Tag Career

Posts: 6

A day in the Life of a Sales Engineer

If you asked me 2 years ago if I'd be working in Sales at a high tech startup, I'd say you were nuts! Fast forward to today and that's exactly what I'm doing. Today I'm a Sales Engineer at an advanced analytic startup.

What exactly is a Sales Engineer? Wikipedia defines it as a hybrid between Sales and Engineering, an interesting combination indeed. I live in a Goldilocks world of solving problems and selling the solution. This suits me just fine. Coming from the engineering world, solving problems is in my blood. Couple this with learned public speaking skills (i.e. Toastmasters), making presentations in a Sales environment makes me happy. I'm in my sweet spot.

What's my typical day like? Hectic! Unpredictable! Cool! SMost of the day I'm on discovery calls with customers discussing how our platform can help them. Next I could be making a presentation with an Account Representative to a board room. After that I could be on a WebEx with a customer helping them troubleshoot a process. This could, and has, happened all in one day.

What does it take to be a Sales Engineer? It takes a lot of skills and creative ability. I'm not just saying that to make myself sound awesome, it's a tough job and can be stressful at times. Despite that, Sales Engineering is a rewarding career. As I said above, I'm in the Goldilocks zone! Sounds great, right? Ready to sign up at your local startup as a Sales Engineer? Not so fast, there are a few things you need to know to be successful at it. Let me share with you 6 key thoughts I've learned if you're considering becoming a Sales Engineer.

Tips on being a Sales Engineer

Know thy product - Yes, you need to know you're product inside out. You need to know what it can do and what it can't. You need to know how to set it up in a customer's environment, or be able to find the right resource to help in your company.

Be creative - If you have a flexible product, you will need to be able to use it in creative ways. Likewise, you need to misuse it too. Sometimes the customer has strange requirements and you need to figure out how to get it done!

Stamina - You're going to be busy. Prepare to take calls after hours, before hours, on a train, in an airport, etc. I joke that my life would end if I lost my mobile phone.

Attitude - You must have an open and engaging attitude. This I can not stress enough. Learn from peers, learn from competitors, learn for everyone in your company. Have a "can do" attitude and never shy away from hard problems.

Persevere - Sometimes after a great proof of value (POV), a customer will go "dark." You thought this was sure win and then everything becomes anticlimactic. Like a pregnant pause, you need to help your sales team push through this and reengage your customer.

Understand what Value means - Perhaps the most important item is that magical term "value." Boy do I hear this term tossed around like bowling bowl in row boat. I will dedicate a separate post to this topic but what you think is valuable may not be valuable to your customer.

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My Second Anniversary

I'm about to celebrate my 2 year anniversary at RapidMiner in 3 days! Wow, time flies when you're having fun! I've gotten to work with some amazing talent in those few short years. I met many cool people, clients, and made many presentations. I have to say that these past two years have been some of the best times in my entire professional career. I can't wait to see what this next year brings!

Onward and upward!

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One Year Already?

There's a reason why I've been neglecting this blog, it's because I've been working my tail off! I've been so busy that I blew right through my one year anniversary at RapidMiner and didn't even notice.

Although it flew by, it's been one of best years of my life. I feel like I'm on top of the world working with some of the smartest and coolest people I've ever met. Thanks to all my colleagues that make working at RapidMiner one of the best places ever.

Here's to another great year ahead. Cheers!

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The Journey

This has been truly an exciting year for @RapidMiner and I'm humbled that I'm part of the team. Working at RapidMiner is like embarking on a new adventure for me, always wondering what's over that next hill, always striving to move forward. It's about having confidence in your own abilities that when you face new challenges, you can face them with success. It's about being part of a diverse, engaged, and super smart team - worldwide - that's "got your back." Always.

It's really a journey into the future, where anything can happen and where everyone can make a difference. That's RapidMiner to me, in a nutshell. I can't wait to see what 2015 brings.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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First Month and Half at RapidMiner

I really wanted to do a "my first month anniversary working at Rapidminer" post, but I had no time. I've been working like a mad man supporting our sales team with demos, proof-of-concepts, and discovery calls. People have been coming out of the woodwork after the Gartner Report that put us in the Leaders Quadrant.

It's an awesome time to be at Rapidminer and I love meeting business analysts, data scientists, and managers from so many different industries that are looking at using our Studio and Server to solve their problems.

Working at a "start up" has been different from anything I've ever done before and it's an environment where I belong. Sure there are no timesheets to worry about but you got to be on top of your game, all the time! That's 100% A-OK with me, considering that I'm working with some amazing talent.

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Neural Market Trends is the online home of Thomas Ott.