Hunters + Unicorns: The Presales Edition – Seong Park #009
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 the reins at 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 gold 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 9 features Seong Park, Senior Vice President, Customer Success & Field Engineering at ThoughtSpot. Seong first embarked on a career in tech in the early 90’s, taking a position at The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, where he proudly built their first career site. From there he developed his technical skillset in Developer and DBA roles, established himself in the field and joined BladeLogic in 2004 as their 10th Application Engineer. Having mastered the art of presales, Seong went on to play an instrumental role in growing revenue from $30 million to $300+ million at MongoDB, building out their technical presales, business value consulting, product marketing and developer teams and is now leading ThoughtSpot’s global Presales, Customer Success, Professional Services and Business Value Consulting functions to help organizations get the most value from search and AI-driven analytics.
“You need to be able to shut up and listen. There is also a core skill around being able to story tell through a demo and whether you’re presenting, doing a demonstration, a proof of concept or some type of validation, you’re weaving a story. It took me time to really understand that there’s an art and science to these things.”
Seong had a passion for learning and a high degree of curiosity with the concept of an “interconnected mesh of computers and people”. His innate ability to marry technology and business made him an ideal candidate to execute BladeLogic’s pioneering methodology-driven sales strategy and with John McMahon at the helm, galvanizing the sales team and setting forward with discipline, accountability, and a playbook that worked, Seong learnt the core concepts and philosophies that he needed to scale his career. His ability to evolve, intuitively adapt and learn from his colleagues and mentors as their “partner in crime” led to continual professional recognition and subsequent advancement into high-octane management and leadership roles.
“ThoughtSpot is a great opportunity for me to be able to craft the customer journey and own it end to end. Ultimately, we want to make sure we can live true to the promise of what we’ve sold a customer because if we talk about champions, they will fight for us and sell for us when we’re not there. It’s our duty and obligation to give them the evidence of the return on their investment on what they’ve championed us for.”
In this vodcast you will discover:
- Defining the presales playbook at BladeLogic and its influence over the SaaS world that we live in today
- How to build a successful presales organization
- The criteria needed to transition from presales into leadership
- The secrets to Seong’s continual career progression and advice for aspiring presales individuals
Seong Park is a phenomenal communicator with a unique ability to articulate a vision that resonates both internally within a company as well as externally with customers. Motivated by a “fear of failure” and a determination to excel at his craft, Seong leads with integrity and has spent his career continuously setting the bar higher for execution excellence. We discuss Seong’s remarkable career progression in the SaaS industry, gain insight into the presales landscape past and present and find out which area of innovation Seong believes will have the biggest impact on business in the next decade. A thoroughly enjoyable, eye-opening insight into the world of pre-sales, this episode is essential listening for those with an interest in sales strategy, as well as anyone with a passion for the technology space.