Customer Stories

How Cockroach Labs Turns Complex Evaluations Into a Winning Advantage

Team Prelay
Prelay is the world's first purpose-built team selling platform.
November 28, 2022

Armed with guided templates, Sales and Presales unlock more efficient technical wins and granular SFDC forecasts.


To prove value quickly for its cloud solution, Cockroach Labs needed to modernize its approach to buyer evaluations. With Prelay, Sales and Presales teams gain data-driven templates catered towards each deal type, driving more efficient technical wins and granular forecasts in Salesforce.

Challenges Why Prelay Results
Complex, upmarket sales Guided POC templates Higher 6-figure win rates
Bespoke POCs slow deals Interactive buyer view Shorter POC durations
Scale global GTM teams Bidirectional CRM sync Visibility across 50+ SEs/AEs

A New Method for Sales-Presales Alignment

Cockroach Labs prides its distributed SQL database on being unkillable. But proving that out with customers’ sensitive business data requires a high-stakes evaluation journey.

“As a new solution, we find ourselves in increasingly complex sales cycles, with bigger and bigger deals,” says Tim Veil, head of sales engineering and enablement. “Sometimes prospects love the idea of CockroachDB but aren’t yet sure how to evaluate us; the process can be somewhat bespoke.”

The team had been using Wikis and Salesforce records to track evaluations, but these static files couldn’t guide or optimize how Sales Engineers (SEs), Account Executives (AEs), or even buyers navigate an often complicated process. “I could see the writing on the wall,” says Tim. “While this homegrown approach may have worked for 15-20 SEs and AEs, it wasn’t going to scale to 50-plus or more.”

After evaluating the presales market, his team was excited by Prelay’s potential to not only standardize evaluation best practices, but transform how SEs and AEs engage throughout the deal lifecycle.

“With Prelay’s Plays, we can define what ‘good’ looks like, and build catered templates for different Milestones, Tests, and Evaluation types. We can create a menu of best practices for our Sales and Presales teams, and continually refine those models using data-driven insights around past deal performance,” says Tim.

Guided Play templates in Prelay drive alignment and accountability across multiple teams and sales stages.

Guiding Internal & External Teams Through Deal Complexity

Internally, Cockroach Labs uses “pit stops” to bring AEs and SEs together and determine whether and how to proceed with an evaluation. Prelay’s interface helps both sides map discovery information to clear business objectives, which the buyer can review and approve.

“As an interactive layer, Prelay helps improve both internal and external alignment and accountability. In this shared view, we can define buyer success criteria in a collaborative, transparent way. Whether on a Zoom call or in person, AEs and SEs can display Prelay as a weekly touchpoint, walking through the eval in a guided way that instills confidence in the buyer," adds Tim.

Prelay’s integrations also provide value across sales stages. “Because it can play with things like JIRA and Slack, Prelay simplifies collaboration across internal teams,” notes Chuck Droukas, solution engineering manager for the US west region. “This can help us streamline not only evaluations, but also overlay teams and other assists throughout the deal process.”

Scaling a Hyper-Efficient GTM Engine

As AEs and SEs coordinate in Prelay, their activity automatically pushes more accurate real-time reporting and forecasting to Salesforce, where managers and company leadership can easily inspect deal health, revenue impact, and effectiveness for different test actions.

Prelay's native analytics track the revenue impact and effectiveness of every deal workflow.

Cockroach Labs can also get smarter about where internal resources are allocated. Using Play templates, junior SEs, and even non-technical AEs, can get evals going faster, while saving senior resources for the most complex opportunities.

“Ultimately, we brought in Prelay to streamline and better manage the evaluation lifecycle across multiple teams,” says Tim. “Prelay’s outstanding customer success team already feels like a true business partner. Now, as we move to scale our GTM motion, we’re positioned to drive revenue faster than ever.”

Team Prelay
Prelay is the world's first purpose-built team selling platform.

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