Why Solutions is the New Pilot of B2B Sales

Sam Wortman Avatar photo

The new world of B2B buying is here, and the roles of Sales and PreSales are shifting and blending. While Sales has been a long-time institution, PreSales stands out as the department experiencing exponential growth–in fact, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that it’s growing more than 2X when compared with the average of other professions. With more responsibilities, visibility, and rewards, this role is being increasingly leaned on for their technical acumen and sales skills, as the technology of solutions, identification of use cases, and demands of the B2B buyer have become more complex.

At the core of the evolving PreSales and Sales roles is the modern buyer who wants a sure thing and expects transparency and collaboration. This buyer has been burned before and bounced around the sales process one too many times. They’re well-educated and want to form their own opinions. But ultimately, the buyer needs help aligning their needs with solutions and activating new users, and they demand access to expert support and guidance every step of the way. 

Let’s dive into the top three reasons why Sales teams are looking to PreSales for strategies to meet the demands of the modern B2B buyer.

The relationship-centric approach is no longer enough in a solution-driven world

Pitching a product on the golf course or schmoozing with buyers at NBA games is the old world of sales. Sitting courtside isn’t the place to have conversations about the complexities and use cases of B2B solutions—it’s where you drink a beer with a buddy, and the modern B2B buyer isn’t interested in that anymore.

While building business relationships and partnerships are always important, today’s buyers are more invested in getting to know the solutions than they are you as a person. The buyer wants to cut out the smooth-talking and get right to the point, which is why PreSales’ mission is to quickly identify—with only a call or two—if one of their company’s solutions even fits their prospect’s needs. When a clear value delivery is surfaced and quantified, PreSales jumps in and gets hands-on and collaborative with the buyer from day one. 

Sales reps are taking notice of this preferred buying experience created by PreSales and are educating themselves on the intricacies of the solutions they sell and how to approach buyers in this changing landscape. Sales reps are increasingly becoming domain experts that don’t need to lean on PreSales as frequently for product and solution questions as well as qualification and discovery, which frees up PreSales to focus on accelerating deals.

Modern B2B buyers are “sales-proof” & want evidence of the value delivery immediately

The old way of selling is notorious for convincing customers to buy what they’re selling even if it’s not the right fit or solution, and this phenomenon has led to buyers being disaffected and disillusioned by the sales process. Buyers end up with expensive products and solutions that don’t meet their needs, and they’re forced into high-risk commitments with little transparency. 

This environment is why buyers are hungry for a new kind of professional that is a domain expert and laser-focused on finding the right solution for their use cases.  

PreSales, a group of professionals once undervalued and underused, has exploded in this space as a disruptor to the old world of sales. With the people skills and charisma of a salesperson and the technical wizardry of an engineer, they bridge the gap in knowledge that Sales reps back in the day couldn’t. But Sales reps are not what they were 20 years ago. Taking strategies from the Sales Engineer playbook, this new breed of reps has the expertise required to assess if a solution can deliver immediate value to a buyer. 

This dynamic between modern buyers and the new purchasing experience delivered by PreSales and Sales is shaking up technology companies. Sales reps are adopting the traits of the best PreSales professionals and getting buyers to trust them to uniquely address their needs and vice versa. They’re taking notes from PreSales to build experiences where the buyer doesn’t feel sold to but rather feels like they’ve gained a partner in crafting their team’s future. 

Buyers are highly educated & want to work with solution experts

More often than not, today’s buyers are well-informed about a company’s solutions months before the first point of contact. They’re highly educated and knowledgeable and want to work with experts that will guide them to the very best solution for their use cases.

While Sales reps are great at creating relationships, they’re not always built on a foundation of product expertise and guidance. Sales reps are realizing, like PreSales, that to succeed in B2B tech, they need to understand the buyer’s plight and the intricacies of a solution, so they can qualify that buyer and point them in a direction that will immediately deliver value. 

While many PreSales professionals have STEM undergraduate and graduate degrees that hasn’t stopped Sales reps from recognizing what they need to do to level up and deliver a world-class purchasing experience. Each individual that touches the sales process has the opportunity to dedicate time to learning the technology they’re selling as well as the very software engineer who created it. 

The pilots of modern B2B buying experiences

B2B companies are increasing their investments in their PreSales organizations, realizing that they’re the key to influencing and enabling this new buying behavior to successful outcomes. Sales will always be a part of this equation but unlocking success at scale begins with PreSales.

It’s PreSales who’s the best engineered to take modern selling to the next level and win over the “sales-proof” buyer. So if you’re a Sales rep, you just may want to pick up a few PreSales tricks. 

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Sam Wortman Avatar photo January 13, 2022