Sales engineering is an essential part of today's buyer-driven marketplace. They’re responsible for building a relationship with the customer, understanding their needs, and ensuring that the product or service they’re selling is the best fit.
And while great sales engineers know how to connect with their customers, they also need a solid understanding of the product or service they’re selling.
You want to empower your sales engineering team with everything they need to deliver optimal performance, but how can you enable your sales team?
What resources do they have at their fingertips? What are the must-have tools in the arsenal of every sales engineering team?
In this post, you will get the answers to these questions.
Let's dive in.
Who are Sales Engineers?
Sales Engineers are responsible for creating, implementing, and supporting sales strategies that directly impact revenue for their organization. They should have the skills and knowledge to help a company’s sales team sell their products more effectively.
Sales engineers are often brought into the sales process early so that their expertise can help customers make informed decisions about your product.
Recreate: In the image: SE means Sales engineer
A sales engineer might point out new ways of thinking about a problem and what those different approaches could bring to the customer's business. This allows customers to focus on their own needs before evaluating specific solutions.
This person does technical work explaining a product's or service's benefits to potential customers and showing how it is better than others.
Why Should You Enable Your Sales Engineering Team?
The sales team is the first point of contact for new customers. They are the ones who will introduce your product or service to their customer base and ensure that it is delivered to them as expected.
However, if these salespeople do not have the proper technical knowledge, they may struggle with explaining exactly how they can support a customer’s needs.
They may be unable to explain how the product or service will help their customers and how it differs from others on the market. This can lead to lower sales, a longer sales cycle, and a loss in revenue for your organization. That's why it's essential to use sales engineering enablement for your sales engineering team.
With sales enablement best practices, you can equip your team and make them achieve more. It results in several benefits like
1. Higher sales productivity
When your sales engineering team is well-trained and equipped with the proper knowledge and tools, they can be more effective in their role. According to G2, organizations that invest in sales enablement win deals 49% of the time, compared to 42.5% for those without.
This means that your sales team will have higher productivity, and you will get more sales faster.
2. Improved customer satisfaction
Sales engineers are in contact with customers on a daily basis, so they’re often the first line of defense when something goes wrong. When they have access to all the information they need to resolve a problem quickly, they can maintain customer satisfaction.
An increase in customer retention and referrals—leads to better sales overall.
Moreover, they can answer customers' questions quickly and accurately if they know your product's functions. This leads to a better experience for both parties involved in making a sale, which improves customer satisfaction.
A smooth sales experience is crucial, as 89% of consumers choose products based on the overall sales experience—regardless of price or functionality.
3. Improved sales pipeline
It is estimated that 58% of pipeline stalls are caused by sales reps' inability to add value because they do not have enough knowledge of their product or service, which significantly increases the length of your sales cycle.
The more information your sales team has about your product, the better they can close deals. Your sales reps will have a clearer understanding of what their customers need and how to sell it to them. This means you’ll have more qualified sales leads and a healthier pipeline of potential customers.
4. Reduced churn rate
Your sales team will be more likely to sell your product if they understand its value. A well-trained salesperson can explain a product or service’s benefits more effectively, resulting in higher sales. This saves B2B buyers the time and effort to conduct their own research about an offering.
A survey from Goodfirms suggests that 40.5% of B2B buyers are more likely to choose a vendor that provides information relevant to their buying decision.
When you have a well-informed sales team, they can provide better customer service and close more deals. This improves retention rates and reduces the likelihood that any one customer will churn or cancel their account.
How to Enable Your Sales Engineering Team?
Sales engineering is one of the most critical functions in a SaaS business. It’s responsible for ensuring that your salespeople have everything they need to close deals and hit their goals.
You can enable your sales team by dividing them into two different categories,
- Technical sales enablement,
- Non-technical sales enablement.
Non-technical sales enablement
It is about empowering your sales engineering team with product features, use cases, and other relevant information. It also requires presentation skills to sell the product effectively. You can enable your team via,
1. Team collaboration
Collaboration with and communication between other teams, as well as within your team, are critical to the success of your sales engineers. Sales engineers sit at the intersection of these different groups—each with their own needs, perspectives, and priorities—and use that position to bring them together for a mutually beneficial outcome.
As a result, they must keep up with all sides in order to be aware of new developments, features, and use cases.
2. Bridging the gap between sales reps and sales engineers
Sales engineers and reps must work together hand in hand to win deals—it’s truly a partnership.
That's why you should go beyond simply assigning sellers without regard for skills or expertise and instead use more deliberate methods of pairing up the right people with the proper accounts at every stage of your pipeline.
Training is one of the essential parts of a sales engineer’s role, but it can often be overlooked. A good training program will ensure that everyone on your team has the skills to sell effectively—and it’s not just about product knowledge.
Technical sales enablement
It is all about providing your sales engineering team with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed—so that they can streamline their processes, organize their content, deliver demos of solutions to prospects, and track deals.
You can achieve this via,
1. Presales engagement
It is important to build a pre-sales engagement program that allows you to identify and qualify leads, create opportunities, and track sales activity.
A well-organized presales engagement program will help you streamline internal processes, organize content and deliver demos of solutions to prospects effectively.
2. Empowering them with demo software
Demoing highly technical solutions that are not fully baked can be risky. They also take time and resources away from developing a product itself.
That's why it's essential to have demo software like Storylane that helps you to clone the product, customize it to the client's needs, and deliver a demo that showcases your solution's capabilities.
You can scrape a product's visual aspects, edit them quickly, and create personalized demo environments—all within minutes. This allows your sales engineers to deliver a customized demo that showcases the product's functionality and empowers prospects with the tools they need to evaluate your solution.
7 Sales Engineering Tools we recommend to have
When it comes to sales engineering, some of these tools will help you make better decisions about how to sell your product or service. Other tools will help you communicate with customers and prospects more effectively.
Sales engineers can use a variety of tools to help them do their jobs, including CRM software, data analytics tools, and reporting applications.
Here are the five sales engineering tools that you should try,
1. Customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Salespeople and sales teams use CRMs to manage their customers and prospects. They usually include features like contact management, lead management, reporting dashboards, and more.
A CRM system is an excellent tool for sales engineers because it helps you track customer interactions, including when they start using your product or service and when they renew their contracts.
A tool you can use: Hubspot
Hubspot is a CRM system that’s designed specifically for sales teams. It offers features like lead management, pipeline reporting, and sales productivity tracking tools. You can also use it to manage your accounts, contacts, and activities within one place.
2. Business Analytics
Business analytics tools provide insights into your data, including metrics about how customers have used your software and information on customer inquiries. The tools can also help you identify trends that could help you make better business decisions.
A tool you can use: Clari
Clari has simplified the complex revenue generation process, increasing efficiency while driving growth. The company provides visibility into businesses and empowers teams to drive analytical rigor when aligning buyers and sellers.
With Clari, businesses can create a unified view of their customers and gain actionable insights.
3. Demo platforms
A sales demo environment is a virtual version of your company's software that you can use to show customers how they would benefit from using the product.
Demo platforms are highly beneficial if you have a complex product that is difficult to explain. Customers can experience how the product works without having to set up their own servers or download software onto their computers.
A tool you can use: Storylane
Storylane is a no-code demo software that allows you to create a customer-centric story that shows how your product solves a problem. You can use Storylane to create an interactive demo, where users can click through elements on the screen and learn how your product works.
Moreover, Storylane comes with many features like auto personalization, demo customizations, and in-depth analytics to help your sales engineers all the way possible. With the interactive demo, your prospects can better understand how your product works, and even you can create a demo to train your sales team as part of their sales enablement process.
4. Collaboration tools
You can’t have a sales enablement program without collaboration tools. These help your team collaborate in real time, share ideas, and build on each other’s work. They are also great for creating and sharing content with prospects and customers.
The best part is you can integrate these tools into your existing sales enablement platform, so they work seamlessly with all the other features.
A tool you can use: Slack.
Slack is a popular collaboration tool that helps you create real-time team chat rooms and share files with each other. You can also use it to create public channels where your sales teams can interact with customers, prospects, and partners.
You can even have private channels for your sales teams. This way, they can have a dedicated place to discuss deals and share information. Slack integrates well with other tools like Salesforce or Google Calendar, so you have one central place where all your teams’ activities are recorded, organized, and accessible anytime.
5. Calendar apps
Calendar apps help customers schedule meetings with your sales engineers by inputting free time in their calendars. This is much easier than sending emails back and forth to find available times.
A tool you can use: Calendly
This great tool helps your customers easily schedule meetings with their sales engineers. It’s a simple calendar tool where users can pick available times on their calendars and add meeting details like the length of time they want to spend with you. Once they select the times, Calendly sends an email invite with all of this information, so all your customer has to do is respond “yes” or “no.”
6. Workflow automation
Businesses are always looking for ways to streamline their workflows. This is especially true for sales teams, as they often have many different things happening simultaneously. Automating certain parts of your sales process can help save time and ensure you don’t miss any important steps in the lead nurturing process.
A tool you can use: Zapier
Zapier helps its users automate tasks by centralizing the workflow within different applications. It allows for integrating multiple programs, filtering emails, and sending out automatic responses as needed. Zapier allows you to integrate more than 3,000 apps to streamline your business's workflow.
7. Video conferencing
Video conferencing is a great way to stay connected with your team and clients. You can also use video conferencing software to record meetings so that they can be shared with others who couldn’t attend in real-time.
A tool you can use: Zoom
Zoom is a great video conferencing tool that allows you to record and share your meetings. It also has a mobile app, so you can easily stay in touch with your team.
Enable sales engineers with perfect tools
Sales enablement is a must-have for any business, regardless of size or industry. It gives you an edge that can make all the difference and helps you stay ahead of your competition.
When sales engineers have the right tools—such as those that let them create and share content, track their performance, and make informed decisions—they can double up on their efficiency.
This leads to a more productive sales team, boosting your bottom line. This is where Storylane comes in. It helps your sales engineers to deliver an interactive product demo that educates your audience on the benefits of your product without being pushy. This way, they can create a better experience for both themselves and their customers.
Moreover, you can use product demos as a part of their sales training, as you can create different demos for different segments of your audience. This way, you’re able to improve their knowledge and skillset while making them more productive at the same time.