Saturday, July 31, 2010

Do You Feel Like A Job Description With Legs?

One of the great things about being a Sales Engineer is that you have considerable flexibility in how you perform your job. Unfortunately it takes many SE's a long, long time to come to that conclusion. Ultimately it comes down to are you building up a career or waorking at a job.

In Great Work Great Career, Stephen Covey and Jennifer Colosimo work on the premise that you will spend much of your life and your energy on your career, so doesn't it make sense eo envision and design a great career for yourself? This book, and in particular the many stories it contains, will not give you an immediate flash of blinding insight. However, it will cause you to sit down and put a little more thought into the design of your career and how you can personalize it.

As an SE there are many paths available to you. You can progress up the management path, the technical path, move across into product management and marketing, and even cross over to the dark side and carry a quota as a salesperson. If you work for a large enough company you can seek out rotational assignments in other departments, other divisions and other companies - but you do need a plan. If you don't know where you are going, you'll never know when you arrive.

Also see The Complete Recommended Reading List for the SE

Monday, July 5, 2010

July Newsletter

Hullo all - the July Mastering Technical Sales Edge newsletter will be published on Wednesday July 7th because of the US July 4th holiday. This month features:

The lead article is the conclusion to "How Many Sales Engineers Does It Take To Sell A Solution?". In Part II I look at some possible solutions and best practices to reduce the total number of sales and presales people involved in getting a deal done. There are also a few controversial ideas in there about the long-term practicality of overlay positions.

The second article is "PowerPoint Makes Us Stupid" - which briefly lays out the case for why we need to radically change the layout and design of our PowerPoint slides. Next month I'll show you how to include more images and visuals in your decks so they are more memorable, but still business appropriate.

The "Ask John" question is from a reader whose company is pushing the SE team to leave PowerPoint behind and embrace the whiteboard. He wants to know how to get started. I'm now beginning to believe that the second half of 2010 will become the year of the White Board and over the summer I'll gather a collection of best practices and create a new page on the website just for WhiteBoarding.

Along that theme of White Boarding, the Final Word tells you about some neat software that lets you capture professional looking images of a whiteboard drawing.