What Are Pre-Sales? (Plus How to Implement the Process)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 5 July 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A pre-sale is a process in the sales industry that can have a significant impact on the success of a company's new product or service. Professionals can use this process to improve sales and connect with the company's customers better. Learning about the roles of who uses this process and how to implement it into a company's marketing strategies can help you establish a successful process. In this article, we discuss what pre-sales are, including the type of professionals who use it and outline four steps on how to implement it in your sales process.
What are pre-sales?
Pre-sales are a process that companies can use before a new product is available to its customer or before a company can turn a consumer into a potential customer. Typically, this phase of the sales process is the initial introduction a consumer has to a product from a company. For example, a new mobile phone line may enter the market and the first time a consumer sees their products on display or views an advertisement for the mobile phone is the pre-sale phase. It can also include when a company receives feedback from consumers about the product.
This can include how to improve it with features that make it more desirable to purchase over its competitors. An established company may use its sales research to improve its existing product, brand or customer service to better meet the customer's needs. The difference between prior sales and sales is that prior sales are research-based. Professionals research the target audience with potential leads to determine what is required of a product or the brand to satisfy the needs and generate a sale. A sale is emotion-based while offering solutions to the customer and developing trusted relationships with them to close a sale.
Why is this process important?
This process is important to companies because, often, consumers expect quality products they purchase from certain brands. When conducting a pre-sale, a company can ensure it meets the requirements and needs set by the consumers. This can increase the probability that consumers purchase from the brand and tell their family and friends to purchase from the brand, or, at least, a certain product from them.
If a company is working on improving the product, it can use the information from the consumers to improve it and earn more sales from it. This process can allow marketers to capitalise on opportunities, keep their customers and gain potential new ones.
Who can use this process?
Professionals can apply this process in a variety of industries with different job roles that focus on prior sales. Some professions that use this type of process include:
Prior sales consultants
This type of consultant analyses the market facilitates focus groups to learn about potential customer preferences and creates pitches for sales consultants to use when working with prospective clients. Depending on the company, this consultant may accompany a sales consultant acting as sales support throughout the complete sales process, which includes before and after the product launch. They can also serve as a liaison between the marketing and sales teams to help them with their product knowledge. Here are some qualifications a company may require its professionals to have for this role:
bachelor's degree in business, marketing or computer science
technical skills, such as sales and marketing knowledge and strategies
skills in researching and identifying data trends based on the information found in the research
abilities in computer software and communication skills, written and spoken
Companies of these consultants typically split their time between working in the office and meeting with customers and clients outside of the office. Many consultants have bachelor's degrees in related fields. While their job duties may differ depending on their client or employer, some responsibilities of this type of consultant include:
create sales pitches for the sales team and sales consultants
analyse potential markets prior to the launch of a product
work with the marketing team during strategy meetings
provide product knowledge to assist the sales team during presentations or meetings with clients
Prior sales engineers
This type of engineer, or technology engineer, is a member of the information technology (IT) team and works with customers to identify their technical requirements and select the right services or products. They also engage in a thorough analysis of current solutions to help develop innovative alternatives from the information they gather. Additionally, these professionals work on the sales team, where they serve as technical experts. They can advocate for the sales and engineering team and be a liaison between the teams to ensure products meet everyone's product goals. Here are some credentials companies may require for this role:
bachelor's degree in engineering, information systems or business administration
proven track record in the field, years of experience may vary depending on the company
skills in technology and interpersonal communication
abilities in problem-solving and creative thinking
Managers or team leaders may rely on a technology engineer to provide substance and information during a sales meeting or a proposal request. Their work is highly technical and analytical as they assess and examine all aspects of a customer's requirements or challenges to develop the best possible solution. Some of their job duties include:
assist customers with technical inquiries or concerns
guide clients in developing cost justifications using realistic return on investment (ROI)
help sales executives during technical presentations
support the account sales team to prepare presentation plans
How to use this process in 4 steps
Following these steps may help you implement this sales process when working with prospective clients:
1. Determine prospective sales leads and customers
Determine which leads might be potential clients or customers. Finding leads and determining the effective target audience can help companies understand the audience of their pre-sale, which shows how they can market the product efficiently. Sales software can help generate more sales leads. Data analysis and sales technology tools can help you make an informed decision about an ideal client and what behavioural patterns they have with making purchases. In addition to the sales software you can use to find prospective leads for a company, here are some other ways you can find leads for a product:
examine current clients and customers
survey your current customers and listen to their suggestions and requests
ask current customers for referrals
utilise social media platforms to reach potential consumers you may miss in your advertising strategies and plans
2. Discover and contact customers
Once you've determined and qualified prospective customers, contact the customer. A sales professional engages in customer discovery, uncovering exactly what the customer is searching for, understanding how to address their requests and developing a solution.
This information can help the sales team understand how to position and describe their product or service to best accommodate the customer and address their concerns. Sales professionals also may take part in business-to-business (B2B) deals, meaning that one company is selling its services to another. In a B2B sales approach, members of the sales team may be proficient in understanding their company's or client's solutions and the customer's business.
3. Prepare a proposal and seek approval
After the sales team has identified and confirmed a lead, it's time to draft a proposal. This proposal can outline the customer's priorities and the custom solution that teams develop. The sales team may work closely with the sales team to complete and approve the proposal for it to move forward by presenting it to the client.
The purpose of this step is for the sales teams to collaborate and determine a plan, positioning the product or service as the customer's ideal solution. A sales team can be important for a business's success by ensuring they have a comprehensive understanding of the client's desires and a plan to meet or exceed expectations.
4. Implement your plan and follow up
While this type of professional may primarily focus on the process leading up to the moment of sale, they can also play a valuable role in customer and client retention. After completing a transaction, this process may continue to work with the sales team to ensure customer satisfaction and account for any potential challenges or growth opportunities that arise. They can follow up with the customer and manage the customer feedback throughout the ongoing relationship.
A way this team can follow up with a customer is by contacting them with a mobile phone number or email address they provided when making the purchase from the company or sending them an anonymous survey to fill out. The survey can include questions about their satisfaction with the product, the brand, its customer service and if they're likely to purchase from the brand again or recommended the company to individuals they know.
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