What do you call the people in your company who help potential customers to understand and compare/contrast your solution to their critical business issues? Many titles are used. The Wikipedia page for Sales Engineering includes the following job titles: Sales Engineer, Solutions Engineer, Solutions Architect, Systems Engineer, Customer Engineer, Pre-sales Consultant, Technical Account Manager, Applications Engineer or Field Applications Engineer. You can add Business Consultant, Customer Advisor, Customer First Consultant, Sales Consultant, Technical Sales, Commercial Engineer and many more to this list.
Many US based companies still use the term Sales Engineer and the work they do “Sales Engineering”. In Europe, the work is often described as “Pre sales”, but the term “pre sales consultant” is not often used. In fact, there is no commonly used job title, which makes it quite difficult to find new “Presales Consultants”. If you search for “Solution Architects” you will find less than 20% of the people that have experience in the field. The same applies when you look for “Sales Engineers”; you will automatically miss all the “Solution Architects”.
There are some interesting posts on LinkedIn about the confusion caused by different job titles, like Sales Engineer and Solution Architect referring to the same or, in some companies, different roles. You might be interested to read this article.
Would it make sense to choose the best job title which clearly shows what “Sales Engineers” and “Solution Architects” fundamentally do? They convince customers and prospects that their solution is solving their critical business issues. They focus on providing customers the relevant and necessary insights in the functionality of their solution. They prove to the customer the value that the solution will bring to the customer.
So, if it is all about solving customer issues and value, why don’t any of these job titles contain the word “value”?