Sunday, October 31, 2010

So You Really Want To Be A Pre-Sales Manager?

Based on the great feedback about last month's pre-sales career article - The Super Senior SE, I decided to continue the theme for November. This month's lead article is some advice to pre-sales engineers who want to go into management, and how they can prepare themselves for the job. It's way more than training - it's about attitude, willingness to learn, and a willingness to give up a little of the things (like technical ability) that got you to where you are right now. It's written from my perspective as a former VP of Pre-sales so enjoy the read.

The November Mastering Technical Sales newletter will be out on Tuesday Nov 2nd - Election Day here in the US. Most of the content is already up on the site.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Power Point Presenter Mode

Every time I give a workshop or a seminar at least half the class is unaware of "Presenter Mode" in PowerPoint. It is a handy-dandy way of getting the inside track on a presentation while the audience just sees your slides. It enables you (see picture) to see:

1- Your Notes
2 - Zoom the size of your notes
4 - The next 4-6 slides in your presentation
5 - The current time, and how long you have been presenting
6 - (of course) a variable window showing the actual slide your audience is seeing.
7 - back/forward and pen options.

How do you do this? Well - it only works when you have an external monitor or projector hooked up to your laptop. Plug in the 2nd monitor and extend your desktop (it is one of the "Graphics Properties") . Then in PowerPoint under the Slide Show tab you select the options as shown below. Press F5 for slide show and ...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Super Senior Principal Distinguished Architect Sales Engineer

How do you become the creme de la creme, the top 5%, one of those SE's that everyone in the company (and the industry) looks up to, admires and respects. This months Talking Point details a conversation I had with an ambitious up-and-coming SE who wanted to know the answer. So from my viewpoint as a former VP of Pre-sales, I told him what I would do and what I would look for.

The executive summary is to be active instead of passive, network ferociously, volunteer for stuff and close big deals. Oh - and find yourself a mentor or two. It is more than just being a very very good SE and executing on the core skills, it becomes more about what you give back to the rest of the SE community and the company. Enjoy the read.