How Old Is Presales? - Great Demo

How Old Is Presales?

While listening to Demofest presentations and perusing LinkedIn posts, I’m amused to see claims that “the presales function began…” with dates that correspond to that person’s first experiences with presales!

People talk about “Presales 1.0, 2.0, 3.0,” etc. based on their personal histories. They ignore or are unaware of other prior experiences.

In my case, my “journey” with presales began in 1984. Yep, that’s when dinosaurs walked the earth in the form of companies like IBM, DEC, HP, and others. (Note that the Macintosh was first released in 1984, signalling the rise of “mammal” computers that could compete with the dinosaurs!)

I’m confident that the presales function actually began much earlier. Even the term “sales engineer” suggests that the function arose from pre-software industries such as automobile, manufacturing, and related where there was a need for a “technical” person to perform demonstrations, support trials of equipment, and answer questions.

Along similar lines, “Field Application Scientist” was (and still is) a presales job title used in scientific instrumentation and applications sales, both before software existed and afterwards.

I suspect that Archimedes, around 250 B.C.E., employed sales engineers to support sales of his screw pump, compound pulleys systems, and claw and heat ray weapons!

Presales likely has a long, deep, proud history with hidden learnings waiting to be unearthed!

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