Monday, August 13, 2007

Training for Sales Engineers

Just a brief post today, I am looking for recommendations for effective training to help develop and extend skills for SEs beyond mere technical know-how.

In particular, I am thinking of courses to help the sales/commercial side of the skills required of SEs, and the skills that would help SEs make the transition to full Enterprise Sales positions.

Once I have a few good suggestions, I will post them here of course. Let me know if I need to keep any suggestion anonymous or unpublished.

9 comments:

Noah said...

Public Speaking course!
I have noticed an emerging trend in the new batch of techies: poor verbal communication skills in a business environment.
This group possesses great technical skills, and some a high intellect. However, more and more of this group fail to impress decision-makers with their presentation skills due to poor public speaking skills.
There are various organizations out there that have as their mission to improve our public speaking skills. To note, I have noticed members of Toastmasters, www.toastmasters.org, as being highly effective speakers, irrespective of age, work experience or technical know-how.
I view Toastmasters' members as possessing a valuable and evolving skill set that has greatly enhanced, not only our sales teams, but, our organization as a whole.
Ultimately, our sales people will have to conduct face-to-face contact with prospects or clients and they cannot only rely on their ability to communicate using their vast toolkit and application of web and wireless resources.

Kevin said...

What I've been doing this past years is:

1. Break down your product technical components to their basic technologies and search the web for free training on those components. This gets the SE completely familiar with what they are selling.

2. Search the web for soft skills and sales training

Hold the SEs to a schedule and inject quizes throughout the training.

Sales Engineer Guy said...

Thanks for the Tips. They certainly will help us develop a training program.

My other thought was on certifications - although it is not normally something people will ask an SE when they come in to show their product.

phil_google said...

Hello Salesengineerguy,

Please check us out, I think we're unique in providing focused SE skills improvement.
www.salesengineering.com

-- Phil Janus,
Founder and CTO

Mindthegap said...

Precisely what you ae looking for:

www.seviourbooks.com

Terry Gault said...

Here's my list:
Presentation and product Demo skills including:
Storytelling
Effective use of Powerpoint
How to find/deploy graphics and images and use them in presentations
Presentation Preparation

Consultative Selling Skills including:
Active / reflective listening
Strategic Questioning

Business skills
Business acumen
Account management (you may not have to practice it but a working understanding of it will make you a far more valued team member)
A big-picture understanding of the forces at work in your market and industry.
http://www.hendersongroup.com/art_pres_info.asp

Rob Garneau said...

Hi SE Guy,

We offer comprehensive and customizable workshops to improve the soft skills of Sales Engineers. We focus on helping our customers increase revenues while reducing their cost of sales.

SEs learn easy to remember and repeatable techniques that enable them to become more adept at the tasks they perform on a daily basis: demos, presentations, benchmarks, evaluation support, discovery, qualification, etc.

Our customer's satisfaction is guaranteed!

Please check us out at:
http://www.Bottom-LineTraining.com
(Don't forget the hyphen.)

Regards,

Rob Garneau
Founder
Bottom-Line Training

Laura Hyde said...

Hi Sales Engineering Guy,
We specialize in softskill (sales, communication, negotiation, persuasion) training for technical professionals (S/E's, A/E's, PM's, etc.) with the goal of increased sales results for technical companies.
You can find much more info and many testimonials at www.morgantraining.com.

Laura Hyde, President
Morgan Training Co., LLC

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