Conference your Engineers into Sales

Back in December, this fantastic post, It’s All About Selling for Survival, by Vivek Wadhwa, showed up on TechCrunch.  Vivek makes an extremely compelling case that the best salesmen in a software organization are the programmers.  And we believe him.

We’ve been including our programmers in sales with phenomenal results, so we decided I’d write a quick blurb on why companies should bring their engineers more directly into the sales process.  (The “how”, obviously, is video collaboration!)

I’ll sum up:  People trust engineers.  Engineers have credibility.  And from a product development POV, you cut out the middle man.  This trust, credibility, and direct exposure to customer needs leads to better products and easier sells.  Also, the direct interaction makes ongoing tech support much more efficient and satisfying to the customer/customer-to-be.

The proof:  A startup where Mr. Wadhwa was CTO gave the engineers sales training and then, with only two full-time sales reps, was doing multimillion dollar deals within months.

Whence comes in video collaboration?  Well, if you’re like us, you want your programmers primarily where they can do programming: In front of a computer.  (Actually, we want everyone in front of a computer!)  Except for certain on-site visits, the most efficient way to include them is through video.

I won’t expound on what the engineers bring to the table when you can simply read Mr. Wadhwa’s article.  However, in this digital age, the collaborative tools allow engineers multiple levels of troubleshooting (“please share your desktop with me”, “let me show you how to do that”), instant distribution of manuals and other documentation, participation in client Q&A, and, better yet, brainstorming directly with clients and prospects on solutions!  That last one is highly valuable.  Assuming your company’s vision has been made clear, engineers who are brainstorming with prospects will know what the technical limitations and estimated timelines are for any solution, and also whether those solutions support your company’s vision.

Ignore this resource at your peril.

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