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What is Presales?

(a.k.a. Sales Engineering, Solutions Consulting)

Presales is the phase of technology sales, most prominently in Business-to-Business (B2B) software sales, that takes place before the sale is closed. Solutions Consultants (a.k.a. Sales Engineers) work alongside Sales Representatives (a.k.a. Account Executives, or AEs for short) during the Presales phase to validate the compatibility, and sell the value, of the technology. 

Let’s break this down a little further…

In order to facilitate the sale of a piece of technology, B2B companies often need product experts on the sales team. Although Account Executives can effectively speak to the product and potentially even demo it, they are responsible for what’s called the “Business Win” which is validating that the solution will provide significant ROI to the customer. On the other hand, the role of the Solutions Consultant (SC) is to partner with the Account Executive to provide greater product expertise and achieve the “Technical Win.” The technical win is achieved by validating that the solution meets the customer’s technical requirements. 

Solutions Consultants achieve this technical win through the following activities:

Man presenting to a room of professionals

  • Product demonstrations

  • Discovery Meetings

  • Presentations

  • Answering Technical & Business Questions

To achieve that technical win, Solutions Consultants have to wear A LOT of hats and make use of both sides of their brain. Your right brain gets to play problem solver and technical expert, while your left brain uses empathy to build trust as technical advisor and uses creativity to build excitement about the technology through storytelling!

Sounds like fun right? If you agree, PreSales Academy is the best starting point for presales careers. Our bootcamp provides the #1 certification in the industry and supports you from the course through your job search!

You might be wondering why you’ve never heard of Presales before. That’s probably because Presales professionals go by many names...

Presales related job titles include:

woman helping another female coworker on a computer
  • Sales Engineer

  • Solutions Engineer

  • Sales Consultant

  • Solutions Consultant

  • Solution Architect

  • Value Engineer

  • Product Consultant

  • And many others…

So what else do Solutions Consultants do?

Technical Discovery/Scoping: Understanding customer challenges and requirements.

To achieve the technical win, it’s important to dive deep into the customer’s requirements, needs, and issues. Once your sales representative qualifies a prospective customer, they’ll invite you to the next call to learn about their technical needs. During these conservations, you’ll learn about the customer’s existing systems, determine necessary integrations, and uncover other crucial information that may impact how the solution is delivered.

Product Demos: Demonstrating the product or solution you are selling to prospects.

As a Solutions Consultant, you will give A LOT of product demonstrations. People want to see your software in action. You will have to find creative ways to tailor each presentation based on your prospect’s needs and to keep your audience engaged! For each demo you will need to understand who's on the call, what is each person’s role in the sale, and what is the best way to communicate how your solution can efficiently solve their unique needs.

Technical Validation: Guiding your customer through a pilot or proof-of-concept of the product. 

Sometimes a demo isn’t enough and a customer may want additional proof before investing in the product. If that’s the case, a Solutions Consultant will often lead or be heavily involved in the proof-of-concept (POC). This is where a small-scale version or prototype of the product is created to showcase the full potential of the product for a customer.

Product Feedback: Collaborating with internal Product and Engineering teams to influence product innovation

As a Solutions Consultant, you will spend your day talking to prospects about the solution, what issues they are trying to solve, and what additional features they want to see in your product. This makes you the perfect candidate to provide feedback to the Product and Engineering teams as well as give valuable insight to marketing about what might resonate with prospective customers.

Presales professionals, Sales Engineer, Solutions Consultants (...or whatever else you might call them) are a very unique role in technology companies across the globe. Not only is it an engaging career with a wide variety of responsibilities, but the high demand for the unique set of skills required for the role makes it a financially rewarding career too!


What to learn more about presales? Explore our FREE Introduction to Presales course!

headshot of Nina Berger

Nina Berger is based out of North Bethesda, MD. She has her master's degree in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University and previously worked as a Program Manager before transitioning careers into presales as the Senior Career Services Manager for PreSales Academy. She has a passion for helping career changers make the transition into presales. Connect with Nina on LinkedIn!


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