The Sales Engineering Process
In this context, the Sales Engineer participates in the service provider’s sales, scoping and proposal creation processes, and works with the provider’s Account Managers, Sales Professionals, Engineers, Project Managers, Manufacturers, Vendors and Distributors to fulfill their role and responsibilities, in addition to interfacing with clients and their Vendors. The Sales Engineer is the buffer between Sales and Engineering, and is one of the keys to project profitability. A Sales Engineer not only helps educate and train the provider’s Sales staff in setting appropriate expectations regarding the benefits of technology solutions with their prospects and clients, but is also instrumental in working with vendors and partners in order to design appropriate solutions to meet client needs and putting together Scopes of Work and Proposals and assisting in the Project Plan creation process.
The Objective of Sales Engineering
The objective of Sales Engineering is to create effective proposals by understanding client needs, the environmental state of their infrastructure, their Account Manager’s or Sales Professional’s objectives and timelines for Proposal delivery. With the appropriate information, the Sales Engineer can accurately scope the best solution for the client. The Sales Engineer’s purpose is to accelerate sales velocity, and they should only be introduced into a client engagement when this opportunity exists, otherwise they may actually impede the sales process when utilized ineffectively, with the most common result in these instances being to add unnecessary cost to the sales engagement.
5 Phases of the Sales Engineering Process
The five phases of the Sales Engineering process include Discovery, Design, Proposal Creation, Review and Presentation.
Phase 1: Discovery
During the Discovery Phase, the Sales Engineer will collect all of the information required to design a Scope of Work to meet the client’s needs that takes into consideration factors such as the environment state of the existing infrastructure, the provider’s sales objectives and the client’s budget and timeline.