Sales Engineering: A Delicate Balance

Posted by Joe Cote on Jul 14, 2016 1:06:26 PM

The Sales Engineer has become an integral part of Sales Organizations across all technical verticals. A complex technical solution is no longer sold to a company by just a sales person. A man/woman in a suit with a Master’s Degree from Harvard University who has an excellent sales demeanor, hair perfectly coiffed, an astronomically vibrant smile, and a thesaurus of buzz words is no longer able to swindle the buyer. They are certainly able to create initial interest because of their passion. However, the technical buyer has technical requirements which therefore means that they need, at some point in the sales process, a technical seller who is able to sit down and demonstrate the capabilities of the complex solution. This is where the sales engineer comes in.

If there were a cookbook for a Sale Engineer it would look something very similar to this:

  • 1 full cup of Software Engineering (C++, Java, Javascript, MySQL, Python, Node.Js)
  • ¾ cup of Sales Ability (Understanding requirements, PAIN, communication, overcoming objections, providing solutions)
  • ¾ Cup of Presentation Ability
  • ½ Cup of Working with Technical Executives (CTO, CIO, CISO)
  • ½ Cup of Working with Business Executives (CEO, CFO)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

Now, this is just one example. The point of the recipe is to show that there is a very delicate balance of ingredients that collectively make up a Sales Engineer. They are the adhesive property between sales and technical expertise. With these attributes, they are able to support the salesperson throughout the process. When the passion of a salesperson meets the value of a Sales Engineer, it is an electric two-pronged approach that sets the organization up for a win.

This approach allows for all requirements, questions, and concerns of the potential customer to be met. As technology becomes more advanced, the value of sales engineers will be directly correlated. The sales engineer has the ability to communicate technical details that the salesperson might not be able to answer. This virtually eliminates any sort of disconnect between the sales team and technical buyer.

Sales Engineers are a rare breed. The ability to adhere to and customize requirements communicated by a potential customer are paramount in the sales process. When the salesperson and the sales engineer create a team-based environment, there is a special synergy that breeds a successful sales cycle. The sales engineer will continue to be a valuable asset as technology bounds forward (there will be legitimate robots one day).

Topics: Career Growth, Success