The top 3 practices of world-class presales professionals

We all know that customer buying habits have transformed significantly over the past decade. The number of companies and solutions available across the SaaS ecosystem…

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Steve Wagstaff

July 12, 20184 minutes read

We all know that customer buying habits have transformed significantly over the past decade. The number of companies and solutions available across the SaaS ecosystem continue to multiply while barriers to entry diminish, making the environment even more competitive.  Prospective customers are more educated than ever, well before they have their initial conversation with the sales team.

If you want to win in today’s market, you need to find a way to genuinely set yourself apart throughout the customer’s buying journey.  At OpenText, our presales teams do this by delivering a significant return on the customer’s experience early in their engagement with us.

How do we accomplish this? By hiring outstanding people from around the globe, and then training them to be even more effective at their craft, enabling consistent execution of best-practice selling principles that lead to repeatable success.

Let’s highlight just a few of them:

Best practice #1: Seek to understand and refine the customer’s “why”

Top presales professionals take a genuine interest in understanding the customer’s business and challenges. They listen carefully and seek to understand the true nature of the customer’s issues and problems to provide the most effective solution.

To succeed, they don’t just respond to what customers say they need – they utilize experience and consultative expertise to holistically address both the business and stakeholder needs.  By applying their unique perspective of both the micro- and macro-level challenges their customer is facing, they create solutions that lead to greater customer satisfaction and additional opportunity.

Best practice #2: Provide reliable and high-value insights

Top performers act as trusted advisors, helping customers gain a deeper understanding of the broader picture, their current challenges and inefficiencies, and their solution options. Their insights reveal how technology enablers can facilitate new best practices that address process problems, produce real business outcomes, and result in measurable value.

While experience and wisdom help customers more effectively solve immediate business challenges, providing them with a deeper understanding of adjacent issues and problems that might be addressed with the same technology portfolio maximizes customer lifetime value. Helping customers connect the dots between diverse stakeholders and business units to identify opportunities that can achieve greater business results is at the heart of a great presales performer.

Best practice #3: Always exhibit a customer-first attitude

It’s easy to envision providing a customer-first experience, but it’s much harder to actually deliver one to every customer, every time.

Those who excel in presales are those who genuinely have their customers’ best interests at heart. They’re deliberate about putting their customers front and center.

An important part of this customer-first experience is to be consistent and credible. Customers buy from people, not companies. When presales professionals behave consistently across every touchpoint, they build trust that leads to deeper engagement and more wins.

Being customer-first also means delivering as promised – always, without fail. Top sales professionals show customers that they value mutually beneficial, long-term relationships by delivering on every promise made. They are meticulous about following up and following through, and this pays massive dividends over their entire career.

Most of our people join us with one or more of these behaviors firmly cemented. For others, we help them to grow and build these skills through enablement, community, culture, and through our Process Play Library, a proprietary approach for creating industry and business process subject matter experts in as little amount of time as possible.

Beyond our formal training and tools, we draw on the diverse talent and experience of individuals within the team to share knowledge, mentor, and grow. The fact that our presales teams at OpenText are composed of not only solutions consultants, but also value analysts and solution architects, means we have a rich opportunity to learn from one another so we can continually refine and enrich the value we deliver to our customers.

We’ve built a world-class presales team and discipline that seeks to shift the conversation from features, functions, and demos, towards business process inefficiencies, best practices, and value.  We help our team members grow into trusted, strategic advisors with new capabilities required in today’s complex selling environments, preparing them to truly excel in their careers.

Have a look at our Sales Careers page to learn more about our sales teams and what it’s like to work at OpenText.

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Steve Wagstaff

Steve Wagstaff has been part of the OpenText sales leadership team for 20 years. Today, he is the Vice President of Worldwide Solution Consulting at OpenText, guiding presales strategy and operations globally.

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