Skills that Take SEs from Good to Great

Source Link ↗

By

Submitter:

Greg Cooper

Jan 9, 2023

Topics: 

No items found.
Read this content here ↗

Professionals across the sales process know all too well how much the buyer experience has changed over the past few years. Buying teams have at least three members across multiple departments, each of which is doing their own independent research. And in fact, on average buyers spend only 16% of their buying time meeting with potential suppliers.

So, what does this mean for PreSales professionals who work with buyers across the buying cycle? What can they do to make that 16% of time impactful?

We’ll get into the skills Solutions Engineers (SEs) need to refine to have more meaningful interactions with potential customers and help to generate more revenue.

Evolving customer expectations

Today’s buyers want to feel heard and understood, and quickly realize the potential value of a solution they’re being pitched. 

  • Understanding their unique business needs
  • Communicating clearly and effectively
  • Being a trusted partner that has their best interest at heart
  • Working as a team to design innovative solutions
  • Having strong technical knowledge

What skills do SEs need to master?

To fulfill these expectations, Solutions Engineers must brush up on a variety of key competencies, including and especially the following.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to not only handle your own emotions (self-awareness), but understand and adapt to the emotions of others. Put plainly, it means having the ability to connect with potential and existing customers on a more personal level. For an SE to have emotional intelligence, they must hone their social skills to empathize with potential customers and their business needs. Only by doing this can they then frame products in a way that illustrates how they solve specific business challenges. And as a result, they become trusted advisors that customers look to for support. 

Technical Competence

SEs shouldn’t be expected to have expertise on all the ins and outs of every product — but they do need to understand enough about how those products solve a prospect’s or customer’s unique business problems. Knowing high-level features allows a Solutions Engineer to simplify complicated technology and concepts to clearly demonstrate their value for driving success. 

Communication

Communicating is more than just talking; it’s about how you talk and listen in a conversation. Active listening means paying attention to what another person is saying, as well as their body language and other non-verbal messages. Doing so allows you to better understand not only a customer’s pain points, but how those pains impact individual stakeholders across their business.

Positivity

No one will buy an expensive business product from a person with a bad attitude. Your energy will be contagious and set the tone for a buyer meeting or call. If you want the prospect to be excited and passionate about your solution, you’ve got to do the same. Open the conversation with confidence and optimism and carry that throughout your discussion, and you’ll find your audience more attentive and engaged.

Teamwork & Collaboration

Every person involved in the sales process knows deals can’t be closed alone. A good SE acknowledges that crossing the finish line with a prospect requires more than their own knowledge and skills. It’s important to utilize the resources at your disposal and ask others for help in order to get the answers you need. This may include any combination of colleagues in sales, marketing, customer success, and research and development. You should also view your potential customers as part of your team; their input is invaluable as you craft your product to meet their needs.

Business Acumen

SEs with strong business acumen understand business issues — not just their own, but their customers’ and overall organization’s as well. They see the bigger picture and use their understanding to make decisions that positively impact outcomes across the board. With a grasp of all stakeholders’ goals and aspirations, they can make decisions that benefit everyone.

Adaptability

The only thing we can be certain of in business is that nothing stays the same. Organizations that are able to anticipate and adapt to changes will be the ones that win. And in order to do so, they must not be complacent, instead being flexible and continuing to learn and improve. Solutions Engineers can lead the charge by gathering customer and buyer feedback about their product and sales process, then using that feedback to facilitate change as needed.

Excellence in Execution

There’s a difference between knowing what should be done across the deal cycle and actually doing it. The most successful Solutions Engineers are able to manage themselves and their time, prioritizing activities that are more likely to bring revenue. They also take great care in carrying out these activities to ensure success for all involved, delivering from the first discovery call through implementation.

Curiosity

Since their goal is to effectively solve customers’ problems, SEs must always be asking questions and doing research to get to the root cause of those problems. The more you can uncover as a deal moves through the sales process, the better your chances of winning the business. Identifying and clarifying the “why behind the why” is how successful businesses close deals and hold onto their customers in the long-term. 

Customer Focus

All of these skills culminate into one: staying customer-centric. From understanding prospects’ needs, to demonstrating the power of the products they’re selling, to ensuring delivery of the solution is as seamless as possible, the goal of each SE skill should be to provide an exceptional buyer experience. Your company can’t function without customers, and to create positive outcomes that help you acquire and retain customers, their experience must be effective across touchpoints.

Conclusion

Ultimately, you should have fun with what you do, and make it fun for your colleagues, prospects, and customers. The best Solutions Engineers make interactions easy and enjoyable for all involved. They prioritize developing relationships with customers, working to solve customer problems, and taking the necessary steps to provide the best experience throughout.

Don’t just be a good SE — be a great one by refining these important skills.

Written By:

Greg Cooper

Greg Cooper

VP of EMEA Solutions Engineering at HashiCorp

Unlock this content by joining the PreSales Collective with global community with 20,000+ professionals
Read this content here ↗

Professionals across the sales process know all too well how much the buyer experience has changed over the past few years. Buying teams have at least three members across multiple departments, each of which is doing their own independent research. And in fact, on average buyers spend only 16% of their buying time meeting with potential suppliers.

So, what does this mean for PreSales professionals who work with buyers across the buying cycle? What can they do to make that 16% of time impactful?

We’ll get into the skills Solutions Engineers (SEs) need to refine to have more meaningful interactions with potential customers and help to generate more revenue.

Evolving customer expectations

Today’s buyers want to feel heard and understood, and quickly realize the potential value of a solution they’re being pitched. 

  • Understanding their unique business needs
  • Communicating clearly and effectively
  • Being a trusted partner that has their best interest at heart
  • Working as a team to design innovative solutions
  • Having strong technical knowledge

What skills do SEs need to master?

To fulfill these expectations, Solutions Engineers must brush up on a variety of key competencies, including and especially the following.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to not only handle your own emotions (self-awareness), but understand and adapt to the emotions of others. Put plainly, it means having the ability to connect with potential and existing customers on a more personal level. For an SE to have emotional intelligence, they must hone their social skills to empathize with potential customers and their business needs. Only by doing this can they then frame products in a way that illustrates how they solve specific business challenges. And as a result, they become trusted advisors that customers look to for support. 

Technical Competence

SEs shouldn’t be expected to have expertise on all the ins and outs of every product — but they do need to understand enough about how those products solve a prospect’s or customer’s unique business problems. Knowing high-level features allows a Solutions Engineer to simplify complicated technology and concepts to clearly demonstrate their value for driving success. 

Communication

Communicating is more than just talking; it’s about how you talk and listen in a conversation. Active listening means paying attention to what another person is saying, as well as their body language and other non-verbal messages. Doing so allows you to better understand not only a customer’s pain points, but how those pains impact individual stakeholders across their business.

Positivity

No one will buy an expensive business product from a person with a bad attitude. Your energy will be contagious and set the tone for a buyer meeting or call. If you want the prospect to be excited and passionate about your solution, you’ve got to do the same. Open the conversation with confidence and optimism and carry that throughout your discussion, and you’ll find your audience more attentive and engaged.

Teamwork & Collaboration

Every person involved in the sales process knows deals can’t be closed alone. A good SE acknowledges that crossing the finish line with a prospect requires more than their own knowledge and skills. It’s important to utilize the resources at your disposal and ask others for help in order to get the answers you need. This may include any combination of colleagues in sales, marketing, customer success, and research and development. You should also view your potential customers as part of your team; their input is invaluable as you craft your product to meet their needs.

Business Acumen

SEs with strong business acumen understand business issues — not just their own, but their customers’ and overall organization’s as well. They see the bigger picture and use their understanding to make decisions that positively impact outcomes across the board. With a grasp of all stakeholders’ goals and aspirations, they can make decisions that benefit everyone.

Adaptability

The only thing we can be certain of in business is that nothing stays the same. Organizations that are able to anticipate and adapt to changes will be the ones that win. And in order to do so, they must not be complacent, instead being flexible and continuing to learn and improve. Solutions Engineers can lead the charge by gathering customer and buyer feedback about their product and sales process, then using that feedback to facilitate change as needed.

Excellence in Execution

There’s a difference between knowing what should be done across the deal cycle and actually doing it. The most successful Solutions Engineers are able to manage themselves and their time, prioritizing activities that are more likely to bring revenue. They also take great care in carrying out these activities to ensure success for all involved, delivering from the first discovery call through implementation.

Curiosity

Since their goal is to effectively solve customers’ problems, SEs must always be asking questions and doing research to get to the root cause of those problems. The more you can uncover as a deal moves through the sales process, the better your chances of winning the business. Identifying and clarifying the “why behind the why” is how successful businesses close deals and hold onto their customers in the long-term. 

Customer Focus

All of these skills culminate into one: staying customer-centric. From understanding prospects’ needs, to demonstrating the power of the products they’re selling, to ensuring delivery of the solution is as seamless as possible, the goal of each SE skill should be to provide an exceptional buyer experience. Your company can’t function without customers, and to create positive outcomes that help you acquire and retain customers, their experience must be effective across touchpoints.

Conclusion

Ultimately, you should have fun with what you do, and make it fun for your colleagues, prospects, and customers. The best Solutions Engineers make interactions easy and enjoyable for all involved. They prioritize developing relationships with customers, working to solve customer problems, and taking the necessary steps to provide the best experience throughout.

Don’t just be a good SE — be a great one by refining these important skills.

Written By:

Greg Cooper

Greg Cooper

VP of EMEA Solutions Engineering at HashiCorp

Unlock this content by joining the PreSales Leadership Collective! An exclusive community dedicated to PreSales leaders.
Read this content here ↗

Professionals across the sales process know all too well how much the buyer experience has changed over the past few years. Buying teams have at least three members across multiple departments, each of which is doing their own independent research. And in fact, on average buyers spend only 16% of their buying time meeting with potential suppliers.

So, what does this mean for PreSales professionals who work with buyers across the buying cycle? What can they do to make that 16% of time impactful?

We’ll get into the skills Solutions Engineers (SEs) need to refine to have more meaningful interactions with potential customers and help to generate more revenue.

Evolving customer expectations

Today’s buyers want to feel heard and understood, and quickly realize the potential value of a solution they’re being pitched. 

  • Understanding their unique business needs
  • Communicating clearly and effectively
  • Being a trusted partner that has their best interest at heart
  • Working as a team to design innovative solutions
  • Having strong technical knowledge

What skills do SEs need to master?

To fulfill these expectations, Solutions Engineers must brush up on a variety of key competencies, including and especially the following.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to not only handle your own emotions (self-awareness), but understand and adapt to the emotions of others. Put plainly, it means having the ability to connect with potential and existing customers on a more personal level. For an SE to have emotional intelligence, they must hone their social skills to empathize with potential customers and their business needs. Only by doing this can they then frame products in a way that illustrates how they solve specific business challenges. And as a result, they become trusted advisors that customers look to for support. 

Technical Competence

SEs shouldn’t be expected to have expertise on all the ins and outs of every product — but they do need to understand enough about how those products solve a prospect’s or customer’s unique business problems. Knowing high-level features allows a Solutions Engineer to simplify complicated technology and concepts to clearly demonstrate their value for driving success. 

Communication

Communicating is more than just talking; it’s about how you talk and listen in a conversation. Active listening means paying attention to what another person is saying, as well as their body language and other non-verbal messages. Doing so allows you to better understand not only a customer’s pain points, but how those pains impact individual stakeholders across their business.

Positivity

No one will buy an expensive business product from a person with a bad attitude. Your energy will be contagious and set the tone for a buyer meeting or call. If you want the prospect to be excited and passionate about your solution, you’ve got to do the same. Open the conversation with confidence and optimism and carry that throughout your discussion, and you’ll find your audience more attentive and engaged.

Teamwork & Collaboration

Every person involved in the sales process knows deals can’t be closed alone. A good SE acknowledges that crossing the finish line with a prospect requires more than their own knowledge and skills. It’s important to utilize the resources at your disposal and ask others for help in order to get the answers you need. This may include any combination of colleagues in sales, marketing, customer success, and research and development. You should also view your potential customers as part of your team; their input is invaluable as you craft your product to meet their needs.

Business Acumen

SEs with strong business acumen understand business issues — not just their own, but their customers’ and overall organization’s as well. They see the bigger picture and use their understanding to make decisions that positively impact outcomes across the board. With a grasp of all stakeholders’ goals and aspirations, they can make decisions that benefit everyone.

Adaptability

The only thing we can be certain of in business is that nothing stays the same. Organizations that are able to anticipate and adapt to changes will be the ones that win. And in order to do so, they must not be complacent, instead being flexible and continuing to learn and improve. Solutions Engineers can lead the charge by gathering customer and buyer feedback about their product and sales process, then using that feedback to facilitate change as needed.

Excellence in Execution

There’s a difference between knowing what should be done across the deal cycle and actually doing it. The most successful Solutions Engineers are able to manage themselves and their time, prioritizing activities that are more likely to bring revenue. They also take great care in carrying out these activities to ensure success for all involved, delivering from the first discovery call through implementation.

Curiosity

Since their goal is to effectively solve customers’ problems, SEs must always be asking questions and doing research to get to the root cause of those problems. The more you can uncover as a deal moves through the sales process, the better your chances of winning the business. Identifying and clarifying the “why behind the why” is how successful businesses close deals and hold onto their customers in the long-term. 

Customer Focus

All of these skills culminate into one: staying customer-centric. From understanding prospects’ needs, to demonstrating the power of the products they’re selling, to ensuring delivery of the solution is as seamless as possible, the goal of each SE skill should be to provide an exceptional buyer experience. Your company can’t function without customers, and to create positive outcomes that help you acquire and retain customers, their experience must be effective across touchpoints.

Conclusion

Ultimately, you should have fun with what you do, and make it fun for your colleagues, prospects, and customers. The best Solutions Engineers make interactions easy and enjoyable for all involved. They prioritize developing relationships with customers, working to solve customer problems, and taking the necessary steps to provide the best experience throughout.

Don’t just be a good SE — be a great one by refining these important skills.

Written By:

Greg Cooper

Greg Cooper

VP of EMEA Solutions Engineering at HashiCorp

Get started for free

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.