Starting a new role as a Sales Engineer during Covid

If you are in a new presales role when you can't meet your team, boss, sales team or other colleagues face to face, how do you get started?  

Working remotely is the new reality, but for many sales engineers, has been something normal for many year.
Check out these 4 ways to get ahead in your new role.
  1. Focus on relationships.  I know you are a technical expert and you will come up to speed on the products and technology you need to support, but the harder thing (and more important in my mind) is getting to know and understand the people.  Make sure you get to meet the team, customers, colleagues, and spend time, both in group situations but one to one. Work out who your mentor is on day one, whether this is a formally assigned person, or someone you pick and relate to. Learn what you can from each person, and make the most of the people situations.
  2. Get to understand what your buyers want from the product or service, and how you can best relate to them.You don't need all the features/functions first, you need the big use cases and understanding of how it delivers value. If you have a good customer base or community already, get to know people who've bought it already. Get introduced to your Customer Success team, or support team, so that you can tell what happens at the grass roots level. Even if you have to sell to senior stakeholders, you often need the backing of more junior team members to get products over the line.
  3. Find something early on that you can add value on yourself. It could be some soft skills you've already worked on, that others might not have. It could be particular customer relationships you can leverage. Being successful at presales is more than just deep knowledge of your product area, but includes many factors, and sometimes being able to help others will make them more inclined to help you.
  4. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Agree to a learning plan with your manager that means you can focus on some product areas that will be useful early on. Unless you have a vast monolithic product, you should be able to get to taking some meetings yourself without other presales involvement early on, which will help you cement your reputation as a strong team member, with the ability to learn. Once you have one area under your belt you can start on the others.
So very quickly, you use these 4 methods to get to know you customers and colleagues, and begin to add value to the team and organization that you've joined, without the need for face to face or spoonfed learning.  

If you've started up a new role recently - please comment and let me know how it has been for you.