. Including tools in a pre-sales strategy will also allow sales enablers to give their sales teams a better understanding of things like:
- Unique value propositions
- Target personas
- Product selling points
- Customer journeys
By presenting these properly to sales teams, they will better understand systems and push people up the sales funnel a lot faster.
Selling in the Digital Age
Just what will selling in the digital age look like in the next few years? It’s hard to know for sure, but it will definitely look very different. As sales and pre-sales activities evolve through the years, it’s important that your company catches up. By ensuring that, your company will not fall behind and produce far greater results than you would if your team stayed in the past that no longer exists for your business.