Clearly the future is bright. But what will that future actually look like? What changes might occur over the next decade or so that will impact those in this chosen profession?
We certainly don’t have a crystal ball, but based on our in-depth industry knowledge, here’s what we think you can expect to happen over the next seven to ten years.
Sales Positions will begin to overlap.
As organizations introduce more hybrid roles, especially around specialty products, these sales positions will begin to blend to create more synergy. This will become particularly prominent amongst account managers and SEs – far more than what we’re currently experiencing.
There will be less human interaction on the front end.
Thanks to cloud technology, more and more hardware and software products are being evaluated through trial periods with little to no up-front sales interaction. This trend will continue on an uptick. If your customers are already 60% of the way through the sales process when they initiate contact currently, that percentage will likely climb to 75% or higher over the next several years.
Demos and presentations will be more experiential.
The product demonstrations and presentations of tomorrow will be far more interactive than they are today, thanks to technological advances like virtual reality and artificial intelligence. The customer of the future will be able to see, hear and feel what it’s like to use your product in their own environment.
Automation will rule.
Many sales engineers are concerned that automation will somehow replace them in the workplace. This is highly unlikely. In fact, to the contrary, automation is expected to actually create more opportunities. (In 2017, 230,000 tech jobs were created in the US. That number is expected to continue to rise.)
Greater emphasis will be placed on relationships.
In the not-so-distant future, businesses will invest even more into personalization and the importance of truly knowing the customer. This is what will ultimately differentiate one company from its competitors. (So be sure to brush up on your interpersonal skills!)
More opportunity for career growth.
In the workplace of tomorrow, sales engineers will begin developing stronger relationships with mid to senior level management, enabling them to climb higher on the proverbial corporate ladder. The old theory that only AMs talk to executives and SEs only talk to other techies will finally be put to rest.
What should you do next?
Regardless of where you happen to be in your career as a sales engineer, preparing for the future means readying yourself for the changes that will inevitably occur. That means paying close attention to trends and industry forecasts and adapting your skills accordingly over the next several years.
It can also be helpful to partner with someone who can help you take that next step in your sales career – whatever that step may be. Betts Recruiting partners with the hottest companies nationwide to help talented individuals guide their career paths. Best of all, we specialize in sales-related roles. Contact us today to get started!