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Content Effectiveness

Mid-Funnel Content Creation: How to Leverage Engineers & Pre-Sales

January 20, 2021

RFPs. Security Questionnaires. SOWs. POCs. 

What do all of these customer and/or prospect requests have in common?

They require a lot of time to deliver and require a deep level of personalization to the specific prospect you’re selling to, along with being critical elements to progressing opportunities in the sales funnel forward and illustrating your solution’s fit.

Each organization handles these requests differently with some making them the responsibility of the sales rep. Others have dedicated proposal teams or deal desks that generate these documents. 

However, one critical area of the revenue team you should not overlook in the creation of this content: pre-sales. 

They have various titles across organizations: solution sales, pre-sales, technical sales, solutions consultants, solutions architects, the list goes on. 

So, why should we be tapping these individuals more in the content creation process? We’ve captured a few of the key reasons below:

Their high technical acumen of your offering and functionality.

Sales engineers’ main superpower is the product expertise they bring to each prospect or customer interaction. While a sales rep will quarterback the sales cycle and work to demonstrate value at every turn, a sales engineer is his or her very best co-pilot. 

A typical sales rep may not know every technical aspect of your solution, and, to be truthful, they probably shouldn’t. Their focus is to intimately understand the prospect they are selling to. The technical knowledge a sales engineer possesses is a huge credibility builder in each deal — and that includes the complex documents and responses often involved in the middle of the funnel.

Their knowledge of the intricacies of security, privacy, compliance, and legal policies.

To establish credibility in a B2B selling environment, sales engineers need to have deep technical acumen of the solution and the market conditions surrounding it. Relevant examples of these market dynamics might include privacy regulations, security certifications, compliance attestations, legal requirements, and anything else a prospect may require technical validation on, in order to partner with you.

Again, by harnessing that knowledge and popping it into these sales responses, we unlock key industry knowledge and market intricacies. 

Their deep understanding of competitive differentiation.

Something sales engineers do daily is subtly highlight the limitations of their competitors. It may be in functionality they choose to focus on, how they describe a process, or they may even take a page out of Steve Jobs’ book and explain how your product “thinks differently” about the subject matter. These nuances are what separates a good sales engineer from an exceptional one. 

As the resident experts on your company’s competitive differentiation and having in-depth knowledge of a specific opportunity, they’re uniquely positioned to write sales content and responses in that lens.

...all while still sounding like a salesperson.

Most sales engineers didn’t just wake up one day and became sales and product experts. Many were salespeople in their past lives. Selling is in their DNA.

In the middle of the sales funnel, most buyers will be around the evaluation and decision phases of their buying process — meaning you still need to actively sell and persuade them you’re the best option. Truthfully, you’re still selling until the second the ink is dry (well, and after that, but that’s a topic for another blog).

So, combine a sales engineer’s technical and market acumen with their ability to persuade and sell, and you’ve got a winning combination to push that deal to Closed - Won. 

Start leveraging your Sales Engineers without weighing them down.

While it’s imperative you start leveraging the immense amount of knowledge these individuals hold; it’s also crucial to not bog them down in content creation. 

With a sales content collaboration platform, you can multiply their expertise by creating content once and using it for multiple requests and documents down the road. 

You can also promote content to a reference library they can update as functionality changes and the market shifts, making sure you always have the best possible content going out to your prospect — with minimal manual effort.

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