Over the past 4-5 years the corporate world has seen a vast expansion in the C-suite. Back “in the day” most companies had a CEO and a CFO, and maybe a COO. Over time that increased. Currently, depending on the size and type of company, there are enough C-suite titles that might make your head spin:
CEO- chief executive officer
CFO- chief financial officer
COO- chief operations officer
CIO- chief information officer
CTO- chief technology officer
CMO- chief marketing officer
CRO- chief revenue officer
CSO- chief strategy officer
CRO- chief risk officer
CIO- chief investment officer
CEO- chief engineering officer
CDO- chief diversity officer
CCO- chief compliance officer
CLO- chief legal officer
CHRO- chief human resource officer
CIO- chief innovation officer
So there is no CSRO – chief shipping returns officer- that we know of. But maybe that is forthcoming?
Of course everyone WANTS to be in the C-suite; there are many reasons for that. For one, how about compensation? The average compensation for a Chief Operations Officer (COO) is $278,000/ year. Everyone with a “chief” in their title is making a lot of dollars; this is significant overhead for the company. I think the financial scrutiny on some of these roles is increasing.
Over the past 9-10 months in the tech sector, we have seen many layoffs and some companies folding up. I’ve seen many Sales Engineering Director/Manager roles evaporate, during this downturn. The position is seen as a luxury that the company cannot afford; some of these folks were then offered individual contributor positions.
In a similar vein, I do wonder and anticipate that some of these “non-essential” (??) “Chief” titles will be eliminated as part of wider cost-cutting actions by the company. Outside of the tech sector, in the broader economy, we have been talking about a recession for some time and most people anticipate a marked recession beginning sometime soon- later 2023. (Of course some believe it has already begun.)
Do some companies have too many chiefs? Too many cooks in the kitchen, but not enough waiters? Time will tell. Five years from now will we have 8-10 different C-suite roles in a typical medium-large company?
(This article was written by Ken Lambert, and does not fully represent NAASE as an Association.)
(by Damian Hanna)
Time is flying by and with 2022 ending, NAASE would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season! People have lost jobs, found jobs, are looking for jobs, and dealing with everything else this world can throw their way. It is challenging for sure, but NAASE is here to help for any of these scenarios. Through our member network, member benefits along with a professional certification, folks are engaging with other NAASE members to help each other throughout their journey.
2022 was a solid year for NAASE members, as we had several public and member’s only forums ranging from topics like “The Future of Technical Education and Certification” with NVIDIA, “Women in Tech and the Advancement of Women in the Workplace” with Eva Helen, to “Mastering Technical Sales – Becoming a Trusted Advisor” with John Care. Additionally, NAASE co-hosted in-person and online events with partners like Vivun and Consensus as we participated in Unxpctd and Demofest, respectively. The list of member benefits has also continued to grow as well as our list of Certified SE Coaches all accessible from our website at https://sales-engineering.org.
Most recently, NAASE welcomed Mary Carter to our Association’s Advisory Board! Mary is an experienced sales engineering leader, someone who helps the sales team close deals by demystifying the technical side of things. She currently combines technical expertise with sales savvy as the Global Solutions Engineering Manager at GoCardless. NAASE is lucky to have a collection of excellent and varied professionals to help steer the way for the organization across all industries.
Moving onto 2023, we are already working with one of our corporate sponsors Vivun to co-host additional in-person Executive and Tech Meetup events, so keep an eye out for those announcements. Vivun maximizes PreSales teams’ ability to accelerate revenue, grow market share, and demonstrate value, all powered by Vivun’s AI engine acting on their unique PreSales data set. If your organization is interested in becoming a Corporate Sponsor with NAASE, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. To kick things off in January, NAASE will be co-hosting a podcast, with The Manufacturing Executive. (https://www.gorilla76.com/the-manufacturing-executive-podcast/) Keep an eye out on our website and LinkedIn for more details.
As a reminder, we have membership levels for Students, Individuals as well as Corporate memberships which can all be found at https://sales-engineering.org/join-naase-2/. Additionally, if you have not applied for the NAASE Certified Sales Engineer (CSE) certification yet, what are you waiting for? The NAASE CSE certification identifies you as a dedicated professional and acknowledges your personal achievements, improves your level of practice, and highlights you as an industry leader. Check out the CSE requirements at https://sales-engineering.org/cse/.
Damian Hanna, CSE
President – NAASE
There is quite a lot of troubling news and numbers lately regarding the status of the general US economy, and maybe even moreso in the tech/software sector. NAASE is not an economic think tank, but we do research current trends. That said, we recently conducted a 1 on 1 interview with Mark Stevenson, the President of Champion Recruiting. Champion focuses on sales and SE’s within the tech industry, and they are a NAASE Corporate Member. You can find them at: https://www.linkedin.com/company/champion-recruiting/about/ .
Mark is located right outside of Silicon Valley, and has filled roles at many California and national tech companies. Champion focuses on only the top 25% of talent that is out there- but truly they seek out and place mostly the top 10% of sales representatives and sales engineers. He calls those the “A” players in the market. Below that are what he refers to as the “B” folks- who still are good at what they do, but they would not be considered the best at their current firms. And below that, all the rest he would deem as the “C” personnel- who are semi-adequate and often times would have the hardest time in finding a new job.
NAASE: What’s the market like out there now? I read of layoffs every other day it seems.
MS: Well, the economy goes in cycles and I have been through several of them. When the economy is bad, and/or when inflation is high (like now), many companies use that as a good time to “trim the fat” per se. A 5%- 10% reduction in headcount across the board is very normal. However, lately I’ve seen several companies cut 20% of their staff. Those are big numbers.
NAASE: Is that because there is less venture capital out there currently?
MS: Well, maybe a little bit. But in the Valley itself, I still think there’s a lot of cash and investment out there floating around. I think the layoffs are more to do with the current state of the overall economy. Less spending… less profits, with higher fixed costs.
NAASE: What do you say to a tech SE that recently got laid off and is now searching? Will they have a harder time finding their next job than they would have a year ago? Any advice?
MS: It all depends. At Champion, we are dealing with all “A” players. Those people are the cream of the crop, and generally they are going to get what they want. They won’t be struggling to find a good job for long. Even in a recession, they are wanted. If you are out of work you need to be honest with yourself. Are you an “A” sales rep or SE? It does no good to kid yourself. 90% of people out there are not; that is just the math. I know that sounds harsh, but I’m trying to give good advice. If you are a B or a C player, you need to leverage your professional (and personal) network to find a decent job, in a tough economy. And that is where we are right now.
NAASE: So, high-level, where do you see things going? When will things turn back around?
MS: I’m certainly no economist, but I work in the market and in the industry every day. And I read the news just like everyone else. Looks like 2 more federal rate hikes, soon. That will further deflate the economy. That said, I think it might get a bit worse, before it gets better. The next “high” wave might be 1-2 years away. So I think we are back in a scenario where the companies have leverage. Over the past couple years (or more) the employees typically had the leverage. Not anymore, in general. So if my boss told me I need to be in the office 4 days a week- I think I’d probably do it and not complain.
NAASE: Thanks Mark. Appreciate the time and the insight. I hope things will be a little better than you detail, but it is good to be prepared either way.
(English version follows the Spanish section.)
1. Luis, eres Copywriter y estratega de ventas técnicas industriales como freelance, y también un Ingeniero de ventas a tiempo completo para la empresa Logistic Trade donde también coordinas el CRM. ¡Parece que eres un tipo ocupado! ¿Qué es lo que más te gusta de ambos roles?
Definitivamente es complicado equilibrar distintos roles en la vida, pero es necesario ese esfuerzo para un crecimiento personal y profesional, busco encontrar tiempo muchas veces de donde parece que no existe. Lo que más me gusta de ambos roles es que todo se enfoca a lo mismo: Ventas B2B. Desde niño fui formado como vendedor, y es algo que al paso del tiempo lo he combinado con mi formación académica como ingeniero industrial, para enfocarme en ventas de ingeniería. Me gusta hacer diferentes actividades y proyectos, pero el foco está puesto donde mismo: Ventas B2B.
2. Hace aproximadamente un año te convertiste en miembro del Consejo Asesor de NAASE (North American Association of Sales Engineers). ¿Por qué querías estar en la Junta y qué cosas te gustaría ver hacer a NAASE en el futuro?
Cuando descubrí NAASE me pareció un excelente proyecto, tener un lugar donde el gremio de ingenieros de ventas puedan reunirse. En México no hay una asociación de este género, por lo que me gustó mucho que el alcance de NAASE fuera todo el territorio de México, Estados Unidos y Canadá. Creo que hay mucho campo donde se puede concientizar y abrir el panorama para que muchos ingenieros vean en las ventas un área de verdadero desarrollo profesional, sin dejar de ejercer la ingeniería. Me invitaron a pertenecer al Consejo de Asesores, y vi una oportunidad para poder difundir esta profesión para México. Me gustaría ver a NAASE en el futuro con un peso en el sector industrial, como una asociación prestigiosa, con un grupo de miembros activos en congresos, actualización profesional, networking, así como con una certificación que sea reconocida en norteamérica para ingenieros de ventas que sean verdaderamente confiables y realmente quieran ayudar a sus posibles clientes.
3. En el comercio entre México y Estados Unidos, así como en el mundo de las ventas B2B, ¿qué tan importante es que los mexicanos nativos hablen bien el idioma inglés? o, ¿no es realmente tan importante para las empresas estadounidenses?
En el mundo globalizado en el que nos encontramos definitivamente es importante poder comunicarse en idioma inglés para un ingeniero dedicado a las ventas. En muchas ocasiones se debe tratar con clientes de lengua inglesa, o estudiar manuales de operación, así como explicar proyectos a contratistas intermediarios. Muchas de esas actividades son en idioma inglés. Es verdad que no es necesario ser 100% bilingüe, pero sí poder entender el idioma, entender una conversación, entender una lectura y poder de alguna forma poder explicar alguna idea, a través de voz y escritura. Un ingeniero de ventas que se quiera desarrollar en este mundo tendrá que tener nociones de inglés a nivel conversacional, sin embargo nadie espera que sea experto en el idioma pero sí en técnicas comerciales.
4. Veo que está a punto de obtener su Doctorado en Administración de Empresas. ¡Mucho éxito! ¿Qué logros esperas obtener con ese doctorado?
Como comenté anteriormente, las distintas facetas en las que estoy involucrado se enfocan en las ventas B2B. Actualmente investigo sobre cualidades que debe tener el vendedor industrial que le ayuden al cierre de ventas. Uno de los principales objetivos al terminar el doctorado es reforzar mi experiencia en campo con el conocimiento y análisis científico del comportamiento de vendedores industriales. Creo que el doctorado amplifica y acentúa mi voz ante la sociedad con más prestigio para hablar y opinar sobre temas de ventas B2B, con un fundamento científico.
5. Las ventas técnicas y la Ingeniería de Ventas es un viaje. ¿Crees que el proceso de compra B2B se volverá más largo y complicado, o más simple, en los próximos años?
Me dedico a la venta de soluciones de almacenamiento para el sector industrial en la empresa Logistic Trade (logistictrade.com). Los procesos de compra pueden llevar de 2 a 12 meses. Pienso que una gran parte del proceso de prospección por parte de los vendedores y de selección de proveedores será automatizado con inteligencia artificial, también creo que la toma de decisiones de compra seguirán en gran parte por el ser humano. El proceso se volverá más simple con más recursos para tomar mejores decisiones por parte de los compradores, y también para seleccionar mejor al cliente ideal por parte de los vendedores, aunque esto no significa que se disminuirá considerablemente el tiempo de decisión final de compra.
Luis Armando Vasquez
Ingeniero de ventas industriales y Copywriter de ventas técnicas.
1. Luis, you are a freelance Technical Sales Copywriter and Marketing Strategist, and also a full-time Sales Engineer at Logistic Trade Company where you also coordinate the CRM. Sounds like you’re a busy guy! What do you like most about both of those roles?
It’s difficult to balance different roles in life, but that effort is necessary for personal and professional growth, I often seek to find a time when it seems that it doesn’t exist. What I like the most about both roles is that everything is focused on the same objective: “B2B Sales”. Since I was a child I was trained as a salesman, and it’s something that over time I have combined with my academic studies as an Industrial Engineer, to focus on engineering sales. I like to do different activities and projects, but the focus is on the same spot: “B2B Sales”.
2. About a year ago you became a member of the Advisory Board at NAASE (North American Association of Sales Engineers). Why did you want to be on the Board, and what things would you like to see NAASE do in the future?
When I discovered NAASE, it seemed like an excellent project to me, to have a space where the sales engineers can meet together. In Mexico, there is no association like this, so I liked that the scope of NAASE was the entire territory of Mexico, United States, and Canada. There are a lot of fields where you can raise awareness and open the panorama so that many engineers see “Sales” as an area of true professional development, without giving up engineering. The Executive Committee invited me to belong to the Advisory Board, and I saw an opportunity to spread this profession to Mexico. I would like to see NAASE in the future, with considerable influence in the industrial sector, as a prestigious association, with a group of active members in annual conferences, professional updating, networking, as well as with a certification that is recognized in North America for sales engineers who are truly trustworthy and genuinely want to help their prospects.
3. In the Mexican-American trading and B2B selling world, how important is it for native-born Mexicans to speak English well? Or, is it not really that important to USA companies?
In the globalized world where we are, it is important to be able to communicate in English as a sales engineer. On many occasions, you must deal with English-speakers clients, or study operating manuals, as well as explain projects to intermediary contractors. Many of these activities are in the English language. Indeed, it is not necessary to be 100% bilingual, but it’s necessary to be able to understand the language, understand a conversation, understand reading and somehow be able to explain an idea, through voice and writing. A sales engineer who wants to develop in this world will must have notions of English at a conversational level, however, nobody expects him to be an expert in the language but in business skills.
4. I see you are in the middle of going to get your Doctorate in Business Administration. Good luck! What do you want that Ph.D. to allow you to accomplish?
As I mentioned before, the different facets that I’m involved in are focused on B2B Sales. I’m currently researching soft skills that a technical salesperson must have to close sales. One of the main objectives at the end of the Doctorate is to reinforce my experience in the field, with the knowledge and scientific analysis of the behavior of industrial salespeople. I believe that the Doctorate amplifies and accentuates my voice before society, allowing me to speak and give an opinion on B2B sales issues, with a scientific foundation.
5. Technical sales and sales engineering is a journey. Do you see the B2B buying process getting lengthier and more complicated -or simpler- over the next few years?
I’m dedicated to selling storage solutions for the industrial sector in the company Logistic Trade (logistictrade.com). The purchase process can take from two to twelve months. I think that a large stage of the process of prospecting by sellers and the selection of suppliers will be automated with artificial intelligence, I also believe that purchasing decisions will continue to be made largely by humans. The process will become simpler, with more resources to make better decisions by buyers, and also to better select the ideal buyer persona by sellers. This doesn’t mean that the final purchase decision time will be considerably reduced.
Luis Armando Vasquez
Sales Engineer and Technical Sales Copywriter.
By Matt Mahoney, VP NAASE
We are the North American Association of Sales Engineers. We were founded in 2020 and started out small, but have been growing quickly and steadily in the past 2 years. Our mission here at NAASE is a simple one: we aim to foster a base of Certified Sales Engineers across North America, enable them to connect with one another, and actively promote the profession.
Who are we though?
NAASE is made up of a diverse group of members across various industries. We are account managers, we are technical sales reps, we are sales engineers. We are industry consultants, we are software engineers, we are presales professionals. We are entry level employees, managers, VPs, directors, SVPs, and C- Suite executives. We work in software, machinery, consulting, HVAC, electrical and power, robotics, construction, security, food, medical devices, and others.
NAASE is represented by members from many industries and at all levels of leadership. If you’re looking for a community of likeminded people in the sales or presales space, this is the community for you!
Members of NAASE are able to network with one another, connect with recruiters and career coaches, and provides plenty of discounts on a wide variety of professional services. We offer our members many benefits at a great value. We offer three professional certifications as well, available to any of our members who meet the qualifications. We are proud of our member base, and we aim to continue our strong growth as others in the industry recognize concrete benefits of joining NAASE.
Drop us a line, check out our website, and consider joining the North American Association of Sales Engineers!
We are almost halfway through 2022! With so many challenges for people as well as businesses, it’s fair to say that humanity keeps us together and driving forward no matter what gets in the way. It’s now June, and NAASE would also like to recognize Pride month as a great example of how humanity can come together to make a difference in this world.
June is an exciting month for NAASE, as we have a Member’s Only Forum with John Care next week.
I encourage you to sign up for an NAASE membership before then, to not miss one of the best Technical Sales advocates around. Later this month, we will also be announcing the SE of the Year winner! That is just the beginning, as we will have so many more great events online as well as some upcoming in-person events later this year. If I could call out the top benefit to being a member of NAASE, it is that you will gain access to a very diverse set of industry leaders and up-and-comers, to network with as well as request advice for wherever your path is leading through technical sales. It’s easy to join, and as a member you have direct access to the NAASE leadership as well as board members in addition to all NAASE members.
I would like to leave you all with these thoughts for today, as we truly would love to have more industry feedback on what the community would like to see from NAASE in the future. When we think of hot tech topics, we think things like Zero Trust, CyberSecurity, Multi-hybrid Cloud, but what would be some tech topics NAASE could focus on with events or discussions where you see are trending hot topics? What about AI in the manufacturing process?
Finally, I would like to mention a conversation I once had with someone regarding the definition of Cloud. They said to me “I just use this device and everything shows up.” I then said, but that’s the same as any other device right? They responded with “no, this device doesn’t have anything installed locally besides a web browser, as everything I need is in the Cloud.” I continued to see if they really understood what that all means, so I asked what their definition of Cloud was. They said “Cloud is just a data center that is owned and managed by someone else. It can be anywhere and you only need to connect to it.” I felt that was a pretty basic and fair definition, do you agree? We would like to hear what other definitions of Cloud are out there resonating with industry as well as non-industry folks.
Damian Hanna, CSE
President – NAASE
Is it March already? Time seems to be flying by, and we have all had to deal with so much turmoil going on throughout the world. With all these unfortunate events, 2022 still seems to be holding strong by providing jobs and more opportunities for people to do what we love as well as engaging with others, who we may have not been able to see in a long time. In the professional world, we are also starting to see more and more in-person meetings, which seems to be re-energizing our industry and people’s Technical Sales career aspirations. NAASE is no different, as we have been more active and have seen more and more of our members engage with us, our partners, as well as other members throughout the association. Although NAASE has not started hosting in-person events just yet, we are determined to continue providing good use of everyone’s time during any of our online forums that our members and potential members attend.
Last December, I stated we would be adding additional member benefits as well as promoting our 2022 monthly forum events. In case you missed any of our announcements via our website https://sales-engineering.org or on LinkedIn, we have added more partners who are offering discounts to our members, as well as additional Registered SE Coaches for you to connect with for both individual as well as corporate SE coaching. On top of this, we welcomed Vivun as our newest Corporate Sponsor. Vivun maximizes PreSales teams’ ability to accelerate revenue, grow market share, and demonstrate value, all powered by Vivun’s AI engine acting on their unique PreSales data set. If your organization is interested in becoming a Corporate Sponsor, please reach out to email@example.com.
So far this year, NAASE has co-hosted a forum with Kamelian Tech & Peter Strohkorb which discussed competitive sales strategies related to Sales Engineering, as well as a walkthrough of Kamelian Tech’s tools to use with Sales, CI, and negotiation. Additionally, NAASE co-hosted another forum with Heidi Castagna and Marco Alves from NVIDIA, discussing the future of Technical Certifications as well as introducing NVIDIA’s newest AI certification. With that said, I also wanted to provide just a sneak peek at some of the upcoming “NAASE Member’s Only” forums we will be promoting soon. You will be seeing a forum regarding “Women in Tech and the advancement of women in the workplace” with Eva Helen. Can you say, “John Care”? Look out for an upcoming Members Only forum about Mastering Technical Sales. I also heard a rumor that Ramzi Marjaba will be making an appearance later this year on one of the NAASE forums. Make sure your membership is up-to-date or join if you have not done so yet. You do not want to miss these events and all the additional benefits that will continue to be added throughout 2022.
As a reminder, we have membership levels for Students, Individuals as well as Corporate memberships which can all be found at https://sales-engineering.orgjoin-naase-2/#membership-details-1. Additionally, if you have not applied for the NAASE Certified Sales Engineer (CSE) certification yet, what are you waiting for? The NAASE CSE certification identifies you as a dedicated professional and acknowledges your personal achievements, improves your level of practice, and highlights you as an industry leader. Check out the CSE requirements at https://sales-engineering.orgcse/.
Damian Hanna, CSE
President – NAASE
(By Guest Blogger Dean Burgess) – You’ve built your company from the ground up, and now, you’re ready to grow by hiring your first sales team members. You can find the guidance you need to establish your team from the North American Association of Sales Engineers! Bringing on new team members and training them takes time, and these tips will help you get the process started.
Before you start expanding your company with an entirely new sales team, it’s important to take care of any key logistical or legal tasks on your to-do list. For example, if you already run a business under your given name, and you want to offer a new line of products or an entirely different service, you’ll need to choose a “Doing Business As” name. This is often known as a DBA name. If you register your DBA name, you can market and sell your services under a new name!
Next, it’s time to think about what you want your sales team to achieve. Once you know where you want your team to go, you can determine which roles you’ll need to hire for in order to get there! Think about what your team could realistically accomplish and which metrics you need to hit in order to keep your company moving forward.
Now, you’ve got a vision for your company’s sales goals – and it’s time to figure out who you’ll have to bring on board in order to execute these goals. Look into popular sales job titles to help define each role. Bidsketch states that you’ll probably need an account executive, a sales manager, a sales development representative, and a customer service representative. If you have bigger goals, you might also want to hire a sales engineer! You can create a job listing around each of these titles and share the listings on popular job platforms.
You’ve started to get responses to your job listings, and you’re interested in learning more about several candidates who look promising. It’s time to prepare for interviews! But which questions should you ask to find the best person for each role? Sales Assembly recommends asking them about their current sales process, how they would pitch your product, and their proudest sales accomplishments.
After going through rounds of interviews, you hired candidates who really stood out. You know that they have the aptitude and experience to succeed at your company, but you also want to make sure they’re truly ready to represent your product. When it comes to training your sales team, you can use helpful tools like e-learning programs to get everyone up to speed on new techniques or product details. You’ll also want to give detailed feedback to help each team member improve.
How can you motivate your team to keep improving and reaching bigger sales goals? By incentivizing them! With sales incentives, you can encourage your team to keep achieving. What kind of incentives can you offer your team that will actually prove effective? Close recommends setting up a monetary rewards program for your sales team, giving out new tech products as prizes, or offering special sales training from a personal coach. Think about your team’s personal interests and get creative when it comes to offerings – make sure that they match your team!
Finding the best candidates for your sales team – and helping them become the best sales representatives they can be – doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why you need to kick off the process with a roadmap outlining your next steps. With these tips, you’ll be able to start recruiting your new sales team!
Want to learn from other sales professionals? Join the North American Association of Sales Engineers! Register on our website today.
First I would like to thank the North American Association of Sales Engineers (NAASE), for allowing me to serve as President and to be part of an organization that strives to help advance the careers of Sales Engineers and Technical Sellers across all industries. This organization was founded by long-time Sales Engineer and industry consultant, Ken Lambert. Ken saw a need to develop a professional trade association that not only connects, but also certifies Sales Engineers across various industries. This is still the primary focus that I intend to keep going along with Ken Lambert our VP, as well as our fantastic diverse advisory board members.
These past two years have come with many challenges, both professionally as well as in our personal lives. Considering we are still in a world where it is unknown if we will be able to connect with people face to face or virtually, it has become more important than ever to be part of professional organization to continue to build your professional network, increase your technical aptitude and soft skills, as well as knowledge of the Sales Engineering career. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the NAASE has received continued positive feedback from our individual members, as well as our corporate members. As we tend to provide as much knowledge across the industries as we can each week, our members have stated how thankful they have been for the Forum/Webinars we host and sponsor, to help them advance within their careers.
As we move into 2022 and beyond, NAASE will continue to develop and improve certifications that reflect our industry and that are beneficial to our members. Our members also have access to many discounts across our sponsors page, and we continually add more valuable benefits that our members can take advantage of. Additionally, we have recently introduced our Registered Sales Engineer Coach page, where professional coaches can be found after their application has been reviewed and approved as a Registered Coach. If you are looking for personal Sales Engineering/Technical Sales coaching, or would like coaching for your organization, this is the place to check out.
Finally, several opportunities will be available through 2022 to meet with not only NAASE members, but we routinely work with other industry organizations to broaden the opportunity for our members to network. NAASE has a wealth of knowledge across its members, leadership and advisory board, and when combined with the networking opportunities we provide monthly, this has helped create solid relationships which have already helped so many.
For our current and prospective members, I want to assure you that the NAASE Leadership intention, and that of the advisory board, is to continue to grow NAASE with a members-first approach. We will stay focused on remaining as a benefit to our members, while providing current and future looking educational forums and resources. I look forward to adding more value to NAASE as President, and invite each of you to stay involved and help others out with a recommendation to join NAASE.
Damian Hanna, CSE
President – NAASE
Now and then NAASE will be featuring one of our Association Members. This week, we did a Q&A with Mr. Femi Coker, a recent Member.
Femi Coker, Regional Technical Sales Engineer
Dangote Cement Plc
1. How did you go from a Chemical Engineering major and graduate into a technical sales engineer at a manufacturer?
Frankly, I accidentally found myself in the position. I got a lead to apply for the position of Technical Officer through my In-law. Since this was in a manufacturing company and my qualification was an Engineering major, the job function will naturally be at the plant as I didn’t get a chance to see the scope of what I was applying for.I wrote the qualifying exams and went through the interview process.It was after getting the Job that I got to know the scope.I actually wanted a real engineering practice at the cement plant but with time I started enjoying the field aspect of the plant operations.
2. Are sales engineers in high demand currently in Nigeria? Why/ why not?
I would say NO. The sales Engineering role is still misunderstand largely and taken for sales reps or execs. Some other companies don’t even believe in the role.There was a change in management in my Company and the technical sales department was completely scrapped, during which I was moved to a sales officer position. I worked in this role for a year and half before moving to Marketing then back to Technical Sales.
3. What do you enjoy most about being a SE?
The dynamic nature of technical issues that are experienced on the field. The need for continuous learning. The people part of the Engineering practice.As an Engineering major, I am Introvert. I believe most engineers have this trait. It was quite challenging initially to break the ice of having to talk to people on a first meet and not just one but tens of calls per day but this is one aspect I now enjoy a lot.
4. What do you wish the NAASE could help provide to you?
A family. A chartered body recognized globally for SEs. A channel for growth and a ladder to measure how far or fast one is growing in the field.A body of work that will differentiate ordinary SEs from Chartered.
Every year, the number of people using personal clouds grows, and this trend isn’t set to stop. It was anticipated in 2012 that by 2014, the change from offline PC work to primarily on-cloud work would be complete. And it’s already taking place. We no longer send a large number of images by email, and we no longer carry documents on USB flash drives. The cloud has evolved into a place where everyone congregates and exchanges data. Furthermore, it has evolved into a repository for data that is preserved indefinitely. We’re putting more and more faith in the cloud. Even our bank documents, ID scans, and private business documents have found a new home on the cloud. But can you be certain that your data is safe, secure, and protected out there?
Actually, you won’t be able to do so for the time being. Data privacy regulation moves at a snail’s pace, unable to keep up with technological advancements. Take a look at how different countries and areas handle legal issues related to cloud data privacy. There are
few universal principles or laws that could apply to any user and any cloud service, regardless of location or geographical limits. The current information privacy legislation consists of a plethora of declarations, plans, and roadmaps, the majority of which are not legally obligatory.
To help you deal with the issue of cloud privacy and the impact on cloud security especially in vulnerable times like the COVID-19 pandemic, here are five data privacy protection tips:
Many tips on the internet may sound like not putting your data in the cloud. That’s true, but it will be best to rephrase it to avoid storing critical information on the cloud. So, if you have an option, keep your sensitive information out of the virtual world or employ proper alternatives.
If you’re unsure about which cloud storage to use or have any concerns about how that or another cloud service works, read the user agreement for the service you’re considering. It is undeniably difficult and tedious, but you must confront those massive amounts of text. The document that has usually received insufficient attention may contain critical information that you require. In most cases, hiring data engineers in maintaining effective data security is a great help as they are also knowledgeable in dealing with the user agreement in cloud service storage.
You’ve probably heard this warning a hundred times, but the majority of people ignore it. Did you know that 90% of all passwords can be cracked in less than a minute? Indeed, an easy-to-create-and-remember password is at the root of many of the tragic stories about accounts being hacked. Furthermore, using the same email password for many sites (e.g., your Facebook account, your cloud storage account) is a trap because all of your login credentials and forgotten passwords end up in your inbox. As a result, you only need to remember your “core” word and the password’s structure. You may reinforce it even more by adding a number before the service’s name, such as your birth date. You can come up with any other method of remembering your passwords that appeals to you, just be sure you won’t forget it and it will not be easy for anyone to hack.
Encryption is the finest approach to safeguard your data so far. Encryption works like this in general: You have a file you wish to move to the cloud, you use special software to establish a password for that file, you move that password-protected file to the cloud, and no one who does not know the password will ever be able to read the content of the file. The simplest and most convenient method is to compress files and encrypt them with a password. Check the “Protect with a password” option when generating the archive, enter in the password, and then move it to the cloud. If you wish to share it with someone, simply tell them the password.
Some cloud services, in addition to storage and backup, offer local encryption and decryption of your files. It means that the service will encrypt your files on your computer and save them in the cloud securely. As a result, there’s a better possibility that no one will have access to your files this time, including service providers and server administrators or the so-called “zero-knowledge” privacy. Software marketers like Spideroak and Wuala are two such services. Spideroak offers a free 2GB storage space with full backup, sync, share, access, and storage features. If you need more space, you’ll have to switch to the Plus Plan for $10 per month. Wuala offers 5GB of storage for both free and premium accounts, with prices varying based on how much capacity you require.
Consider how valuable your information is to you and to what extent it is fair to secure it while deciding on the best strategy to protect it. As a result, the first step is to determine the level of privacy you require, as well as the level of protection you require. Even a two-step verification requiring SMS with a code delivered to your cell phone may appear tedious if you don’t use the internet for work, however, most people who use email for delivering business data welcome this option. Although not everyone is willing to pay for data storage, if you use cloud storage for corporate data, you’ll find the cost of safe and secure data storage to be fair. So find a fine balance between the required level of security and the time, effort, and money spent on it.
Special thanks to SOPHIA YOUNG CONTENT STUDIO and Nightfall
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Whether they’re small or big companies, businesses of all sizes experience a common issue when expanding and covering different territories: having enough salespeople. This issue may curb your business’ potential and affect your growth. A precipitated expansion can be a threat to your business. Putting aside your sales team’s essential role just to focus on exploring new territories will certainly impact your sales.
That’s when outsourcing sales services can become a crucial solution for a hassle-free business expansion. Outsourced teams can develop and test whole new sales strategies and different ways to approach new markets, without shifting your business focus and net profits. Furthermore, as outsourcing helps you save money, you have more room for testing and improving processes.
Outsourced sales teams already have the essential skills and knowledge to handle new perspectives and horizons rapidly.
Increasing sales and having lower expenses is the main goal for every business. This is one of the main reasons why companies choose to outsource their sales services. Some of the areas in your business where outsourcing can help you cut costs include hiring and training salespeople and office locations.
Hiring takes time, the process is tedious, and there is one more salary to pay at the end of the day. Outsourcing your sales team is practical and easy since SDR teams are already formed and can guarantee results from day zero. Moreover, you can focus on improving the products or services your company offers rather than wasting valuable time on hiring processes.
To achieve your business goals, you need more than talented sales reps. You also need to provide them with the right tools to analyze and manage data. These days, there’s plenty of marketing tools for different targets. A big challenge is choosing the most suitable one for your business’ needs. Moreover, mastering those tools may take a long time, and time is invaluable.
Outsourcing provides your business with a professional sales team who knows how to master the market’s best CRM tools. And as these companies usually pay for those marketing tools, you have a cost-effective option to enhance your business with the latest technologies.
Silo working happens when different departments within a company don’t share information or communicate with other colleagues effectively. This represents a major drawback for your business goals, and the big problem is that it’s a common practice in several companies.
On the other hand, Outsourcing breaks the silo structure by providing companies with sales teams that have a holistic approach. They promote communication across departments like marketing and sales who often work in silo structures in most companies, and as a consequence, they help improve the overall sales process.
B2B Sales Outsourcing companies offer integrated sales and marketing teams, which is a great alternative to the traditional isolated department structure. Your business won’t have to deal with expensive training to staff marketing and sales areas individually. This definitely breaks the obstructive silo culture, thus, in a cost-effective way for your business.
Outsourced teams are also trained to accomplish narrower deadlines, which is usually a setback for in-house teams due to the silo culture.
Another advantage of outsourcing sales for your business is that you can improve your in-house sales reps’ performance by working alongside external teams. The expertise and efficiency that outsourced teams have can provide your employees with new perspectives or fresh ideas.
You may be wasting your account executives’ (AEs) potential by relying on them in the prospecting routine, like cold calling and emailing. You need account executives’ valuable expertise to focus on closing deals and working with customers. This is the reason why hiring outsourced sales development reps (SDRs), who focus on handling prospecting tasks, is a smart strategy for any business.
This is a significant benefit for your company to scale sales and get high-quality training while encouraging in-house teams to think outside the box. Outsourced teams can help you improve your company’s practices thanks to their experience across several industries, thus, you will get a focused workforce maximizing your ROI.
If you’ve decided to give B2B sales outsourcing a shot, you first need to identify pain points and gaps within your sales processes. By detecting the opportunities for improvement, you will have the ability to find the right outsourcing partner.
You will discover outsourcing is the perfect way to cut costs without losing brand authority and consistency efficiently. Moreover, you will leverage your business sales even in uncertain times, which is a significant advantage these days.