Cofounding PreSkale: The story of where and how it started
Just last year, I was talking to Prashanth Ganesh (COO at PreSkale) about a way to provide a better workspace for PreSales professionals to improve team productivity, and a way to bring PreSales into the center of all GTM functions to improve revenue numbers – that's how PreSkale was born.
PreSkale is an all-in-one PreSales intelligence platform that doesn't just provide a powerful workspace to PreSales professionals but also caters to the needs of the organization – building better teams, healthy resource allocation, improving revenue pipeline, improving product adoption, and connecting PreSales insights with GTM teams.
Fast forward to today, we have raised $500,000, backed by BoldCap, PointOne Capital, and other strategic investors including Sathya Nellore Sampath, Ajith Sowndararajan, Vaidhyanathan, Jayagopal and Archana Priyadarshini. We're blessed to have people who believe in us, and in our vision.
Here's what Sathya Nellore Sampat, General Partner at BoldCap, has to say about us, "PreSales is a relatively large team in most companies, and they generally collaborate across sales, product, and engineering teams. They enable sales teams to sell better and bring customer intelligence, and product requirements back to product and engineering teams. They are important, yet a massively underserved team, and that’s what got us excited."
Our history and our vision
I grew up in Coimbatore, a city in the southern part of India. Just a fun-fact, the city’s also called the “Manchester of South India,” owing to its roots in the textile industry. The city's background has a blend of old traditions and temples along with centers for tech, engineering, and businesses. So me and my friends were always connected to the wider world.
In the early days of my career, I worked at Freshworks in Chennai – that’s eastern India – as a hybrid PreSales + Sales person. The company put me in a position where I was heavily involved with the technical sales as well as general sales operations, and this in turn, helped me gain product expertise that gave me the “superpower” to close deals faster.
Leaders in my organization took notice of my new approach and gave me an opportunity to build on my skills and work on growing a CRM product, Freshsales, in the Europe region. Here too, my product expertise helped me translate product-value to my prospects.
After every successful discovery call, I was able to bring forth solutions that my prospects could rely on. It was all because of my strong-hold over product knowledge and the ability to communicate product value. During my time at Freshworks, I was able to understand and connect with this quote, “selling a solution over selling a product.“
In 2019, I joined RFPIO to pilot their Europe expansion plans. I worked with enterprise clients – managing the documents, meetings, product discussions, POCs, RFPs, and other assets across dozens of tools became super-tedious. Here, I was preoccupied with tasks that never allowed me to learn new skills. Also, the lack of a centralized platform hindered my workflow. No one could track, analyze, or determine my influence – essentially PreSales’ influence – over the entire sales lifecycle.
That was not fair, and it just struck me – I had found a loophole inside the sales ecosystem.
Being a problem solver from the very start, I took it upon myself to rectify this unpredictable mess, and bring forth a solution that works for me. For all these years, I was designing solutions for my clients, now it was time to design one for myself – I built one-pagers.
These one-pagers contained all of my evaluation plans, interactions with my prospects, and all the nitty-gritty essential information. They helped me keep track of my accounts, make sharp decisions based on historical data, as well as help other teams and colleagues from product, customer success, and sales teams to reach post-purchase success quickly.
I would later share these one-pagers with internal and external stakeholders as a guiding agent to make smarter decisions, make evaluations easier, and build great rapport with the prospects.
These early experiences shaped and guided me, and put me in a place where there was only one thing left to do – build a product that solves these challenges, not just for me but for the many-many sales engineers, solution consultants, and technical sales leaders face everyday. I joined hands with my long-time friend and then dev-ops engineer Prashant Ganesh, who connected with my idea, and joined me as the COO and together we started PreSkale.
With a team of about 13 people, I can say we have come considerably far from our inception. We've been building our product, growing our pipeline, hiring, and supporting our customers. And I can proudly say that our customers are already seeing great improvement in their productivity and are able to create a greater impact in their work.
Here's what Mark from Nauto has to say, "Other vendors that we saw were either fit into a box, where they only focused on pilots, proof of concepts, or trying to define a playbook for new hires or SEs. But PreSkale was the one solution that we thought was truly holistic across the entire PreSales life cycle."
Moving forward, we'd like to bring in more engineers to support the product infrastructure, and help ship out features at pace. We have made some great hires on the GTM side (I did most of the marketing on socials so far) to share our vision and passion for the PreSales function to the world and we also wish to expand on that in the near future.
Basically, we want to triple our team by the next year to support our customer base.