As someone who has the unique, and sometimes challenging role of selling to my peers and leaders in the PreSales space, I have had a front-row seat in seeing the benefits of working in this role.
I am a Senior Sales Engineer at Vivun and if you were to have asked me 5 years ago what the role of a Sales Engineer entailed, I’m embarrassed to say that I probably would have responded with, “what the heck is a Sales Engineer?”
I am passionate about the education provided by PreSales Academy because I fall into the category of people who truly didn’t know positions like this existed. Sales Engineers (or whatever your preferred title is; Solution Engineer, Business Consultant, Solution Architect, etc.) get to sit at the intersection of a technical role and a selling role, creating an exciting job opportunity in which no one day is ever the same.
If this sounds exciting to you, read on to learn about what I believe are the 7 best benefits of working in PreSales.
#1 Every Day is Different
It bears repeating that in PreSales, rarely is one day ever the same as the last. Discovery calls, demos, product testing, and strategy meetings are just a few examples of activities SEs will find filling up their day. Since no day is the same, it always keeps it interesting. If you are someone who gets bored easily, PreSales may be for you! Don’t get me wrong, not all PreSales roles are the same and this will all depend on the company you work for and the
products/services you support. However, if you find yourself in an SE role it’s safe to say that your role will be dynamic. As an SE you get to wear a lot of different hats which leads to the next benefit, acting as a center of influence.
#2 Center of Influence
Within the PreSales role, we often act as the bridge between many different departments/teams. This not only lends itself to the dynamic nature of the role but also exposes you to people and departments you might not have otherwise interacted with. For example, teams like Product and Sales typically don’t have a ton of interaction, yet, as Sales Engineers, we are often hearing in real-time what the field is asking for. Being able to accurately relay that information to the correct teams can not only help to improve our product-market fit but can also help to elevate ourselves internally to become trusted advisors with other teams. We often have the chance to speak with leaders of other departments like Customer Success, Product, and Marketing that we may not have crossed paths with in other roles. Now again, this will all depend on the size and type of company you work at but having a direct line to your Chief Product Officer is never a bad spot to be in.
If you are someone who enjoys puzzles, riddles, or just general problem solving, then the SE role may be right up your alley. In PreSales you are encouraged to think outside the box and solve problems creatively. There is rarely a “one size fits all” solution so the role is often about adjusting to meet each customer/prospect’s unique use cases. It’s fun to think that even in a technical role you still get to flex your creative muscles. And when it all comes together, it’s like fitting the final piece into the puzzle and you get to watch your customers thrive based on your guidance.
#4 Technology Master
Another classic archetype of the SE role is having an interest in technology. Whether you patiently await the latest Apple products, constantly scan TechCrunch for the latest articles, or sign up to be beta testers of the latest tech, we’re always up on the latest trends. As a self-proclaimed “nerd”, I hold that title as a badge of honor and love working in a role where my interests are celebrated and encouraged.
#5 Compensation ($$$)
Let’s be real it’s not always about the money….but sometimes it is. Within PreSales if you hustle and are willing to work hard, it will pay off. Comp plans can vary depending on the company but there is almost always some aspect of “variable” that will depend on performance. Meaning, if you find yourself at the top of the leaderboard, your bank account will reap those rewards. I love this aspect of the role because it also encourages some friendly competition without the added stress of a purely Sales facing role (i.e. Account Executives).
#6 Professional Development
This may not be true about all companies out there but if you are in a PreSales role, typically your leadership is supportive of professional development and growth in your career. You are encouraged to be curious and learn new things. I believe it’s one of the only roles where your leadership will encourage you to take time to learn new skills, dig deeper into lines of questioning, and challenge yourself.
#7 Career Opportunities
Following the previous benefit of professional development, there has truly never been a better time to break into PreSales. With the rise of tools like Vivun and communities like PreSales Collective, we have shown a spotlight on a continuously expanding field and all the incredible opportunities. Having a place to connect, has allowed me to interact with individuals from all over the world who have an interest in being an SE. The market has never better hotter and it’s a great time to jump in!
All of this should be taken with a grain of salt as these benefits can vary depending on the company or role you land in, however, I have seen these benefits largely apply to my own experiences, as well as, the experiences of people I get to talk to every day. Whether it’s 3, 5, or all 7 benefits you get to experience in the role, there are so many benefits from working in PreSales!
As I mentioned this is a topic I am extremely passionate about, and this led me to launch Vivun’s WISE (Women in Solution Excellence) chapter as a result. No matter where you are at on your career path today, if you are interested in PreSales and would like to connect, please reach out!
My name is Taylor Bukowski and I am a Senior Sales Engineer at Vivun. I began my career in PreSales about 2 1/2 years ago and prior to that, I was a Salesforce administrator for many years where I developed a deep love for all things process automation. My two passions converged when I had the chance to join Vivun back in December 2020. I’ve spent the past couple years sharpening my PreSales skills, closing deals, and rolling out our Vivun chapter of WISE. If I’m not at my computer, you can find me hiking, skiing, or really anywhere outdoors with my husband Zak and our dog Ziggy.