When we started the PreSales Collective in April 2020, we set out to create a collaborative space for PreSales professionals to connect, learn, and grow. As as the community grew and talked to more and more people in the profession, we realized that there was a massive gap in PreSales - companies are having trouble hiring but at the same time individual job-seekers are having trouble getting jobs in our field. There is a big disconnect. That’s why we created the PreSales Academy - to give individuals from diverse backgrounds a true shot at landing a PreSales job and to help companies fill their open roles.
What is the PreSales Academy About?
It’s a part-time reskilling program that runs 10 weeks, designed for people who are looking for a career change and need skills and competencies around PreSales to land a role in the field. It features rigorous live instruction and discovery & demo roleplays with coaches, as well as plenty of offline assignments.
The goal of the Academy is to get students the outcome of landing a great PreSales job, but we’re also focused on setting them up to lead successful, long-lasting careers in PreSales. We help them build a foundational professional network by connecting them with the PreSales Collective community through the program. That foundation is the springboard to launch their career. Our community really wants to help and that’s incredibly humbling to be a part of.
How does the Academy Help Individuals?
We designed the PreSales Academy to provide a leg-up to people who would otherwise struggle to get into the tech world or a PreSales role on their own - it’s a "fast-pass" to beginning your PreSales journey.
Those of us in PreSales, recognize it as "the best job no one knows about". We’re trying to help provide more access to this great career path - it is well-paid, challenging, and rewarding. And we’re committed to providing access to those who have the desire and drive but not a lot of resources by offering a deferred tuition option that’s only paid if the student gets a job making more than $70k per year.
We’ve also done a lot of research on diversity in PreSales, and what we’ve seen isn’t great. It’s nearly 80% white and 84% male. But our first PreSales Academy cohort breaks that mold: it’s 47% female and only 33% white. We’re really proud of that progress, and committed to trying to bring diversity into the program and move the needle on the field as a whole.
Our curriculum is also something we’re proud of. Training partners like Great Demo! and 2Win! provide content and instruction to some of the biggest PreSales teams out there, and they’re helping provide our students with key skills. And the rest of our curriculum is developed by the seasoned professionals in the community so it’s overall a well-rounded program formed with diverse perspectives.
How Does the Academy Help Employers and Hiring Managers?
It’s no secret that we’re in a war for talent right now in the PreSales world. It seems like almost everyone is hiring, and talent is hard to find - especially diverse talent. I've experienced the struggles as a hiring manager and others in the community we’ve talked to voice the same challenges with hiring.
The PreSales Academy is designed to help vet and train talent and bring them to you. We have admissions interviews to screen for the most promising candidates, and we hold our students to a high degree of competency on roleplays and also a high standard of professionalism.
Each PreSales Academy student is trained by a PreSales professional - our dozens of instructors have decades of combined experience as hiring managers or expert SCs. They offer coaching, mentorship, and training to attendees in the program.
And taking one of our graduates on board reduces your hiring risk because you’ll know the candidates have the experience and knowledge needed, all for a small placement fee that’s much less than the cost of external recruiting or training.
What’s Next for the PreSales Academy?
We’re wrapping up our first cohort and want to get these folks into some great jobs - if you need talent, let us know! We’re still adding hiring partners but we’ll cap it soon.
Next, we’ll scale the program to get it to more people - first in the US, and then eventually in other regions as well. We want to scale effectively and build out the right way so everyone’s getting value.
Ultimately, we’re looking to create a win-win scenario for everyone. Hiring managers get access to pre-qualified talent that’s fairly low risk. Individuals get to launch a long and fruitful career in PreSales, changing their lives for the better. And the Academy is able to continue to grow and broaden its impact across the globe.
Do you know anyone who’s interested in PreSales, but doesn’t know how to get started? Refer them to the Academy! Maybe you’ve interviewed someone who had potential but needed a bit more knowledge or experience - send them our way!
And if you’re hiring PreSales roles as well, get in touch with us to see how we can help.
Help us spread the word about the best profession out there and help us change lives for the better!
As Co-Founder of PreSales Collective and PreSales Academy, Yuji is on a mission to help people succeed in a career that they love. In the past, he's contributed to the rapid growth of two successful startups (Apptio and Outreach) through helping build their professional services and PreSales functions. Prior to startup-land, he started his career in management consulting at Deloitte Consulting. Connect with Yuji on LinkedIn.