F5 202 Introduction

The 202 Pre-Sales Fundamentals Exam

The F5 Pre-Sales Fundamentals Exam is focused on assessing a Sales Architect/Engineer’s knowledge of sales motions and sales positioning of F5 products.

This exam identifies individuals who have the skills and understanding necessary for technical selling of F5 solutions. They will likely be a sales engineer with a proven track record of successfully selling F5 solutions and typically have two years of sales experience. The Sales Professional should have a working understanding of F5 solutions and the ability to articulate its value to customers and prospective customers. The majority of the content is found on the site links of the sections.

Section 1 - Discovery

Objective - 1.01 - Research the Company and Customer

Understanding the customer’s company direction and initiatives can help you understand their high-level IT infrastructure drivers. You can gather this type of information from many different sources and a few of them are mentioned in this section. Not every company is publicly traded, so not all of this type of information will be available for you to review for every customer. This is where building a relationship with your customer comes into play. As a trusted advisor for your customer you may be able to learn more about their needs and pressing initiatives, when no other resource is available.

1.01 - Visit corporate website to gather information (investor relations, board of directors, press releases, acquisitions, blogs, RSS feeds)

Investor Relations

Most publicly traded companies will have an investor relations page on their website that can give information on current financial performance. This information can help you better understand their ability to take on a new large project.

If your buyer works for a public company, it might be a good idea to also check out its most recent financial reports on the SEC’s website. This will give you an idea of how the company is performing, as well as the problems it’s facing (check out “risk factors” sections).

Example: http://investor.apple.com <http://investor.apple.com/>__

Board of Directors

Understanding who the influencers and decision makers are within the organization you are trying to sell into can help you better understand the decisions they make or may make.

Example: http://investor.apple.com/corporate-governance.cfm

Press Releases

Scroll through the recent press releases and see if anything major has been announced such as leadership changes, product releases, financial statements, events, security concerns, or customer wins.

Example: https://www.apple.com/newsroom/


Acquisitions can sometimes accurately predict a company’s future directions in a market space and can thus help you understand some of their purchasing decisions or project demands.

Example: https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2018/09/apple-acquires-shazam-offering-more-ways-to-discover-and-enjoy-music/


Read what your buyer reads and read what your buyer writes. If your prospect maintains a blog, be sure to read at least the last few posts and comment on them during your call or meeting. In addition, visit the websites of popular industry blogs and peruse the latest posts to learn more about the trends and challenges shaping the environment.

Example: http://investor.apple.com/corporate-governance.cfm

RSS Feeds

RSS feeds are a type of web feed which allows users to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable format. You can look up and subscribe to the RSS feed for each of your publicly held companies in your territory.

The Company’s Twitter and LinkedIn Account

What kind of content and messaging has the company been promoting? Understanding how the company is presenting itself to its customers can help you better understand how to present yourself to your buyer.




If you sell to startups, AngelList is an essential researching tool. You can see the company’s funding history, including the timing, value, and participants in each round; past and present employees; advisory team; founders; products and launches; open jobs; and more.


1.01 - Locate job postings to identify internal initiatives and investments

Some company initiatives can be seen in the type of job roles they have open. As customers plan for projects they will typically make sure they are hiring the expertise needed to get the job done or support the initiative after implementation is complete. You can check a customer’s Careers page to see what job role is in high demand.

Example: https://f5.com/careers

Objective - 1.02 - Given a scenario, prospect customer opportunities

1.02 - Determine corporate challenges

Many times, understanding the implications of the challenges that a customer/company is facing will help you pick the correct solution for that customer/company. Doing research when customer prospecting (hunting!) is very important. Other than having face-to-face meetings where information can be exchanged, understanding the customer’s mission, vision, and value statement will help align your efforts when introducing technology to solve a business problem. Most of the time, attempts to gather key information using email or “cold calling” activities will not be successful - unless you have made a time investment in understanding the corporate and technology infrastructure of the prospect. To earn the trust of a decision maker , you must understand their needs and budget so you can articulate solutions that meets those needs. Below are two examples of positioning F5 solutions to meet a company’s cloud and compliance challenges:

Cloud Challenges

If a company is trying to reduce capital expenditures (see section 3.02) and is not interested in buying any new hardware for their data center because they are moving to the Cloud, F5 can help by providing application services in the Cloud and thus moving the costs of providing application services to operating expense.

Transition to the Cloud may not always be about CapEx vs OpEx. It can also be about agility and speed to market. Many times, in the rush of deployment/migration the necessary application services are not at the top of mind of a DevOps team and it can be easy for customers to just default to the built-in Cloud Service Provider (CSP) application services regardless of capabilities. This can put them in a hard spot if that application needs a function that the CSP service can’t perform or if the application needs to move to a different Cloud provider. F5 provides the same industry leading application services across multiple CSP with consistency and portability.

Compliancy Challenges

Security concerns are at the top of mind in many organizations and F5 is there to help them with the application services that can protect their mission critical Applications and data. Understanding your customers business vertical can be critical to understanding the challenges they face as a company. Certain business verticals come with compliance regulations such as PCI and HIPPA that can require more strict security policies.

1.02 - Correlate business and technical initiatives

Understand the correlation between the needs of a customer’s business areas and which types of technical initiatives can meet those needs. Sometimes, when you meet with different business areas within a customer’s organization, you can gain a broader understanding of the organizations future needs across the entire company. This information can allow you to see a clearer picture of what your customer needs and understand if you should perhaps position products that can grow their Data Center or if you should focus on Cloud enablement products. You will need to know all F5 products and the problems they can solve to prepare for this section of the exam.

1.02 - Determine technical organizational structure


Organizational Structure

Understanding your customers organizational structure for the company as well as organizational structure within the technical departments can help you understand who is driving requirements and budgeting for the projects you are involved in.

Some organizations will be very structured and have a clear line of authority and role, while others may be more loose and harder to clearly understand but mapping this out with your account team will make your opportunities more successful.

An organizational structure is a system that outlines how certain activities are directed in order to achieve the goals of an organization. These activities can include rules, roles and responsibilities. The organizational structure also determines how information flows from level to level within the company. For example, in a centralized structure, decisions flow from the top down, while in a decentralized structure, the decisions are made at various levels.

Objective - 1.03 - Given a scenario, correlate which F5 products could solve issues or meet customer needs

You will need to be able to use your knowledge of F5 product capabilities to correlate to customer needs. This will be a wide range of questions focused on product capabilities.

1.03 - Associate customer requirements to F5 solutions



When you do account discovery and discover the customer problems or issues that need to be solved, your knowledge of the F5 product line will allow you to find opportunities within the account. Understanding the problems our products can solve will allow you to go deeper in the account with F5 products. You will need to know all of our products and the problems they can solve to prepare for this section of the exam.

1.03 - Align potential F5 solutions to business and technical initiatives and challenges



Sometimes when you meet with different business areas within a Customer’s organization you will learn the individual business areas needs as well as direction. Many times, the funding of IT projects come directly from the individual business areas budgets. When understanding those needs you can overlap them with other projects needs within the customer and provide F5 solutions that not only meet one projects needs but multiple projects needs potentially expanding budget once multiple projects are involved. Once again, you will need to know all of our products and the problems they can solve to prepare for this section of the exam.