How investing in SEs can influence sales conversions

Published on: February 18th, 2022

Technology companies are constantly growing, and they are regularly reviewing the steps within the sales funnel to see what the fields will yield the most growth. 

The board of directors has access to a number of tools that enable them to evaluate sales phases at every level of the process. Unfortunately, there is a blindspot which is often poorly tracked because it’s the shared responsibility of sales and technical sales, also known as presales/ sales engineering.

The lack of tooling specifically dedicated to tracking and measuring technical sales makes it difficult to get a good baseline and figure out how to optimize sales conversions. While a CRM such as Salesforce may serve as the single source of truth for sales operations, technical sales may find it difficult to accept this system as the single source for all conversion activities to effectively track daily activities. It’s difficult to figure out how to boost sales conversions without this data.

Let’s first look at some generic sales stages owned by technical sales to understand their impact on growth. 

Stages Managed By Technical Sales

1. Discovery- It’s best for sales to involve technical sales early in the discovery process rather than later. An adequate assessment can assist in determining whether the product or solution can meet the technical requirements of the prospect. This way, you can concentrate your efforts solely on the possibilities that are the best fit.

2. Presentation– Accurately presenting product and solution capabilities that can meet the needs of the prospect will help your organization and team to establish themselves as trusted advisors.

3. Demo– Live, closing, and custom demos from technical sales enable you to more precisely match prospect use cases to the product and solution you’re offering. You can also see whether there are any gaps that need to be filled in order to close the sale.

4. Mutual Action plan– To properly address the concerns of your prospect, you may need to offer multiple products and services. The role of technical sales in selecting the right combination of products and services becomes crucial. The solution is to plan for evaluation and work on a mutual action plan with prospects. Define clear roles and responsibilities, success criteria and duration of the evaluation.

5. Evaluation– Technical sales who manage proofs of concept (POC), proofs of value (POV), workshops and guided trials can help you get closer to a technical victory. This is usually required before discussing business terms and concluding a deal.

Any incremental increase in any of these sales stages can greatly impact the growth. As a result, making the correct technical sales investments can generate such beneficial impacts. Let’s look at the areas of investment 

Areas Of Investment for Sales Engineering

1. People– Time of technical sales engineers is one of the most precious resources in technology businesses. It is common for these professionals to be in high demand depending on geography, seniority and industry specialization. This talent pool possesses both sales and technical skills, directly influences quota retirement objectives and is constantly at risk of being poached by the competition. It’s critical to invest in this talent pool, onboard them successfully, enable them, and ensure they’re engaged, become productive in sales to reduce employee attrition, keep them productive and satisfied with their work. Additionally, you’ll want to alleviate the POC management tools and data-entry tasks to reduce their frustration and increase the time technical sales have to sell.

2. Processes– By socializing best practices, empower all of your sales engineers to perform well. These are often captured in templates, which can be prescriptive and actionable. You’ll see big gains in technical sales productivity if you invest in ways to define those procedures, train your team on those processes, and continually reinforce and enhance those processes.

3. Tools– You can grow your SE’s performance by investing in tools, such as personalized technical sales, that are designed to improve technical sales daily work activities. By assisting your project leaders , individual contributors and managers with their daily tasks, these tools must be valuable. Additionally, these tools should interoperate with current productivity tools, interface with your CRM system, automate data captures of your sales activities and provide more visibility that is currently unavailable. This broader view of presales activities should give you new insights to help you improve the sales performance without burdening your individual contributors with more data-entry tasks or your managers with more data-wrangling activities.

Technology companies must optimize their growth engines in today’s digital selling environment. An effective way to do that is to focus on sales conversions and activities performed by technical sales. You should see significant performance benefits and company growth if you pay close attention to the stages that technical sales touches and make suitable investments in people, procedures, and tools.

Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash

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