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April 06, 2017
Building a World-Class SE Organization (Part 1)
[Editor's note: In this 3-part blog series, we’ll explore how we’re building a world-class SE organization to help advocate Clari technology, and meet prospect and customer needs.]
A Day in the Life of a Solutions Engineer (SE)
As we kick off my blog series, I wanted to give you a glimpse into what it’s like to be a Solutions Engineer at Clari. Based on what my team tells me, here is what each SE’s daily routine looks like (from an SE perspective):
- Get my cup of coffee (great coffee at Clari actually!)
- See what my day looks like (I’ve probably prepared for this the day before anyways)
- Customer calls, discovery, managing trials, follow up with customers
- Spend some time in Clari, view deals in the pipeline and where they are going
- Update next steps in Clari, view Quip for continual feedback, update mentoring notes for our new SEs
A Day in the Life of a Solutions Engineer Leader
Now being the manager is a little different. I build my day primarily based on working deals with SEs, and then three themes:
- Hiring/Team Building/Coaching
- Demo Enhancements
- Trials/Proof of Concept Improvements
At Clari HQ, when deals are involved, we live and breathe Clari. I've been working on a few high profile deals. Some SE work, some project management. That being said, there are other critical questions that are top of mind for me, in the spirit of building this team and driving professional development. For instance:
- Is my team blocked in any way?
- What deals are they involved in?
- Do they know what questions to ask?
- How are they accelerating the sales process?
- How are their relationships with their sales colleagues?
- Have they taken a little time today to sharpen their skills and hone their tools?
The questions I’ve listed above help me to better guide the SE team and achieve our goals. On a more general level, the questions below are also top of mind:
- What improvements have we made to the demo org?
- What strategic deals need my guidance?
- Have I enabled decision making at all levels of the team?
The Bigger Picture: Why Invest in SE Teams?
SE teams provide a competitive edge for the larger sales organization. This is why investment into the SE function is critical for sales teams. The SE organization's charter is to accelerate the sales cycle and increase win rates. Personally, I've observed that SE teams who trust each other, master their equipment and techniques, are first to the fight, and have sales and customer advocacy in their DNA, make the most effective partners to the wider sales team. That's what we're laser focused on building at Clari.
Now that I've introduced part one of this blog series, stay tuned for my next blog, which will dive deeper into our priorities for building a highly productive SE team.
Want to Learn More?
Discover more by joining our upcoming webinar, “How to Run a Data-driven Forecast Call” and learn how enterprise sales teams use and rely on Clari just like our Solutions Engineers do, to increase productivity and accelerate the entire sales process — April 20th, 10AM - 10:45AM PST.