Importance of Sales Engineering in Product Companies


According to Wikipedia:
Sales engineers advise customers on how best to use the products or services provided. They may also collaborate with the design, production, engineering, or research and development departments of their companies to determine how products and services could be made or modified to suit customers’ needs. Sales engineers use their technical skills to demonstrate to potential customers the usefulness of the product or service and how it may suit the customer better than a competitors’ products. Courtesy: Wikipedia.org

My comments:

All that is said above is absolutely correct. But I would like to discuss the significance of Sales Engineering from Product Development and Customer commitment perspectives.

I attended a Product Management working session with Sales Engineering a couple of weeks ago, and really understood the importance of them in a technology product company.

Then, back at the hotel room, sitting in a corner of my room and wondering about all the disruptions with internal systems, I realized that it’s such a nice approach to have a representative of Product Management out on the field with the Sales reps and ensuring that the correct solution is being proposed to customers, every time. In fact, Sales Engineers will also need to be empowered “not to approve” Sales reps from proposing incorrect or unavailable solution to customers.

No more false commitments will be made by Sales reps, period.

Sales Engineers (or Solution Engineers or Application Engineers as the role is referred to in different companies) do not only check false commitments to prospects, but also present the solution to “technology” & “usability” buyers, especially in the case of complex products.

So, in summary, having Sales Engineers will ensure that Sales do not commit to customers that may:
 a. Create unwarranted disruptions within the internal organization or processes
 b. De-rail the Product Roadmap in a big way such that it will create chaos and confusion

Are you working in a technology product company, and wonder about the numerous disruptions in Product Development? It is time to think about the importance of Sales Engineers for a moment!

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About Mohamed-Aneez
Passionate about Product Management

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