As the consulting industry continues to evolve and become more competitive, presales has become a critical part of the sales process. When we talk to our customers, we hear they’re all navigate the same challenges and to keep the cost of presales low and still differentiate themselves from the competition. Let us share with your the three reasons we see cost of presales going up and offer some help in managing this.
In these busy times, clients expect more value, and they want it delivered faster. This means that even in the presales process, clients expect good value. They also expect you to act as a trusted advisor throughout this whole process. This puts pressure on consulting companies to invest more time and resources in presales, resulting in higher costs.
On top of that, the same clients are more demanding when it comes to requirements. They want customized services, workshops and reports that fit their unique needs and will definitely not settle for anything standard. As a result, consulting companies must invest more time in understanding each client's specific requirements, which, again, adds to the overall cost of presales.
This is nothing new of course, but it’s going hard for a couple of years. Competition in the consulting industry is on the rise, with new players entering the market and established firms expanding their offerings. To stay competitive, consulting companies need to differentiate themselves from the competition, which requires more time and resources in all the work they do. This goes for the deliverables towards their existing customers, but also in the presales process.
To differentiate themselves, consulting firms spend a lot of time and resources demonstrating their USPs and provide evidence of their ability to deliver results. This requires conducting in-depth market research, developing new offerings and most important, investing in new technologies. All of these activities seemingly add to the overall cost of presales, although some may also prove beneficial in the future for lowering costs.
As client requirements become more complex, consulting companies need to involve more senior consultants, architects, and domain experts in the presales process. In some cases, consulting companies may need to involve eight or more domain experts to develop a proposal.
More time and resources in the presales process because of the complexity, also adds to the overall cost. Additionally, the involvement of more senior consultants and architects may require higher salaries or fees.
The 3 factors mentioned above pump up the presales costs and put pressure on the overall margins of consulting companies. Changing client behavior, increased competition, and more complex offerings are all contributing to the higher costs. To maintain profitability, they need to find ways to streamline their presales processes and reduce costs without sacrificing quality. One of the easiest ways of doing this is investing in new technologies, something we already mentioned before. Helped by more efficient processes, the implementation of intelligent solutions like AI, can bring down the cost dramatically.