How to enable your sales engineering team

Blog

Zack Cronin

Your presales and sales engineering teams are crucial to success. Here's how to empower them.

Sales enablement has been at the top of nearly everyone’s minds for the last few years, and by now sellers have all the tools they need to be as productive as humanly possible. But, what about your sales engineers?

With presales and sales engineering roles becoming more and more essential to the sale motion, it’s time to start thinking about how you can enable your sales engineers to be more organized, productive, and effective.

To be at their best, your sales engineers need:

  • Detailed product knowledge
  • Technical examples of customer use cases
  • The product roadmap and upcoming releases
  • Your RFP process
  • Security documentation requirements
  • Real-time insight into competing products and industry updates
  • Ability to develop a line of questions that leads to specific pain points and requirements
  • Presentation skills and ability to manage POCs
  • Understanding of the sales process and players involved

The needs of presales fall under two distinct categories - operational and technical. That’s why when it comes to sales engineering enablement, you must consider both non-technical and technical needs.

Sales engineering enablement

Before you purchase a new platform, there are many ways you can empower your sales engineers through training, collaboration, and teamwork.

Non-technical presales enablement

To be most effective, your sales engineers need to be empowered with product knowledge, use cases, the product road map, as well as presentation skills, and product knowledge.

It is also is important to not only provide them with all necessary information during onboarding but to also facilitate ongoing learning and teamwork.

Encourage collaboration

Collaboration with other teams, as well as with each other is incredibly important for your sales engineers. Sales engineers sit between sales, product, engineering, and customer success. Therefore they must constantly be engaged with all sides to keep abreast of product developments, new features, use cases, and potential issues.

They can also keep other teams informed of buyer requests, requirements, market developments, and feature ideas.

Match your sellers and sales engineers

Your sales engineers and sales reps will work hand and hand to win deals and generate revenue. It is truly a partnership. That’s why you should go beyond randomly assigning sellers and engineers.

Instead, match your sellers and sales engineers to one other to create units that truly work. Involve engineers in the interview process for sales reps and vice versa. Allow them to engage and meet with one another before creating teams. Ensure you are creating a cohesive partnership that will operate without friction.

Ongoing Training

Don’t stop your training after onboarding. Just like you provide your sellers with continuous learning, grant the same benefit to your sales engineers as well.

Remember, the role is customer-facing, so give the presentation training, keep them up to date with the latest trends, teach them how to ID problems, and have better conversations. Anything you would give to your sales reps, think about how it could benefit your sales engineers as well.

Technical sales engineer enablement

Once your sales engineers have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed, you can give them tools to help streamline and manage their processes, organize content, deliver demos, and track the deals they are working on.

Presales management

For years, sales engineers and presales have been relegated to making do with typical CRMs. While useful, these platforms do not provide the workflow necessary to manage the complex, technical selling that sales engineers handle.

Presales management platforms help your sales engineering teams forecast, provide feedback, organize processes, and run through workflows. They also help allocate resources, identify feature gaps, track technical wins, and facilitate internal collaboration.

Examples: Hub, Vivun

Demo platforms

Demoing highly technical and complex solutions is risky. Custom demo environments get changed, servers go down, and sensitive data can be exposed. Not to mention, they are costly to maintain, require significant resources to make, and can create drag on both engineering and product teams that take away from progress on the actual product.

Demo experience platforms solve this with a highly stable third-party demo environment that can act as a carbon copy of the true product. Superior to guided tours, they allow your sales engineering team to navigate the demo as if it is the true product.

These platforms can scrape the visual aspect of a product in seconds and grant its users the ability to edit text, images, and more with a few clicks, effectively giving sellers the ability to create stable, secure, and personalized demo environments in minutes.

Examples: Demostack

POC management

Presales are typically responsible for the success of the POC. This final stage of the sales process usually includes a proof of concept or proof of value where the desired solution is “test-driven” by the buyer.

The POC is usually done with a small group but is integrated and fully employed by the buyer. They are typically do-or-die for the seller however, a misstep during this stage will surely kill a deal.

A POC platform enables presales with the ability to manage POC processes, monitor usage, check sentiment, and collaborate with other departments to ensure the trial is a success.

Examples: Homerun, Proov.io, Success

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