Welcome to the SDSA Blog Posts

Welcome to the SDSA Blog. My primary goal is to guide pre-sales engineers in their journey to a direct professional selling role. This transformation starts with positive mentoring that increases sales acumen from every perspective. Not to be exclusive, if you’re already a salesperson and simply wish to improve your performance you are equally welcomed. I personally went through this transformation about 30 year ago, and to this day it continues to provide very good income and a deep sense of personal fulfillment and achievement. I have created a series of blog topics that are fundamental to the sales process and align with key mentoring topics and training modules that may become available at a future date in standard time.

Please allow 24-72 hours for review and final posting. Please note that this Blog is reserved to SDSA clients and is not intended to be a generic networking blog.

A mentorship qualification session, at no charge, lets you decide how to advance your sales acumen. I appreciate your interest in the Sales Profession and I look forward to your inputs such that we all become better sooner. When in doubt: “commit to nothing … deliver everything”

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Market Analysis

It is important for you to understand your market’s sweet-spot and to dedicated time in order to remain current. The market is like the ocean it’s a bit unpredictable and it’s not afraid to blaze new trails without your permission. The market determines what your product sells for and what Customers are willing to pay for your product. The market will also tell you how long your product’s value remains relevant. be real … stay informed …

Internal Competition

A form of competition can also come from inside your company. The solutions that you sell need to be designed, developed and supported by your company in order for you to be successful. Your company may decide that it’s more important for them invest in products other than the ones you are selling. Keep track of you product roadmaps and flag delays in terms of lost opportunity costs to your manager on a continual basis. Make this an integral part of your sales planning.

Conversion Rate

You need to know what percent of your opportunities actually translate into a sale. If you find yourself with a lower than desirable percentage then you need to increase the top of your pipeline (add more opportunities). The desirable percentage is normalized by your ability to retire to your quota. Make sure that you and your manager agree on your conversion rate and make it an integral part of your sales plan and forecasting accuracy. Success is measured in terms of simple numbers, make sure you know your numbers.

Sales Acumen

A good idea that can’t be sold is a bad idea.  Improving your sales acumen will help you maintain better sales planning. In sales, “better” refers to growing sales revenue faster. Understand what works and what doesn’t work for you. Adjust what you can and escalate to your manager the things that you can’t. It’s more important to be accurate in sales than to be smart.

Happy New Year – 2022

Let’s start this new year with a powerful commitment to setting meaningful goals and exceeding them. My goad this CY-2022 is to continue to grow the Sales Academy by helping Engineers make the transformation to Sales. If you have a particular hurdle that is preventing you from completing the transformation, post them here and let the power of the SDSA community guide you to a success outcome.

Best wishes to you, your family, and friends in 2022 and let’s get going…cheers…. Alan

Forecasting vs Anticipation

Many salespeople ask me why their manager always scrutinizes their forecasted pipeline? Good question. If your forecast is less than 70% accurate, then it becomes less of a forecast and more a wish list; wish lists are primarily supported by active anticipation and not measurable metrics. Your manager is also scrutinized by their manager on your total team’s forecasting accuracy. Things tend to roll down hill very quickly in sales and the worst parts will float back up and hit you in the face at the worst possible time. Forecasting is a skill not an art, keep improving that skill.

Technical Sales Training for Engineers

So your are an engineer wondering why “selling” is important to me or my team? After all, you’re thinking, engineering is about architectures, designs, solving problems, building it better, and supporting your solutions. You are correct in your logic and reason, but there is one simple catch – you need to sell your plans, ideas, designs, and solutions, to management (purse strings), in order for their benefits to be reaped. Therefore, sales training for engineers is an essential enabler that allows you to achieve your engineering and personal advancement goals.

Having spent the first 13 years or so in various engineering positions, ranging from software development to systems engineering, it is easy for an engineer to neglect the business side of the job.  Why, because many times it is viewed as a waste of time and non essential to completing the task at hand.  But, in retrospect, the primary reason that most engineering projects receive approval and funding is that someone sold it internally – i.e., they justified the operational and capital budgets required to senior management.

Again, sales training for engineers should be viewed as an essential educational component to all engineering careers.  After all it will always be about generating enough profits to sustain and grow the company.