You cajole, compensate, threaten and throw your hands up in the air trying to get sales teams to collaborate productively and profitably with engineering teams.
- First, it’s a matter of how these professionals problem-solve.
- Second, it’s a matter of how these professionals communicate.
- Third, it’s a matter of professional bias and baggage.
- Fourth, it’s a matter of creating an enlightened workforce hiring strategy. Because these two employee personas that can be as different as oil and water.
Yet, these talented professionals have more in common with each other than you – and they – think. However, consider whether hiring processes and onboarding strategies reinforce professional differences, instead of similarities.
Sales engineering collaboration is based on recognition of differences in problem-solving.
For starters, sales people tend to think more qualitatively than quantitatively. Also, they react rather than listen and observe because they are hired to be extremely social and gregarious.. Then, they rush the decision-making process (and often the sale). In addition, they often are uncomfortable with data. All told, they lack professional self-confidence when working with or selling to technical decision makers.
However, IT and manufacturing engineers tend to think more quantitatively than qualitatively. Also, they are trained to make data-driven and observation-based decisions, rather than assuming anything. Then, they utilize the scientific method to validate (with data-driven support materials) every aspect of every conversation. As a result, they take their time and drive sales people crazy with their “different” sense of urgency.
Yet, sales engineering collaboration focuses on defining these differences in problem-solving and educating everyone on how to make more informed, data-driven decisions when solving problems. Is this aspect built into your workforce hiring, onboarding and employee engagement strategy?
Sales engineering collaboration is based on recognition of differences in communication.
For example, sales people tend to communicate with business buzz words. As a result, these words sound shallow and often incomprehensible to their technical peers. Yet technical professionals communicate using highly specified engineering and mathematical terminology. Comparatively, their words often are intimidating and incomprehensible to their sales peers.
When these two professionals are involved in not-very-well facilitated meetings, everyone sticks to their own kind. They throw around their respective professional lingo like confetti at a New Year’s Eve party. Everyone is busy showing off how smart they are. You and I have attended all too many painful and completely unproductive meetings like this.
Then again, sales engineering collaboration focuses on establishing a set of common terminology that is readily understood by everyone throughout the organization. Why limit collaboration to your sales and engineering professionals?
Does your current workforce hiring, onboarding and employee engagement strategy reinforce professional dysfunction or cross-functional collaboration?
Sales engineering collaboration is based on recognition of personal and professional bias and baggage.
You all bring bias to the workplace. These biases are based on how and where you were brought up, your level of education, your social and professional experiences. Also, these biases are reflected in your word choices and how you were trained to solve problems and communicate.
Consider how your own personal and professional biases impact, both positively and negatively, your interactions with workforce colleagues and various personas. In addition, consider how your own personal and professional biases and baggage impact how you collaborate within your own and client corporate cultures.
Sales engineering collaboration is based on innovative workforce hiring strategy.
First, people do business with people they understand: customer acquisition. Then, people continue to do business with people they understand: customer retention.
Sales engineering collaboration is your ground zero. You need sellers to drive revenue through your organization. You need engineers to drive throughput and output through your organization. When sellers and engineers don’t understand each other, revenue creation is negatively impacted. The size, complexity and length of won deals is smaller. Project management and quality is not quite what it should be.
The workforce hiring strategy choice is yours. Will you continue to reinforce the differences between your employees? Or will you focus on sales engineering collaboration to drive business growth and customer retention?
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
Babette Ten Haken | Change Catalyst | Purpose-Driven Professional Innovation | Cross-Functional Team Leadership | Trust-Based Client Retention | In Person & Virtual Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken is a refreshingly extroverted STEM professional and skeptical thinker focused on intentional innovation. She helps people, teams and organizations make hard calls when designing products, services, careers and cultures. These are not easy conversations to have. Her ability to translate cross-functional conversations between left-brain and right-brain thinkers provides different pathways for behavior, response, insight and collaboration. Think of the strategic business and human capital value of moving beyond avoidance or group-think, together. Instead, let your creativity, critical thinking, and leadership skills co-develop together, one millimeter at a time. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.