The best sales engineers ASK before they SHOW.
At some point in every demo your prospect is going to ask: “Does your product do XYZ?”
What you do next can make or break the deal.
You are giving a demo and your prospect asks, “Does your product support role-based access controls and permissions?”
Your product does support RBAC, so you excitedly say, “Yes! Let me show you!”
You immediately proceed to show how to set up user roles and teams and data permissions.
You log in as a user from EMEA and show how they only can see data for EMEA.
You log in as a user from APAC and show how they only can see data for APAC.
You then log in as the Global VP user and show how she can see all the data.
You ask, “Now that I have showed you our RBAC capabilities, can you see how they would help you restrict access to your data across your teams?”
Your prospect responds with a frown, “That doesn’t work for us. We are an open team and everyone should have access to all data. Looks like a lot of complexity that we do not need nor would want to pay for.”
You sadly realize that you:
❌ Wasted 10 minutes of valuable demo time
❌ Made your product seem more complex than it is
❌ Got your prospect thinking that they are going to be overpaying for features that they don’t want
You are giving a demo and your prospect asks, “Does your product support role-based access controls and permissions?”
Your product does support RBAC, but you calmly say, “I’m curious about that. Can you tell me more about your RBAC needs?” Then you wait…
Your prospect responds, “We are an open team and everyone should have access to all data. I want to make sure that my team doesn’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get access to the data they need.”
Knowing the reason behind their question, you confidently say, “The default setting in our product is that everyone has access to all data. No hoops. No jumping. No configuration required. Just instant access for everyone to all data.”
Your prospect replies, “That’s perfect. Exactly what we need right out-of-the-box! I looked at one of your competitors, and their product seemed really complex. Lots of configurations that we don’t need. You seem like a much better fit so far.”
You smile as you realize that you:
✅ Showed how your product meets your prospect’s needs (without even showing anything)
✅ Saved 10 minutes of valuable demo time
✅ Got your prospect thinking how easy your product is to use
✅ Created a competitive differentiator (even if your and your competitor’s products have the exact same RBAC features)
ASK before you SHOW! 🙌
Need an open presales workspace or one with RBAC for data protections across teams? Talk to one of our presales experts about how Homerun Presales supports both. Click here to get started!
The best presales leaders that we know bring 3 Presales Data Points to their CRO’s attention in sales forecast calls. Learn more about what they are and how they help you earn your seat at the table.
Sales forecast calls tell your sales leadership:
On every forecast call, the sales teams contributes 4 core Sales Data Points about each deal:
With this sales data, CROs run through various revenue scenarios to try and predict upcoming performance.
Historically presales teams have been excluded from forecast calls with the thinking “What could presales contribute that my AEs don’t already know?”
Using modern presales management solutions, like Homerun Presales, presales teams are now generating new and varied Presales Data through their regular day-to-day activities.
As a result, presales teams have extremely valuable data that no one else has, but everyone wants.
Bring these 3 Presales Data Points to your CRO to earn your seat at the ‘sales forecast’ table.
#1) Presales Warning Signs
Presales warning signs can take multiple forms, but they are how a presales team raises their hand and says “We are concerned about this deal…”
Your CRO will SIT UP and LEAN FORWARD the moment you start sharing a Presales Report that shows all deals that are in Commit, but have at least one Presales Warning Sign.
Once seen, your CRO will never be able to live without it!
#2) Presales Stage
The Presales Stage is the presales equivalent to the sales stage, but from a presales perspective.
Suppose you are told that a key deal is in Salesforce’s standard Stage 3, which is ‘Demo or meeting’.
What does that really tell you?
Did we already do a demo?
Are we doing another one?
Are we building a custom demo?
Are we doing an onsite workshop?
Are we doing a POC or POV?
Your Presales Stages can tell you! 👍
#3) Technical Win
When defined and used properly, the Technical Win can be a key signal about your product's technical-goodness-of-fit to meet your prospect's needs.
Do you have the required features?
Did you satisfy the POC/POV test/use cases with demonstrated success?
If you do not know yet, then the deal should not be in Commit!
Do you need helping bring your CRO the Presales Data that will earn you a seat at the 'sales forecast' table? Talk to one of our presales experts about the Homerun Presales workspace and the Presales Data that can generate for you. Click here to get started!
Homerun Presales' shareable Evaluation Plans and interactive Customer Portal are a winning combination for running POCs/POVs.
Here are our 7 steps to POC/POV success.
STEP 1: Create reusable Evaluation Plan Templates in your Homerun Template Library that include your standard steps/tasks, POC/POV test/use cases, and success criteria. 🔁
STEP 2: Assemble a specific Evaluation Plan for each POC/POV by copying in the relevant Templates and customizing the Plan as needed along with any team/task assignments, due dates, and supporting materials/documentation. 📋
STEP 3: Decide which parts of your Evaluation Plan that you want to share with your prospect and invite them to view and interact with the shared Evaluation Plan. 📨
STEP 4: Collaboratively track POC/POV progress with your prospect via the Homerun Customer Portal. Document status, message back-and-forth, manage files, and capture notes. 🤝
STEP 5: Respond to alerts about Blockers for unexpected POC/POV issues or failing test/use cases and work with your prospect to resolve them. ❌
STEP 6: Conclude the POC/POV with demonstrated success when you and your prospect achieve 100% 'green complete' on all test/use cases. ✅
STEP 7: Celebrate the Technical Win and being named Vendor of Choice (VOC)! 🙌
Do you need help keeping your POCs and POVs on track, on time, and in scope while building a more collaborative relationship with your prospects? Talk to one of our presales experts about Homerun's shareable Evaluation Plans and interactive Customer Portal. Click here to get started!
Presales Leader: “Our POCs drag on and never seem to end.”
Homerun: “Do you create and share formal Evaluation Plans?”
Presales Leader: “Sort of…”
Homerun: “Well that’s sort of why they drag on. Let’s chat!”
For many companies, the Proof-of-Concept (POC) or Proof-of-Value (POV) is an essential and/or mandatory step in the sales cycle.
The POC/POV is also one of the most expensive presales activities that you can engage in.
If you must do them… and if they’re internally expensive… then do them right
The key to a great POC/POV is the Evaluation Plan.
The Evaluation Plan aligns you and your prospect on:
Creating an Evaluation Plan can be challenging:
Show your prospect that you are experienced and value their time by recommending a list of use cases that will demonstrate how your product solves their business problems.
Your Evaluation Plans should lead customers to test the most valuable features of your product without overloading or overwhelming them with every bell and whistle.
After creating the initial version of your Evaluation Plan, share it with your prospect and collaborate until it is finished. You should be able to ask your prospect “If you test all the use cases, and we satisfy all the success criteria… will we be your vendor of choice?” If the answer is no, then iterate on your Evaluation Plan until the answer is yes.
If your prospect will be hands-on with your product, your Evaluation Plan should include step-by-step instructions for how to test each use case. Your prospect is not yet an expert in your product. Don’t assume your product is as easy to use as you think it is!
You and your prospect should be both able to digitally track the status of each of use case (e.g. In Progress, Completed, or Blocked), highlight and alert on blockers, and document the results.
Doing so keeps your POC/POV on track, on time, and in scope.
Homerun's Shareable Evaluation Plans and Customer Portal are the perfect way to do this!
A well-designed Evaluation Plan brings your POC/POV to a logical conclusion as quickly as possible with demonstrated success. Congratulations! This is the very definition of the technical win.
Do you need help keeping your POCs and POVs on track, on time, and in scope? Talk to one of our presales experts about Homerun's Evaluation Plans. Click here to get started!
We are pleased to announce that Homerun Presales achieved both SOC2 and GDPR compliance in July 2022.
“As the presales workspace that gets presales teams through their day with one place to track, manage, organize, and inform their presales efforts, our customers trust us to prioritize the security and privacy of their data,” says Brian Lewis, Co-Founder and CRO at Homerun Presales. “We take that trust seriously and wanted to formalize our compliance programs and how we monitor ongoing adherence.”
Our Path to Compliance
From Day 1 at Homerun Presales, we have implemented internal processes, policies, and controls to ensure strong corporate and information security.
In early 2022, we used a leading third-party security and compliance platform to formally structure and implement our processes, policies, and controls related to SOC2 and GDPR compliance.
In July 2022, we underwent a third-party SOC2 audit and successfully achieved our SOC2 certification.
We continue to use our third-party security and compliance platform every day to ensure ongoing SOC2 and GDPR compliance.
A key part of our ongoing SOC2 compliance is having a third-party security firm conduct recurring penetration tests (aka, pen tests) of the Homerun Presales platform to detect potential security vulnerabilities. Our most recent pen test yielded no security vulnerabilities of concern.
Employee, Operations, and Governance Policies
Related to our compliance programs, Homerun Presales maintains a variety of internal employee, operations, and governance policies, such as:
“Our compliance programs, certifications, and policies are just another way that we show customers our ongoing dedication to making Homerun Presales the leading enterprise-grade platform for high-performing presales teams,” says Brian Lewis.
SOC2 (aka, SOC 2 and SOC II) stands for “Systems and Organizations Controls 2” and was developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) as a set of criteria for managing customer data based on five “trust service principles”: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy. SOC2 compliance reports are unique to each organization based on their specific business practices and controls to comply with one or more of the trust principles.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was signed into law in EU with the goal of protecting the personal data and privacy of individuals in the EU and UK. GDPR defines the processes, policies, and controls that businesses must take if they collect data from anyone in the EU and UK. GDPR gives individuals more transparency about their data, how it is collected, and how it us used; gives them more control over their data; and protects their data from unwanted and unwarranted access.
Need more security or data privacy-related information to support your evaluation of Homerun Presales? Click here to get started!