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.
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:
- How are my reps performing against their goals?
- How effective are my reps activities?
- What does our pipeline look like today?
- What are we forecasting to close?
- How much have my employees booked?
- How well are this month’s bookings progressing?
- How many opportunities to reps have in their pipeline?
- Where (which stage) is the weakness in our sales process?
- How are our bookings trending over time versus our goal?
- How many opportunities do we win versus lose?
- What is the profile (stage) of won and lost deals?
- How long is our sales cycle (per stage) by rep?
What other skills should I add to the diagram?