Can anyone please explain to me in simple words about IT Pre-Sales?? i just want to know, what is the procedure of it. also what are a pre-sales person's roles and responsibilities. I have no idea about what it is. Not getting a satisfactory answer when googled. If anyone of you know some good links regarding this topic, please share it.
"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."
-e e cummings
Sales is a complex process involving getting a "yes" from various individuals at various levels of an organization prior to a sale being completed. Parts of these "yes" answers are technical, answering the question of will this solution meet my technical needs. Parts of these "yes" answers are also organizational, involving finding the person with the correct sign off authority for the size of the deal as well as finding the person with the organizational authority to bless the deal as good for the organization. Sometimes those last two people are one and the same, often they are not.
A pre-sales technical role would be primarily responsible for helping organizations articulate their technical requirements for adoption of a tool, working with the client during the proof of concept to make sure that the tool will meet their technical requirements and then aquiring the technical "yes" from the members of the technical assessment team that the tool has met the articulated requirements. This person would work closely with the traditional sales account manager who is chasing the money and the organizational folks to approve the deal. Typically getting through the proof oc concept is a technical milestone to moving the sales process forward. Proofs of concept are expensive from a sales perspective for both sales organizations and clients. If you can sell by referral this is much preferred.
As part of a pre-sales technical team you would also be called upon for software tool demonstrations to prospective clients. Be forewarned, you may have to manage your sales Diva as much as your propective clients' expectations on the tools. Sales types never want to hear the word "no" in a sales process from a pre-sale engineer. If you say it, expect to receive a lecture and be prepared to stand your ground.
The RFP is a type of buying activity where you get structured bids from multiple vendors for a specified need/system/platform.
It obviously varies depending on the buying organization, but the ones that I have been a part of are usually very complex and you need to pass through various stages until you get to the group that makes the final decision.
There are companies where the Pre-Sales group will also handle the RFP; but I've also seen whole groups who's purpose was to manage this processes, specially for government agencies.