The Pre-Sales Equation

  • Better understand the many factors that may impact a deal
  • Use the equation variables as a guide for conversations and deal design

Quick primer on the Enterprise Presale

Qualification and Deal Design: an example

The Equation

One version of the Presales Equation — far from complete or definitive. Please treat as a starting point.

How do I use it?

  • SOW size: Very straightforward. We’d like it to be over $XXX,000.
  • Logo value: If the SOW size is too small, we may pursue it anyway if it is a strategic logo. Any executive or account manager would tell you closing Apple is worth a lot; it doesn’t mean you give your work away for free, but you’re also not playing by the same rules.
  • Client simplicity: The initial SOW size looks good, but the complexity indicates too much overhead — there are 20 stakeholders that all need to approve from the client’s side, as well as a complex MSA process, so we may disqualify based on the expected complexity and effort to close the deal.
  • Preferred roles & SoftServe ownership: SoftServe performs best when we can add value at the business level. We can certainly staff engineers, as it’s our legacy business, but we’ll be able to create much more value for the client if we are managing and owning the project, and working with executives on the client side to align on business drivers for the work. This often means the roles for the project include Architect, BA, and Manager. We may even take a smaller deal if we’re engaging on these terms, because it can often lead to larger deals and a long term symbiotic relationship with the client.
  • Conversely, even if the up-front deal is large, if it’s a pure temporary staff aug it may not be a good fit. Then it would depend more on our circumstances and available resources. Some temp-staff-aug deals do work, but it’s not our preferred model.
  • Tail size: Simply put, if we estimate a higher value of future work, we may invest in a smaller deal. It’s often difficult to quantify the tail, so strategize with your team about the possibilities here.
  • Partner sales model: This is a tricky one. Every situation must be handled on its own. Be aware of partner dynamics, personalities, and preferred engagement models. This warrants its own post, so I’ll only say that each partner you work with has a different process and expectations, which can influence the way you pursue those individual deals.
  • Partner Alignment: If the deal is small, but it satisfies a strategic goal with a partner, we may invest with the expectation of a healthier partner relationship and future deal flow.
  • Competition: It’s always a factor, but sometimes we are one of just a few options, while other times we’re competing with dozens on an RFP. This can help you decide whether your team’s time is better spent on other deals, depending on the level of competition and your other options in the pipeline.
  • Risk Tolerance: If our team is risk tolerant, we may invest in smaller deals that have a chance to pay off later. This can be seasonal or situational, and differs greatly on many factors. It’s not something I can codify into an equation, but if you’re working with your local business unit, you should already have a good idea about what risks you’re willing (and unwilling) to take together.
  • Resource Availability: If the deal is well qualified, we find a way to deliver. If it is not, then our available resources may make or break the deal.

A Final Note




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