Career advice delivered to you.
On a successful sales team, the sales engineer should be fully integrated. This helps them to identify and understand the customer’s pain points and goals. Once the sales team determines the problem, they focus their efforts on building a relationship of trust with the customer. The sales engineer contributes to achieving this goal by bringing technical expertise into the equation and helping to develop an ideal solution. But SEs shouldn’t be left out to dry and expected to be successful on their own. To the contrary, management can and should support SEs to help them truly excel in their role. Here’s how.
Include them early on.
Remember – the sales team and sales engineers should be working together toward the same shared goal of satisfying and retaining customers. As such, sales engineers should be brought into the mix as early in the process as possible. Not only does this help them to understand the needs of customers better, but it also helps both departments become more united in their approach.
Change their perspective.
Sales engineers get excited about certain product features. That’s fine – as long as those same features and benefits are of equal interest to the customer. If there is a mismatch, they risk losing their audience. Make sure your sales engineers understand what’s of interest and importance to the customer so they can shift their focus from what excites them to what would get the customer eager to jump onboard. When they have this information, they can tailor their conversations and presentations to be most impactful, improving the chances of closing the deal.
Match them with the right person.
Skilled sales engineers have a knack for identifying customer pain points and plotting practical solutions. You can multiply your SEs’ chance of success by matching them with the right person within the customer’s organization. Ideally, this would be the individual who is most likely to advocate for change. Pairing up your SEs with change agents helps to build momentum right from the start.
Convey what the customer values.
Many organizations make the mistake of bringing in sales engineers with the sole purpose of plotting a solution to a given problem. Unfortunately, when this happens, the actual value proposition of the customer often gets lost in the shuffle. As such, the proposed solution can fall flat, diminishing the chances of closing the sale. Instead, make sure your SEs understand what the customer values prior to asking them to come up with a solution.
Play to their strengths.
A good SE instills confidence and builds trust in their company’s product. They also effectively move the sales process along by lending technical credibility to back up the sales team. Understand what your sales engineers’ strengths are – like the ability to clearly lay out and communicate a proposed solution – and seek opportunities to let them shine at what they do best.
Being successful at technical sales isn’t always easy. It takes a team effort and the right approach. By implementing the above five strategies, you will set your sales engineers up for success and ultimately improve the entire sales process as a result.