The sales process for Sales Engineers is similar to the conventional sales process.
Sales Engineers are responsible for progressing the technical sale in concert with an Account Manager who is responsible for progressing the overall sale.
As a Sales Engineer, you need to focus on showing the prospect the technical detail needed to move the sale forward and engendering trust in you and your team as a reliable technical resource.
The sections below describe the phases of the technical sales process for Sales Engineers:
Technical qualification means looking for a fit between the prospects needs and your product. Your Sales Person will qualify for budget and business case; it’s your job to assess if your product can solve your prospects technical problems.
As a Sales Engineer, you’ll need to qualify each member of the prospect’s technical team. You’ll need to understand: who can help the sale, who can hinder the sale and who can provide relevant background information. A solid understanding of the decision process is critical to success here. Once you know the players and how they will work to choose a product, you can decide how best to influence them.
Once you know the key technical decision makers, you’ll need to understand what problems they need to solve and the goals they have. You’ll also need to help them understand the impact and severity of problems that they may not be aware of. There are three key areas of discovery that you need to understand:
Now - What is happening now, what is the current situation, what would they like to change? What pains are they experiencing and what goals are they trying to reach. What is the impact of their pain on their lives?
How - How are they doing things today, what is the process, the detail?
Wow - What would things look like in an ideal world?
Once you understand these three key areas, you are ready to craft and deliver a value message that compels them to act!
With a firm understanding of their technical needs and the impact they have on the organization, you can prepare and deliver a demo that proves your product can meet their needs. Using your understanding of the Now, the How and the Ow, you can craft value messages that will clearly show them the value of moving from what they are doing Now to Wow with your product!
For many complex or big-ticket items, a product evaluation is required. Your job is to shepherd the evaluation and to show them how your product solves problems that they care about.
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In a technology sale, the close may be as simple as asking for the next steps at the conclusion of each encounter. Your job is to keep the sale on track and moving forward at all times. The Sales Person will close the actual order in most technology sales situations.
Support and Grow
This critical, yet often neglected step is the best way to protect your customer from being poached by your competition and to increase year to year revenue. You need to demonstrate that you are there for them even after the sale is made.
If you have a question about the sales process for Sales Engineers, please ask in the comments section.