Demonstrating PreSales Impact and Using Data to Prove It

Sam Wortman Avatar photo

The pace of today’s workplace is like the speed of a bullet train—if a PreSales leader wants to effectively communicate their team’s value, they need to be fast and smart about how they present it. They need to tell a story. And they need to grab the executive leadership’s attention quickly, be consequential, deliver key stats without overwhelming them with a plethora of numbers that then become meaningless. After the first meeting, the goal is to establish a regular monthly or bi-monthly cadence for delivering updated performance metrics.

The delivery and packaging of data are everything. Do this right, purposefully, and efficiently, and PreSales teams will reap the rewards.

Communicating a PreSales team’s value to and throughout its organization is perhaps the most important job a PreSales leader has. Successfully doing this equates to C-suite buy-in, getting the budget and headcount needed, and closing key product gaps to win big deals. It means establishing PreSales as the revenue-generating arm of the larger sales team and the reality checkers of forecasts and bets made by AEs. Without getting the buy-in PreSales leaders need across the board, they’ll lack the resources to generate revenue, get new logos, decrease churn and promote and retain their best talent, and much more. 

So how does a PreSales leader tell the story of their data to get what they need to run a robust and profitable PreSales team?

  1. Give context to PreSales data

In this data-driven culture, telling the story of the data to executives and in interdepartmental meetings is critical to the prosperity of PreSales teams. The PreSales data shared needs to align with the initiatives of the audience while breaking down how PreSales directly impacts them. When telling a story with data, PreSales leaders should strive to elicit an emotional response that helps convince the listeners of the truth and reliability in their words and data. While the numbers are the numbers, working on a leader’s ability to provide context and narrative to them will help them advocate for their team and the resources they desire. Data is only as good as its interpretation.

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This is why before selecting the metrics a PreSales leader will ultimately champion, it’s important to ask questions like: Why does this data point matter? Can you look at this data visualization and understand the story in less than 10 seconds? How does your analysis affect your company? Does the data require action or inaction?

  1. Be succinct

PreSales leaders should aim for their data and the story they are trying to tell with it to be able to be digested and easily understood in its entirety in no more than 60 seconds. Knowing that it’s hard enough to get an executive’s attention, PreSales leaders must be purposeful and efficient when they have it. The delivery of data and narrative should be precise and clear. Don’t waste time on fluff, get to the point, and focus on impact, not process. 

This translates into no more than one or two pages worth of metrics and data visualizations. Always make sure the data presented is relevant to its audience and is practical. For instance, the data visualizations generated in Vivun’s PreSales Intel & Ops platform are an excellent source to quickly communicate how a metric is performing over time. 

The data visualization below reveals how long it takes for PreSales to secure the technical win in a deal. This is a tell-tale metric to share with CFOs and CROs, as it shows how much deal velocity and speed is created by a PreSales team when they drive to secure the technical win. Understanding and communicating to the right people how long it takes to get the technical win is an essential first step to optimizing PreSales operations. 

Number of days it takes for a PreSales team to secure the technical win by month
  1. Types of PreSales data to champion

Use data that matters. 

This is central to taking an accurate pulse on the health of a PreSales team. This means breaking down PreSales data into six essential categories: influence on revenue, key competitive wins and losses, SE efficiency, key product gaps, personnel stats, and long-term success metrics.

This unique data set can be found in Hero. From there, it’s simple to pull the insights needed to tell the “story” of a PreSales team. Consider the following: Your team is overworked, underpaid, and you just absolutely need another (or 5) SEs, and to get the budget and headcount increase, you have to pitch it to and convince your CFO. You need a metric to tell the hardship of the number of hours your team is reporting to the number of hours that exists in a standard work month. So you pull up the data on your PreSales team’s utilization rates for the past four months. 

PreSales team utilization rate by month

You find that in August and September, your team was over 100% utilized, which can only mean two things: your team needs more individuals or needs to spend its time more efficiently. But your team is working efficiently; you look at the utilization rate in conjunction with opportunity outcome and time, and you see your PreSales team is spending the majority of its time closing deals. You explain this to the CFO, give him context, and convince him you need the headcount increase to keep getting great returns. 

This channel of communication between the executive leadership and the PreSales leader is made possible by the art of data storytelling. It allows the executive team to truly understand the value PreSales is bringing to the table as well as the difficulties the team may experience. At the most fundamental level, when people understand each other’s stories, it builds compassion, understanding, and awareness that allows people to make more informed, conscientious decisions. 

Reveal your PreSales team’s value at a glance

To help you incorporate data storytelling today, we have created a free and downloadable one-page asset called PreSales Impact at a Glance that lets PreSales leaders enter data that helps communicate their value to leadership and at interdepartmental meetings quickly and seamlessly. With this asset, you can prove PreSales’ impact in less than 60 seconds and advocate for increases in headcount, disclose how PreSales impacts your company’s bottom line, assert that specific product gaps need to be closed to win business, and more. 

Data is power in today’s workplace, and leveraging storytelling techniques will help you take full advantage of it. Only then can you get your PreSales team the recognition and resources they need most—now.

To get the data set you need to prove your PreSales team’s value, sign up for a demo of Hero today!

Sam Wortman Avatar photo November 12, 2021