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IoT Sales Engineers Combine Tech Savvy and Business Skills

March 29, 2017
By Laura Stotler - Telemarketing Software Contributing Editor

The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming ubiquitous in the retail world, and an increasing number of every day appliances and devices are now connected and offering value-added services to consumers and businesses. The art of marketing and selling in the era of IoT is interesting, and a shift in mindset may be in order for sales representatives who want to get a jumpstart on their colleagues.

Sales professionals working in the IoT ecosystem would do well to develop a sales engineering mindset, according to Babette Ten Haken, a consultant, speaker and specialist who focuses on customer retention within the industrial IoT space. Those sales reps who adopt a sales engineering approach are best equipped to help their customers and prospects while addressing the myriad challenges of selling products and services within the IoT sphere.

Sales engineers are in the unique position of combining sales and engineering skills and applying them to the industrial and commercial markets. Because the IoT is changing how solutions are evaluated and purchased within those markets, sales engineers are focused on offering technical insights and problem solving to convince buyers that their solutions are worthwhile. Beyond being tech savvy, sales engineers bring valuable presentation and customer relationship skills to the table, giving them a unique combination of traits perfectly suited to the IoT economy.

According to Haken, value creation is the key to a successful sales engineering mindset. Value is created through a multi-disciplinary, cross-functional approach to sales that is pervasive throughout the entire sales lifecycle. Sales engineers might come from a sales background but have a keen interest and curiosity about technology, or conversely, they may spring from a tech-heavy background while possessing business acumen and customer relationship savvy. No matter which side of the business the engineer is coming from, they must become proficient in balancing sales skills with technical know-how and problem solving throughout the sales and marketing lifecycle.

Another critical consideration for sales engineers is that they must expand their skillsets and knowledge as technology and solutions evolve. Strategies that work well within today’s IoT framework may not apply to future products and solutions. By remaining vigilant and curious about technology and applying that knowledge to the sales cycle in a meaningful way, sales engineers will be the winners in the IoT economy.

Edited by Alicia Young

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