I am believer of "Starting with Why". My Why is to inspire and uplift others to shatter boundaries so that they become impactful contributors of society.
Professionally it starts with all of the brilliant team members in my organization, I get up every day to ensure my team is inspired and motivated to continue doing what they do with passion and technical expertise. I am a Business Technology Leader with 17 years’ experience managing and growing software sales, consulting businesses, service solution design and customer service excellence by leveraging technology solutions to resolve business problems. I lead Strategy and Planning for our Solution Engineering team. Our goal as an organization is to help our customers realize the potential of the solutions they acquire.
Personally - I have been in the tech industry for 17 years and I can count in both hands the number of female leaders, role models and supporters that I have had as I went through the journey that is my career. By being an outspoken leader in the world of empowering women I hope to empower women and youth both in leadership and technology.
My journey to becoming a Chief of Staff at VMware is a long and varied way. That will be the truth with any person in the job function of Technical Sales. I started my career in tech support and through my network and chaos I ended up in Technical Sales. Specifically, for my current role at VMware, I took on this role because it was important to me to be in an organization that was innovating, that cared about their employees and cared about the communities they live in. VMware has all of the above.
As part of my day to day role I work with the SE leaders to assist them in building a team of innovative, independent, and collaborative SEs that shepherd our customers through the era of digital transformation.
What do most SE leaders look for in a Solution Engineer/Solution Consultant that will demonstrate high likelihood of success:
Account Management - Internal Team player, with People management and motivational skills It is important that an SE can be a Virtual Team Leader and can globally engage with internal teams to leverage all appropriate supporting resources in the sales campaign, demand creation, so as to ensure the right level of technical sales support is provided to the development, delivery and negotiation of opportunity proposals.
An SE is also expected to drive in parallel with the Account Manager deal management activities to ensure an enhanced end to end campaign with increased 'solution led' sales which incorporates software, services and support to address the customers business needs.
An effective SE can articulate complex solutions to the customer at all levels in a clear, simple and logical manner. The SE Is acknowledged as a valued contact with their aligned customer. An SE needs to conduct business and solution/technology workshops and events within customer base as sponsored by key customer stakeholder to demonstrate values brought to them.
Copes with Pressure
Any SE will highlight the importance of dealing with pressure. Under extraordinary campaign pressure an SE will need to execute the priorities of the customer and manage the demand and provide highly reliable assistance to the assigned team to drive account goals.
Flexibility and Ability to learn.
Any technologist needs to be able to continue to learn new things. An SE will continuously show a high level of willingness and ability to absorb and self-learn new technologies. Along with evolving their knowledge of the customer's industry and business and our competition and would leverage this within the sales campaigns.
National Society of Sales Engineers was created for the advocacy and development of careers in technical sales.
The NSSE Mission: Promote the career of technical sales and Create an environment for students and professionals to learn and practice technical selling skills
The NSSE mission aligns to my personal goal of making the role of the SE one that is much more accessible to more humans. According to a basic search on LinkedIn there are 13K open SE roles in the US alone.
Data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics the job will grow 7% by 20261. Software companies that will rely on the role of the Solution Engineer are realizing that we need to begin to develop new talent to ensure that we have a continued pool of individuals to fulfill the demand. Personally, I believe that this new talent pool will also drive the diversification needed in the industry. The current professionals in this industry have a duty to ensure that we continue to develop awareness of the role.