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How IT Sales Reps Work with Sales Engineers

How IT Sales Reps Work with Sales EngineersThere are two components of IT sales presentations – convincing the prospect of the solution’s technical merits and of its financial value. 

Often, different people will decide each issue for the company. A technical person will review the solution and offer a recommendation to senior managers who will await a positive recommendation before addressing the final business issues

Talented IT sales reps can wear both hats, but they will have to overcome technical buyers’ inherent distrust of salespeople.  Instead, when possible, the IT sales reps should use Sales Engineers to address technical buyers’ concerns. 

Here are tips for working successfully with the sales engineer: 

  1. Let him or her do their job.  Resist the temptation to answer the buyer’s technical questions; these are not your points to win.  You have to establish your engineer’s credibility.  Shut up and get out of the way.

  2. Focus your attention on the engineer.  Even when the prospect looks at you when asking the question, turn to your engineer and ask him to respond.  Keep your focus on the engineer so that the buyer does as well.

  3. Keep your eye on the ball.  Technical people inevitably have an initial power struggle to determine who’s the smartest.  You and your engineer do not have to win that battle.  If the prospect has a chip on the shoulder, let it stay.  As long as your solution is recommended, you win. 

If you are asked a technical question, it’s OK not to answer.  Remember, it is very likely that the person with ultimate decision-making authority, the person you are trying to see, does not understand the technical aspects either.  As the IT sales rep, you’ve just got to get past this gatekeeper, and a sales engineer can help you do it.  

How do your IT sales reps do when it comes to working with sales engineers? Please share your tips, hints, and war stories in the Comments below.


Creative Commons Image Source: flickr greentechmedia 

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