Riding the PreSales Wave

Sam Wortman Avatar photo

How did a writer and a surfer end up in PreSales?

Honestly, a year ago, if you asked me what PreSales was, I would have quickly reached into my pocket for my phone to search for whatever that was. 

Today, I am so happy I made that initial web search. The more I learn about PreSales, the more I realize it’s a superpower.   

When I was chatting with Vivun’s VP of Marketing, Greg Howard, the other day, he perhaps defined better than anyone had before that my occupation as not just a writer or content creator but a true digital nomad. 

This immediately struck a chord with me, as I have worked on a wide range of projects from building enterprise-size websites and writing eBooks to creating data visualizations and pitching op-eds. The diversity of the projects are by design, not accident. Early in my career, my largest singular focus was acquiring a digital toolbox that would one day allow me to do content management and strategy for technology companies. 

And it was in this rhetorical and digital wandering that I happened upon Vivun and found a home I am excited about.

The opportunity to work with a product powered by AI 

Working in the professional world as a writer can often feel like being a chameleon—you blend into whatever company or outlet you are working with and your voice becomes synonymous with theirs. Unfortunately, not every company, product, or service, you create content for necessarily aligns with your interests or beliefs. 

When I discovered Vivun, I found a company and product I believe in. If you told me when I graduated college that one day I would be able to combine my passions for writing and AI, I would have told you finding—and then getting—that gig is next to impossible. (Oh am I glad I found it!)

Since I was young, I have been fascinated by AI/ML, reading every Kurt Vonnegut sci-fi novel I could get at my local library, tinkering with computers, working with autoregressive language models that use deep learning. One of the most fascinating applications of autoregressive language models, that I was also lucky enough to work with during my time at Fractl, a content marketing agency, and that everybody should know about, is GPT-3 by OpenAI. GPT-3 is an AI capable of writing code, creating memes, generating fictious conversations between historical figures, building web layouts, and more. It’s mind-blowing how human-like it is.

It was clear to me then and still is now that AI/ML is the future. Vivun understands this, the Hero platform is powered by it, and it is one of the main reasons I applied for this job knowing little about PreSales beyond a web search.  

Specifically, I’m most enthusiastic about the Hero platform’s use of—what I argue is one of AI’s biggest strengths—Natural Language Processing (NLP). For those who don’t know, NLP—most simply explained—helps machines read text by simulating the human ability to understand language. Vivun’s Hero platform uses data science tools including NLP to cluster text patterns from feedback to make recommendations about product-market fit, as well as intakes various inputs about each deal to project the likelihood of closing. The accuracy of the projections and the confidence AI builds in a Presales leader’s ability to stand behind those numbers is a game-changer. 

Ultimately, AI and Vivun are all about growth and using technology to make humans more productive, efficient, precise, and fulfilled. With these technologies, gut feeling business decisions for PreSales leaders are a thing of the past. 

Writing is about storytelling, and Vivun has a great story to tell. 

The best coaches are players themselves—Doc Rivers, Pat Riley—and that’s the story with Vivun’s CEO, Matt Darrow. 

A decade ago, Matt started off as a Sales Engineer when PreSales was still ill-defined and in its infancy, its strategic power mostly ignored and greatly underappreciated. However, Matt understood what PreSales could be when few were even looking in its direction. He realized that Sales Engineers desperately needed the same quality, niche tools that grace software categories like e-commerce and customer service. 

Matt learned the SE trade working for tech companies like Zuora and Big Machines, seeing what was successful and what wasn’t, devising strategies along the way that would ultimately result in his creation of Vivun. In short: the player became the coach. 

Creating software for an industry that most people, and even businesses, underestimate or have little understanding of is tough, but Matt knows PreSales and what PreSales professionals need perhaps better than anyone. 

And what results is an incredible product, a robust platform for PreSales created by PreSales.  Matt took a risk for software he believed in and that only a small number of people truly understood at the time. 

His story is inspiring to me, and it is a large part of why I believe Vivun will continue to be successful for years to come. Matt made sure Vivun isn’t just about software; it’s also about innovation and process and grit. As a writer, I want to amplify the incredible feats Vivun is accomplishing by telling its story like the true “Hero” it is. 

Experimenting with content in an emerging industry

PreSales is a relatively new industry, lacking the historical content performance data that content managers typically rely on when devising a strategy. However, it is this absence of information that attracts me most to PreSales, as it’s an exciting opportunity to tinker and experiment, paving the way for PreSales content generation and strategy for years to come.  

I hope to fill this PreSales information gap and create a seamless omnichannel experience for SEs to learn more about their industry and Vivun’s products. When you can interact via content with customers at every stage of the buying process, you can begin to shape the narrative. 

Everything considered

Simply put, I’m at Vivun because I believe in the product, technology, and people. The chance to create a content strategy for a platform powered by AI and define an up-and-coming industry are opportunities I’m not going to miss out on. 

If you’re interested in sharing a PreSales story or would like to learn more about how Hero by Vivun uses AI to identify missed revenue and product-market gaps, you can reach out to us here.

Sam Wortman Avatar photo March 31, 2021