Friday, July 27, 2007

Reporting for Sales Engineers

A recent visitor raised some new points to discuss here:
As a Manager of SEs, I need certain reports from my team and the complain about the amount of reports they have to write. For example, I need PoC success Rates, Evaluation success rates, SE involvement in wins, etc. What reports to other use? How to enforce the need to account for their work?
Thanks for the questions Kevin, I think we can follow these up with a few posts on each!

In my business SEs are reporting weekly on many statistics to ensure that the right support structure is there for PoCs, and also that the Sales VP is able to manage the demand for resources appropriately. We follow this up with a team meeting to discuss current actions and problems. Also, we have Quarterly reviews on Wins and Losses on all major accounts.

The SE Manager is responsible for compiling this information to present to the VP of Sales along with success rates, and metrics for how much resources are needed in each account to bring it in. Also in the background we need to be aware that there are teams helping by coding small tools, data connectors, prototypes and also documentation to help bring in the business.

The capacity of this manager is highly dependent on how well the SEs respond to these reporting requirements, and this will also indicate whether the manager should or could hold a quota of their own.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

End of the Quarter

Since the salesperson (and normally the SE as well) is motivated by quarterly (or periodical) results, this leads to some frantic behaviour as the period comes to its close.

This comes to a particular head at the end of the year.

The effect of the results ranges from loss of job to enormous bonuses, and therefore people will react to any activity from the customer.

Most sales related staff though are not just led by the lure of the large rewards but also want to have that sense of achieving their goals, and creating business relationships.

I am going to look into a few parts of this end of year period and comment on them in the next few weeks including
  • Achieving that Quota
  • Negotiating the next Goals
  • Good incentive schemes versus bad incentive schemes
  • Team building exercises at Sales Kick Off events
A post that I read recently relating to some of the negatives of being Quarter based is Stop the (end-of-quarter) Madness at www.focusedperformance.com.