Sales Engineer Job Description

A typical Sales Engineer job description would include common attributes such as solution crafter, problem solver, thinks outside-of-the-box, with the ability to demo and position value statements, objective handle effectively, and uniquely elevate his/her solution over their competitions

So, you probably agree that an SE job description typically sounds the same regardless of which company, so how do you differentiate the good SEs???  Well, I look for a few things, and for me it comes down to passion and competitiveness.  You find out very quickly if a Sales Engineer has passion based on how much research they have done on your company, the marketplace you serve, your competitors, and your solution offering.  If candidate can not invest in themselves by properly prepping when they are selling their value based on a posting for a job description, then they sure wont do it if they come on board, and a candidate needs to always prep up a couple of questions about the role.  Next is competitiveness, if they ok with losing, they are probably not the right fit for your team.  I drill into a candidates experience working competitive deals.  Usually, great SEs love talking about their competitive victories, war stories, battling in the trenches....So as a hiring manager, really invest time in seeing how well your SEs candidate relate their passion and competitiveness to your SE job description.


Powerpoint Demo Tips

Powerpoint demo tips allow a Sales Engineer to help aid and assist the audience at their prospect to better understand and focus their attention to areas on a slide....These tips are very important when it comes to remote based demos like webex, goto meeting, live meeting etc... because oftern Sales Engineers are required to grab screenshots of functionality for a variety of reasons (beta, proof of concepts, limited release etc...) instead of actually demoing the software solution.  So next time you are in this situation, try one of the following....When running in Powerpoint presentation mode, right click on your slide and selection the Pointer Options, from there use the highlighter option....This works great for identifying key unique differentiators to your prospect.  Even better is when you grab a screenshot and email it as a 'leave-behind' for them after the demo so that they can refer to it.   I use the red Felt Pen option also, great circling competitive flaws, negative blogs etc...


Sales Presentation Tips for SEs

Tips for Sales Presentations include organizing a common theme and storytelling...For example, if you are selling software, and you compete against the same competitors day in and day out...Please dont tell me that you are using only the standard corporate ppt deck... Prosepcts HATE feeling like they are the 87th person this week that you have presented the same deck to... So, it is time to mix it up,  how about personalizing the deck, apply a common them across their 4 Key Business Requirements or pains that they are trying to solve.
They will appreciate the effort that you put into it, and the effort to understand and solve their pains.

Simplify your powerpoint deck, sales presentations are either to dry because they are the same old thing, or they are way too long...Simplify the messaging, use concise visuals for your target audience, and practice your delivery and your conversion ratio will go up.   Great good images from a variety of sources, such as istockphoto.com, dearmstime.com, shutterstock.com, imageafter.com to name a few... Also, a great book that describes creating more effective sales presentations is Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. Good luck!


Sales Engineer Salary Bands

An average Sales Engineer salary varies on a bunch of factors...Here are a couple of the factors:  location (each city has its own supply and demand)...so someone working in the Bay area will command a higher salary than an SE in North Dakota.  SO if you are an upcoming SE, you may want to research cities than have a higher pool of companies to match up to your salary expectations.  Years of Experience is important, so if you are a SE who has covered the corporate fortune 500 space for 15 years will offer you more $$$ than and entry level SE will only a few years experience. A variety of experience is also important, as a Sales Engineer salary takes into account selling and solutioning in a variety of different marketplaces and segments. Strong supplementary skills around BPM, requirements gathering, project management, team lead responsibilities can also lend themselves to higher OTEs.  Vertical experience is just an important as product and competitive knowledge.  Typically vertical experts and SMEs can demand higher salaries and usually get them.  Previous Track Record is important, an SE that repeated supports a sales team that over achieves on their quotes can command a higher salary.  These are just a few of the areas to consider when negiotating an Sales Engineer salary


Sales Engineer Interview Demonstration Role-Play

I always have Sales Engineer Interviews with new candidates perform a demonstration role-play as part of the interview process...One of my previous mentors always did this and it always give him a great cross section of the potential of an Sales Engineer candidate.  Always have your recruiting team set the stage with your SE that this stage in the interview is to see how they present a solution that they are comfortable discussing.  It is important to have the interview candidate provide the following details at least a day or two prior to the mock demonstration event.  They need to tell the panel the roles of the interviewers, the current mock system/application environment and a couple KBRs (Key Business Requirements).  The demo is usually a 40-45 minute exercise that allows the interviewers to accurately gauge presentation effectiveness, delivery of unique business value, solution crafting, objective handling and thinking outside-of-the-box.

Try it in your next Sales Engineer interview process, and I am sure you will make it an important step as part of your SE evaluation process...Good Luck!


Improve Your Sales Demos

Looking to Improve Your Sales Demos?? Effective sales demonstrations are one of the most important pieces to progressing your opportunity forward in the sales cycle.  Software vendors who already have an in-house demo environment for their Sales Engineers may feel that they have all of the bases covered.... Wait, you may also want to consider that you software solution may be a point solution in the grande scale of all of the business applications required by an organization.  In economic times that are much more difficult to sell in,  it is even that much more important to show off much more compelling demos.   SO..... a great hosted service for companies looking to demonstrate their software solution integrating to other systems is Skytap.

Skytap offers web based access to vmware images and data centers so that your Sales Engineers can book configure a custom environment for their demonstrations.  Take a look at your Sales Engineering organization and spend some time looking at Skytap to help improve your sales demos!


Sales Engineer T-Shirt

This one has zero to do with any sales engineer tips and tricks that you can use in your sales cycles, but I got a kick out of it when I saw it...  Zazzle's official "kiss me I am a Sales Engineer' t-shirt

Here is the Link to the item...


Managing Remote Employees For SE Managers

Are you managing remote Sales Engineers?  Do you know if your Sales Engineers are as productive as they can be since they are thousands of miles away, and many timezones apart...Many Sales Engineer managers struggle with this.  There are many tips and tricks that allow you as a manager to bridge the gap, and below are a couple to get you started.

First consider communication frequency and communication methods...The default reaction of a rookie manager is to call and ping their remote employees simply to check in on them...The typically 'yt?' (you there?) message over instant message software provokes feelings of distrust.  Instead schedule regular meeting, probably more frequently than if they were sitting in the same location, but try to leverage webcams to maintain the personal aspect itself.  Secondly, many of the IM solution have webcam functions built in over IM for quicker response for urgent issues/questions and this quickly validates if your SEs are as productive as they can be.  Give it a shot.


Mastering Technical Sales - Sales Engineer Guidebook

Learning about Mastering Technical Sales? If yes, then this book is a must read!!! Mastering Technical Sales by John Care and Aron Bohlig covers the full spectrum of what Sales Engineers need to know in order to be successful in their technical deals. It starts by covering fundamental concepts around:

-Qualifying Leads
-Determining Go/No Go strategies for RFPs
-Needs Analysis Tactics
-Delivering the Perfect Pitch
-How to Avoid 'Dash to Demo'
-Remote Demonstration Tips
-Objection Handling
-Channel Selling with Partners
-Hiring SE Talent
-Time Management & Metrics

This book is a must-have in any Sales Engineer or SE Managers collection!!!


The Evolving Sales Engineer - Sales Engineer Manager Book

For Sales Engineer Managers, who are looking to expand their knowledge on new techniques and tactics to bring their Sales Engineers to the next level, then I would suggest the following book, The Evolving Sales Engineer. Key Concepts include:

-How to pick talented SEs
-Coaching Tactics
-Managing Office Politics between Account Managers/SEs

The author Edward Levine has a great grasp of the challenging world of Sales Engineering.
I would suggest this book to both SE Managers and SEs alike
Good reading!!!