Depending on the organisation or industry you work in, pre-sales can mean very different things. The main perspectives people hold when categorizing pre-sales as a role are generally polarized at opposing ends of a linear spectrum. At one end we have technical activity and at the other we have commercial. The technical-to-commercial spectrum is widely used as a frame of reference. Some organisations expect their pre-sales employees to be very technical with an ability to dig deep into code where necessary and others don’t require any hands on experience at all. In reality, the definition of the role is flexible and the expectation is that a pre-sales resource will fall somewhere in between.
My loose definition of Pre-Sales: Pre-sales provides the medium to bridge the gap that exists between a customer’s business needs and the functional capabilities of the products and solutions provided a supplier organisation.