Acceldata’s Senior Presales Manager, Jaya Vanjani, has been aiding companies build and maintain relationships with their customers for over a decade. Beginning in 2007 and continuing with her current role with Acceldata, Jaya’s journey holds insight and life lessons for those attempting to break into the field.
What Was Your Background Before Acceldata?
I began my career as a software developer in 2007, and after several company mergers and life journeys, I was given the chance to try new skills. My focus areas became quality assurance, business analysis, and in 2014, at Netlink Software Group America Inc., transitioned from Business Analyst to a Pre-sales Analyst. I never looked back. And, in early 2021, I joined Acceldata.
What Has Changed In Pre-Sales Over The Years?
Today’s customer requires more than just a relationship-centric approach when it comes to fulfilling their demands. In other words, companies can no longer rely on relationships to close a deal. Customers need to know that their technical requirements will be met, and even exceeded, by a company’s product. For that to happen, sales and technical teams must collaborate to deliver the right solution that meets the customer’s needs. This process of deal conversion is where the role of pre-sales becomes very important.
What Do You Admire Most About Your Job?
As part of Acceldata’s dedication to customers, the sales team is focused on dedicated pre-sales support to create a customer-focused sales experience. This philosophy requires an in-depth understanding of individual customers and what they’re looking for, resulting in:
- Fully understanding their pain points
- Customizing a demo experience to their needs
- Providing a product pilot with complete documented information
What Challenges Do You & Your Team Overcome?
Customers must feel that a product is the right solution to their issues to proceed in the sales process. The technical aspect of closing sales has become necessary in reassuring a customer of this. Like many in sales, mastering the technical needs can be a challenge, but not one that my team and myself don’t overcome daily. I am present with the sales team and the customer for each interaction at inception, so I am always part of the process and learn each time. My job ultimately is to stitch together the solution suitable to customer needs, consisting of a timeline, effort involved, and support functions and pricing from Acceldata.
What Makes Acceldata Different From Other Companies You’ve Worked With?
Being a start-up, Acceldata is at a natural learning curve where established processes and communications are trial and error, in contrast to older companies with years spent curating the right processes that work for their goals, their teams and their resources. However, at Acceldata we face these challenges head-on and make adjustments wherever they’re needed and discuss them witht he PMO team for compliances and rollout the process. That doesn’t mean that Acceldata is unmanaged. Acceldata seems to be a liberated organization that allows employees a complete freedom and responsibility to take actions and decide are best for our company’s vision.
What Do You Admire Most About Your Team?
The emphasis on the satisfaction of the present customer as well as likely to be converted. Currently, Acceldata assigns a dedicated customer success manager for all customer projects. This manager is dedicated to a customer during the entire onboarding process and beyond. I.e., a familiar face is present at every step along the way to ensure success. Internally, we keep constant communication by scheduling meetings that provide background information to every level - including higher management. With a team dispersed all across the globe, this can certainly be challenging, but our current system ensures each team member is kept knowledgeable and updated throughout the customer journey. This system also works to help each member understand the others’ perspective and learn to better communicate with our customers.
For example, as I mentioned, my primary area of expertise is in sales and understanding the business aspect of the proposal process. However, for someone who spends more time coding or understanding the technical areas of our product, they will be far more attuned to the pain points and needs of our customers in terms of technology. While, the presales drives the opportunities, the teams work in close collaboration to better understand the business problem and come up with the technological solution.
What Do You Like Most About Acceldata?
From the very first day that I joined Acceldata, I have been heard. The company has valued my opinions and my input, and they have appreciated that I have worked to update the customer success process.They have invested well in presales/sales-engineering streamlining that now, we are growing as a team of more than a dozen individuals each dedicated with a unique set of responsibilities.
What Is Your Favorite Part About Your Role In Acceldata?
Acceldata is my first experience with a product-based company, and I’m learning each day with a team who wants to see results and wants to succeed. It’s been amazing, and seeing deals be converted feels really good. I’m the happiest when I see conversions, though of course this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, a customer isn’t okay with the pricing, or they may find a solution they prefer elsewhere. There is some or the other learning involved. I try to make sure that the technical proposal is complete in all aspects. All of the deals that I have converted in my pre-sales journey are something I will always remember and be proud of. My journey has led me to some amazing experiences, and I’m excited to see where my journey with Acceldata takes me.