The Best Sales Engineers on Television

Quick… think of one resource you would recommend to an aspiring sales engineer to learn the finer points of giving great demos. A book? A blog? A class?

I recommend watching TV.

Couple Watching Movie In Living Room

Watch TV, Become a better Sales Engineer

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Sales Engineers are Story Tellers

storyteller

Many sales engineers think of themselves as technical experts or trusted advisors. That’s great, but we should also strive to be master story tellers. Here’s why… Read more of this post

Sales Engineering Courage and Leadership

It’s Your Job to Tell the Emperor that He’s Not Wearing Any Clothes

 

I’ve talked a lot about discovery because it’s so important. Now let’s examine what comes next.

After you’ve gathered a sufficient amount of information about an opportunity, you and your account executive decide whether or not this opportunity is a good fit for your company’s products and services.

Often this is much harder than it sounds. Here’s why… Read more of this post

The Joy of Discovery – Part 1

Dog digging in the sand at the beach

Author’s note: Discovery is a big topic, so big that I’m going to cover it in two parts.

Before you ever decide to demo software to a prospect you first have to conduct a process called discovery. There are at least two different types of discovery: business discovery and technical discovery. Business discovery is a discussion with the prospect that usually covers BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline.) Most of these topics are the domain of the sales representative, but the critical topic of “need” (ie, why do they need this software?’) overlaps with technical discovery, which is the domain of the sales engineer. Read more of this post

Why do you demo?

Why Do You Demo?

Not too long ago I watched a sales engineer on my team deliver a product demo to a prospective customer. After he was done, I asked him a critical question:

Why do we demonstrate products to prospective customers?

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The Secret Formula for Great Sales Engineers

Ask any VP of Sales… high quality sales engineers can be very hard to find. Why is this? The challenge lies in the fact that great sales engineers possess skills that are often considered mutually exclusive.

So… what’s the secret formula that makes for a great sales engineer?


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How to answer a question

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As technical experts, sales engineers are asked questions all day long. Via phone, email, web conference or in person your typical sales engineer gets bombarded with questions from all directions.

To the layman, answering a question is easy… you just reply with the answer. As it turns out, there is an art to fielding questions and most people never learn how to do this really well.
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Which is more important to an SE… trust or respect?

In 1997 I moved to San Francisco and joined a Java tools start-up called Infoscape. They had never hired a sales engineer, but that was ok because up until that point I had never been a sales engineer.

I learned a lot on that job, most of it the hard way. One of the easier lessons was shared with me by a more experienced sales engineer named John Kotch who joined our team about a year after I started.

One day as we we discussing the sales engineer / sales rep dynamic, John told me

“It’s important for the customer to trust the sales rep and respect the sales engineer.” Read more of this post

So… what do you do?

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

–Albert Einstein

Eventually you will find yourself at a cocktail party where someone asks you:

“So… what do you do?”

“I’m a sales engineer” is the obvious answer. This usually leads to a confused stare. Read more of this post