According to most integrators the times where margin offered place for 2 guys on site is over. A security sales is a technico sales and shall be able to go back with distances, heigth, luminosity and being able to use luxmeter and telemeter , taking pictures and so on. So that, back to the office, you can work only on the focal issues. I also advise sometimes to do pure technical IP testings when you want to confirm you can re-use an old telephone wire or a coax. (Network often weights 60% of global) Then I also train sales guys to work on focal calculators. Engineers shall be kept for network architectures and routing.
So answer is probably : if you need everytime 2 guys on site , you probably will lose more and more deals compared to sales able to be self suffisient on most field survey taks.
IPVMU Certified | 02/25/14 10:43am
As a former engineer, I welcomed being invited on site visits. Heck, I could prevent so many problems and mistakes from ever seeing the light of day just by walking the job. The division of labor that worked best: me (engineer) = think about designs / you (salesperson) = shake hands and smile a lot
In fact, I loved putting the entire quote together too. And talking to the customer instead of the salesman. In fact, it was better if they didn't even come along in many cases.
(BTW: several of those people are site members, and will see this comment.)
I hate to be that guy who says it 'depends on the application', but...
Large deals, two person team. Small deals, one person.
As Marc mentions, a big issue is economics. It's hard to justify 2 people consistently unless the prospective sale is large enough. However, as the size of the projects grows, so too does the technical issues and the technological sophistication of the buyer.
Having a guy who is great at both sides is the exception, rather than the rule. It's not just knowledge/skill, it's personality and mindset.
At my previous job some of the sales people wouold pull on us Engineers if the project was complex. If it was a few cameras or a small opportunity then they would bring us back whatever information they could find out. A lot of times on the smaller jobs the customer didn't really know enough about the network or what they needed anyways. If we needed more information it wasn't a problem for us to call the customer and try to get what we needed anyways.
For some of our larger customers that I had basically designed their system and continued to help maintain it I wouldn't even need the Sales person with me I could just go out and do the site visit, engineer the job and give the proposal to the Sales person. Most of the Sales people were pretty good when it came to a large project to pull on us to assist. Of course there were some who just didn't care but they were the minority.
Pro Focus LLC | 02/25/14 05:12pm
Can you add an option for us "trunkslammers" that fill both roles?
IPVMU Certified | 03/03/14 08:23am
As an end-user, my expereience has seen the full gamet of whomever was sent to our facilities by potential vendors. From clueless sales persons to extremely knowledgable sales persons / engineers more than capable of describing and answering the tough questions.
I think from a pre-sales, customers perspective, I would much rather prefer to have a that person tell me an honest "No, we cant do that" than try to obviously BS their way to get our business only to waste our time in the long run by over promising and under deliverying.
As the industry constantly changes, sales persons need to be more up-to-date in engineering basic terms or knowledge. In most cases, those days where you as "the gifted" sales person of closing a deal are over. Is not just about go to the site and sell you a hundred cameras because they match your front door color... you need engineering knowledge period.
It all depends on the customer and facility you are selling to. If it is a school for example, you kind of already know what is involved. Most districts are looking for that ‘check in the box’ solution to satisfy the board. The cheaper the solution, the happier they are. I just recently walked a school project, the IT director already picked out some cameras from his Anixter catalog. “I want 1.3 mp cameras on the interior etc..” specifying all kinds of goofy things like SD storage etc… We walked the project and he’s telling us just to use old camera location / boxes to mount the new cameras. No concern for pixels on target or lighting or focal view. I’m trying to educate him during the walk on ways to get the most for his investment. He had appliance recorders spread all over the campus. Then I’ll visit a larger district and they have hired a well known engineering firm specifying solid products.
Then you have the big picture sales professionals. I have worked with many of these types, they admit to being completely ignorant to the technology details but are rockstars at finding the big opportunities. They are simply driving opportunities…leveraging relationships. Typically with the higher C-level executives who also are also non-technical.
Personally, the only folks I typically bring to the opportunity are the operations guys. I want a buy-in on the labor hours.
How to instantly tell a Salesperson from a Tech:
Write the word UNIONIZED on a napkin, ask the candidate what the word is, if you get back "YOON-YUN-IZED" or some such, chuckle and say your right, and then keep looking for a real tech...
Anyone know any others?