Earlier this week I was talking to an Exec from a high growth, London based, FinTech (Financial Technology) company. Halfway through the discussion the conversation moved onto a business growth hurdle I'd personally experienced many times over the years; first working in growing ERP Channel Partners creating their first PreSales team and then as part of the Channel Management team of a global software author trying to encourage Partners to invest in PreSales resource and skills. Time to put pen to paper; well fingers to keyboard.
The Problem Definition
You can't have the same individuals both implementing / deploying your technology (the Implementation Function) and supporting the sales cycle (the PreSales Function) at the same time. All that will happen is that you'll get into a cycle of selling then not selling [see diagram] which will seriously restrict your business growth.
All growing Tech companies with complex products or services will eventually have to overcome this problem. The solution is to build, invest in and develop a separate PreSales team.
A Growing Business
As a Tech company grows its business, it will naturally hire sales people (driven by quota achievement and pipeline) and, as sales are made, hire an implementation team (driven by utilisation rates (75% - 80% maybe), revenue, cash flow and customer success).
As you increasingly sell to mid to large-sized prospects or sophisticated buyers, they will expect you to split the sales focus and technical, trusted-advisor role:
So lets follow the sales cycles and see what happens (see diagram)...
Green - Selling
Yellow - Can't Sell
Green - Selling... Again
Its a perfect storm. You can't sell anything until the Consultants finish their last implementation.