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Scripted and Off-Book Sales Engineers – Monkeynoodle.Org

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2024-07-07 23:00:04

Book Review Content Corporate Life Customer Support fitness garmin Licensing Monitoring Observability Operations Partnership Product Management Products Sales Security User Experience

I was some form of quota-carrying B2B sales engineer for about 12 years, and have worked closely with these engineers ever since moving into product management. There are many paths to success in the field, and I appreciate the clarity of a compensation plan: you’re either making sales or not. So, let’s look at how the SE helps to make those sales happen!

The SE can do a wider or narrower range of tasks in different companies, but the center where everyone’s definitions overlap is demonstrations of the product. The SE shows the product working. The demo is a meeting that needs to end with the customer feeling that the product would work for their use cases, and that it would be at least as good or hopefully better than what they currently have. As in any human endeavor, there’s a spectrum of creativity in how an SE does this, changing approaches based on who they’re talking to and how their day is going. Whatever you want to try might be okay, as long as it works for making sales and doesn’t break any rules. That said, it’s always interesting to look at commonalities and differences in the SE organizations that I’ve observed.

Extreme position number one is the scripted demo from a tightly prepared environment. Every step is planned to catch a prospect’s attention with a compelling story. Follow the script, and you’ll do okay. An SE that has been trained to demo in this way can be easily spotted by asking them a question: they’re going to table it. “That’s a great question, let’s circle back to it after I complete this material.” As always, there is a reason and that reason is immaturity. It might be that the SE is green, and will be lost if they leave the script path. It might also be that the product is green, and it’s highly likely to break if they leave the script path. Tabling the question helps the SE stay on target.

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