In my past life I was a pre-sales engineer and the resident subject matter expert or SME before it was called that. I was one of those rare birds that could sell and build solutions. I could be “salesy” if needed or as technical as it gets. I also, as a left and right brainier, could ascertain some of the trending marketing directions easily to become instrumental in helping the sales team focus their efforts accordingly. This last part turned out to be more important, or at least as important, as understanding how the product actually worked.
It’s not what you think. Subject matter expert.
You’re probably saying isn’t that a marketing job? Well, yes and no. What I found is while marketing had a 500 foot view of things I had an “in the trenches” view of what was important to a potential client. Also, marketing was slow to adapt new strategies to get the word out. I remember talking about LinkedIn in the early days as way to do so with marketing balking at the idea as all they saw was a place to get a job.
I know this is going to sound egotistical but… My closing rate with the sales teams I was part of was phenomenal. I was able to easily understand the solution helping to position our company against the competition. I also was able to train the staff on positioning and how to help get the word out. Let me put it to you this way… When I left they had Chris Lott, SME withdrawals.
They’re Hard to find. Subject matter expert.
I can’t stress enough the importance of having someone on the team with the ability to leverage new sales technologies. Through hiring and utilization of modern day experts, but more importantly orchestrate them together in a way that helps the organization capture that value, will become vital going forward.
The bad news is that talented SMEs are notoriously hard to acquire but anyone that has seen the value will recommend going the distance to bring them on board. Whatever that means. Remote working or relocation possibly.
As the competition heats up, only the most innovative cutting edge firms will excel. They need to be smarter by re-evaluating sales and marketing strategies and roles. They need to utilize the newest technologies. But most importantly they need to have a subject matter expert to help lead the way.© 2006-2018 SalesBlog! | Photos courtesy of 123RF | Posted on