While I often look at the full process from marketing to sales to services, one of my core skills is as a sales engineer. The role is also often called a Sales Consultant, Technical Sales Professional or simply, Pre-Sales. With that in mind, I’d like to share my view on the various skills that a sales engineer needs to succeed at his/her job, grouped by logical buckets. And yes, my diagram is based on a software architecture diagram.

Managing and Enabling Sales Engineer Skills

The management bullet points are brief (to fit in the diagram), but it covers the basics. I’d also add that the manager of a team of sales engineers also needs to be regularly asking the following questions (with easy to run and read reports) to really manage the team and the business:

  1. How are my reps performing against their goals?
  2. How effective are my reps activities?
  3. What does our pipeline look like today?
  4. What are we forecasting to close?
  5. How much have my employees booked?
  6. How well are this month’s bookings progressing?
  7. How many opportunities to reps have in their pipeline?
  8. Where (which stage) is the weakness in our sales process?
  9. How are our bookings trending over time versus our goal?
  10. How many opportunities do we win versus lose?
  11. What is the profile (stage) of won and lost deals? 
  12. How long is our sales cycle (per stage) by rep?

What other skills should I add to the diagram?


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