Sales engineering is about more than helping to close deals, it’s about creating a long-term relationship with clients and setting them on a path that ensures their success and the success of the product or service being purchased. Are we here to sell software? Or are we here to help our prospects achieve the best possible outcomes? Maybe they don’t even know the full potential until we show them the way.
Great sales engineers not only act as a trusted pre-sales advisor, they also ensure that clients maximize the potential of the product they are purchasing, guiding them from interest through adoption to using the product to its fullest potential. However, it can be easy to lose sight of this during the sales process.
Here are three critical roles that sales engineers should play in the long-term success of a product, which can help you stay focused and create even greater success at your company.
Mapping Problems to Solutions
Products and services are often marketed on a concept, helping to attract potential clients based on their general needs without getting into heavily technical details. This is an approach designed to generate leads, but will need sales engineers to explain how the concepts that interested a lead are fulfilled in the technical product or service. Sales engineers must work to understand what initially attracted a lead to the company, help them see those features within the product, and then expand their view of the product to better understand why it is the right fit for them, even if their understanding of it needs to change. All of these concepts should be tied to explaining the potential outcome of the project and what positive effects your product can provide, whether or not they are aware of such an impact.
Setting Expectations as the Trusted Advisor
The shift from initial interest in a service or product to truly understanding what it can do for them can make or break a deal. It can be a moment of disappointment if the prospect had unrealistic expectations. It can also set the foundation for a long-standing relationship built on trust if expectations are set based on how the client’s needs can and will be met by the product's capabilities. Creating realistic expectations as a trusted advisor is critical for a sales engineer.
Translating to Reality
By working with client success teams, product engineers, and training, sales engineers can help new clients smoothly transition from the sales process to actual use of the product. This requires good internal teamwork, strong communication between departments, and a clear pathway for clients, but the result when executed correctly can be strong adoption and an effective use of the product. Consider this stage the runway for your clients, providing them with a smooth and fast takeoff that ensures long-term success with what you have sold, greater satisfaction, and a higher likelihood of return business.
Together, these three roles of sales engineering can help transition leads into satisfied clients, supporting the many aspects of the business that exist outside of the sales cycle. When focused on throughout the organization, sales engineering takes on ever greater importance.
Start Improving Your Company’s Outcomes
Effective sales communication and product delivery are just part of what makes a company successful. Having a long-term positive impact through outcomes engineering is an equally crucial aspect. Learn how to make an impact in our free outcomes engineering ebook, available for download right now.