“I don’t think the playbook should be written in pen, I think it should be written in pencil because you need to be able to erase parts of it and adjust it. The core elements are the same, but every organization is unique. Every industry is unique. Every Solution is Unique. Taking a playbook and adapting it to a company or an industry is the fun part. You need to be flexible enough to know what works and what needs to be tweaked.” – Diwakar Prabhakar
In the Presales Edition of The 33 CXOs we explore the crucial role of the presales organisation in what is regarded as the greatest success story in software sales.
When John McMahon took over as the Head of Sales within BladeLogic, he had a clear vision to create a sales and presales organisation that was in complete unison. What transpired became a sales rhythm which remains the golden standard for best practice within the most successful technology companies in the world.
The effects of a value-driven, technical sales function transcended the boundaries of presales. The playbook has helped trailblaze best practice within Customer Success, Value Engineering, Professional Services and even Product Management.
We uncover the stories and playbooks of the most talented technical sales leaders in the industry who are driving the technology companies of the future.
Episode 7 features Diwakar Prabhakar, Vice President of Solutions Consulting at Sprinklr. With over 20 years of experience scaling diverse teams for high growth companies in the SaaS industry, Diwakar is a presales powerhouse. Working with global software leaders including BladeLogic, BMC, Medallia and AppDynamics, Diwakar has built an impressive career portfolio and has continually developed his skills to progress from unpacking boxes as a Customer Support Engineer straight out of college, to using his experience and credibility to drive and evolve business as Vice President of Solutions Consulting at the world’s leading Customer Experience Management platform.
“Revenue is a really good indicator of how well the company and the product is doing. I would almost say that the technology is secondary. It’s about the value that you can deliver, but the real proof is, are they willing to write the cheque? I think the revenue, the value and the technology are all of equal importance.”
With enough IP operations experience to let the customer know “I’ve been in your shoes before”, Diwakar brought an abundance of credibility and experience when he joined the BladeLogic pre-sales org. He was skilled in his field and confident in the product, but he soon realised that it was going to take more than a technological solution to win deals. For customers to buy the BladeLogic product in higher quantities, Diwakar recognised the need for enhancing the sales approach. Following the high-profile appointments of Steve Strachan and John McMahon, the thorough implementation of the MEDDIC framework began. At this point he realised “the process around selling the technology is more important than the technology itself.” Diwakar witnessed a huge upward trajectory from his continuously improving ability to communicate value, find pain points and build champions. He attached himself to critical business needs and has continued to trust, develop and adapt these core playbook principles throughout his career. This has enabled him to drive revenue and scale organisations at an astonishing rate.
“It’s the drive, the desire to learn, the ability to take risks and being honest with yourself about what you know and what you don’t know. No one at Medallia ever confused me for a subject matter expert. Every one of those 85 SEs that I hired knew more about the industry than I did. I learned from them and I wasn’t embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know much about the industry. So, be honest about what you don’t know and willing to put in the effort, I think goes a long way.”
In this vodcast you will discover:
- The early days of BladeLogic – how the playbook transformed the company and defined Diwakar’s career
- How to adjust the playbook to fit new organisations and industries
- Diwakar’s transparent approach to recruitment and advice for anyone entering the world of pre-sales
- The vital importance of a strong relationship between sales and pre-sales
Leading with transparency and integrity, Diwakar Prabhakar is an expert in building high performing, adaptable presales teams that can drive revenue in an industry that continues to innovate at an ever-increasing pace. We discuss his career path, lessons he has learnt, his recruitment strategy and ask him what area of technology or innovation he thinks will have the biggest impact on business over the next decade. This insightful discussion brings a new perspective to our understanding of pre-sales and is essential listening for those with an interest in sales strategy, as well as anyone with a passion for technology.