To improve sales, pay more attention to presales

5th July 2015 |   Homayoun Hatami, Candace Lun Plotkin and Saurabh Mishra

As buying behaviour becomes more sophisticated, presales has emerged as a vital engine in the sales pipeline, argues McKinsey & Co.

To improve sales,  pay more attention  to presales

At a time when CEOs are on a constant quest for growth, there is a promising but often overlooked capability available close to home: presales. Building on our analysis of what drives performance in our book Sales Growth, we have found that companies with strong presales capabilities consistently achieve win rates of 40% or more in new business and 80% or more in renewal business – well above average rates.

Bring presales into the light

At a time when buying behaviour has become much more sophisticated, presales has emerged as a vital part of the sales pipeline. Presales has a crucial role in qualifying leads, putting together the best bids, and delivering compelling proposals. These activities have two to three times more impact on revenue generation than generating leads. Souping up the presales engine can yield a five-point improvement in win rates and a 10-20% acceleration in pipeline velocity (see diagram).
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Partner at McKinsey

Homayoun Hatami is a partner at McKinsey in Paris and a co-author of Sales Growth: Five Proven Strategies from the World’s Sales Leaders (Wiley 2012).

Global Director of Knowledge for B2B Marketing & Sales at McKinsey

Candace Lun Plotkin is the Global Director of Knowledge for B2B Marketing & Sales at McKinsey, and has worked with over 500 marketing and sales organisations in the past 20 years.

Associate Principal at McKinsey

Saurabh Mishra is an associate principal in McKinsey’s Delhi office and the leader of the Commercial Excellence service line in Telecoms, Media, and Technology Practice in India.