5 Ways To Build a Strategic Partnership
Updated: Mar 31, 2020
"Let Me Introduce My Technical Resource!"
Over the years, I can’t tell you how many countless times I’ve been introduced this way to customers.
My verdict? Lose It
Is it accurate? Yes and No.
Yes, I am the liaison between the complexities of the technology and the customer.
No, because the term “technical resource” puts me in a box that I have to claw my way out of to reposition myself as a strategic resource.
What’s in it to change the approach?
It really comes down to setting up the internal team for success, so that you can be successful together.
I’ve seen the AE/SE combo become an unstoppable force when the team acts as a unit.
In tech, you win as a team.
Five things to things to consider to help broach a more strategic partnership with your AE:
1.) Be Proactive: Ask your Sales Rep to prep with you prior to calls. Take the opportunity to ask questions, provide input, and brainstorm on the opportunity.
2.) Discuss Potential Outcomes: Try and understand what the Sales Rep is trying to accomplish by the end of each customer call. You can think of ways to help them get to their goal. Brainstorm a Plan B together, in the event of worst-case scenario. Sometimes, the original plan the Sales Rep has changes because of the conversation.
3.) Ask for Feedback: Don’t be afraid to ask your Sales Rep for feedback! Developing a cadence with many different Sales Reps throughout your career is one of many exciting challenges we face. It also increases the likelihood they will ask for feedback, too!
4.) Focus on the Customer: Always work backwards from the customer in your planning. Think about what industry they are in, what challenges you anticipate they will face, and anything you have learned from them directly about what will make them successful. It will help keep planning sessions on track.
5.) Take The Lead: Many Sales Reps don’t even realize the powerhouse they have at their disposal with their Sales Engineer! And because of that, they may not know how many other skills you have outside of providing demos. Don’t be afraid to suggest alternative ways to get to achieve a successful customer meeting if a “demo” doesn’t feel right.
Remember...you are the expert!