Does the whole “new year, new you” have you considering a career change? If you’re ready to take on your next opportunity and want the inside scoop on a unique role that bridges sales and delivery, keep reading to find out what it’s like being part of the Pre-Sales team at Traction on Demand. With a title like “Advanced Solution Engineer,” it’s easy to get lost in the technical side of it, but the truth is—to succeed in Pre-Sales, soft skills are equally as important as the technical aspect. To thrive in the role, you need to have a genuine curiosity to find the root cause of your customers’ problems, then meet those with a technical solution.
So, what exactly is Pre-Sales?
Pre-Sales is an incredibly crucial role at Traction on Demand. Digging into data to solve problems, creating relationships with customers, and collaborating with teammates are all key aspects of the position. As a member of the Pre-Sales team, strategy is your middle name—your critical thinking skills don’t stop at the technology behind all that we do—you’re a big thinker and promise maker, acting as a trusted advisor to clients. Curious to learn more? We thought you might be, so here’s what you can expect to be doing as part of the Pre-Sales team:
- Understanding the client’s needs and determining a solution: First, you’ll work with the client to figure out what it is they need to accomplish with Salesforce. Generally, the client has a certain objective in mind, but since Salesforce is second nature to you; it’s your job to work collaboratively with them to uncover their current systems and processes in order to identify their specific needs for data migration and integration. To best determine the client’s goals and specific business outcomes, you’ll pull in expert insights from across the business, whether it be fundraising, marketing automation, data integration, CPQ, etc. that will help formulate end user requirements. Now for the fun part—based on the data and info collected from scoping calls, you’ll develop a solution roadmap that outlines the technical path that solves root business problems and clearly outlines what pieces of technology can be leveraged to get clients to their end goal.
- Fine tuning the project details: Now that you’ve mapped out how the client can achieve success, you need to determine what it’s going to take to get the job done. You’ll work closely with the Business Development team and industry practices to work out the scope, length, and cost associated so that you can provide clients with a fair and accurate understanding of the overall project. By determining a realistic and clear view of how you’ll implement the project and resources, you’ll set both the ToD delivery team and the client up for success, ensuring there’s alignment on project goals and objectives once the project has kicked off.
- Managing multiple stakeholders: Aside from being technologically savvy, you’re also a pro at navigating and identifying key stakeholders and influencers, making sure that the teams involved at Traction on Demand, the client organization, and Salesforce are aligned overall. Sure, everyone will have different concerns, priorities, and agendas that they’re going to be pushing with a particular deal, but that’s where you come in to manage expectations and deliverables, finding a happy medium between the needs of Salesforce, the clients, and our Traction on Demand delivery team.
The world of Pre-Sales, straight from the source.
Our Pre-Sales team at Traction on Demand is unique in the way we’re structured to engage and go to market. Given the range of the responsibilities with the Solution Engineer role, the team is composed of individuals with a diverse range of professional backgrounds—you’ve got to be smart, without having an ego. We sat down with a couple of members of that team, from recent hires, to veterans in the industry, and those who transitioned from delivery, to find out what life on the Pre-Sales team at Traction on Demand is all about.
- Debbie Lee, Nonprofit Solution Engineer: Debbie’s journey into the world of Pre-Sales was not a straightforward one, starting her career as an analyst, transitioning into marketing, then over to account management. She was able to combine her true calling for problem solving, with her passion for working with environmental and nonprofit organizations on the Pre-Sales team.
- Kelly Walsh, Education Solution Engineer: Kelly transitioned into the Pre-Sales team from a role as a Solution Engineer at Salesforce. The role change gave her the opportunity to move away from product demos, and into a more consultative approach where her potential could be unlocked.
- Steve Hayes, Senior Solution Engineer: Having tech consulting job experiences for the past eight years, Steve joined in October 2020 after being drawn to ToD’s dedicated Pre-Sales practice to support sales cycles.
- Eric Elliott, Marketing Automation Senior Solution Engineer: As a veteran in the industry with 10 years of experience at ExactTarget, Marketo, and multiple consulting partners, Eric was drawn to ToD’s Pre-Sales team for their fun culture, dedicated specialization in Pardot & Marketing Cloud, and their unique position in the Marketing Automation ecosystem.
Our hiring philosophy is based on culture, intelligence, and then skills. We are looking for people who want to join an active community of engaged individuals who see business as more than just a vehicle to make money. It doesn’t matter what your background is, if you’re the right fit and have the intelligence and drive to succeed, we want to hear from you!
Pre-Sales: a place to leap-frog your career.
While corporate culture can often be looked at as a ladder which can only go two ways: up or down, we look at it through a different lens. From day one, we’ve prioritized the enablement of our community and putting our people first, making sure we empower Tractionites with the ability to craft what they want their career to look like. As a Salesforce implementation partner, we are closely aligned to Salesforce’s verticals and solutions, which gives our Pre-Sales consultants the chance to become an expert in both the business and technology within a specific industry.
ToD is a place to build your career and grow both personally and professionally. By having exposure to a variety of clients and complex projects, we can assure you that no two days are ever the same. For Debbie Lee, her Pre-Sales role has given her the chance to hone in on her skills and expertise with our nonprofit team, and push the boundaries on a couple sustainability projects.
“It’s tons of learning; every client, every project is different. I never have a boring day, that's for sure”Debbie Lee, Nonprofit Solution Engineer, Traction on Demand
Kelly, who works with our Education team, has a similar point of view, noting that “you’re always working multiple cycles, every day is different. It’s very diverse because you get to work closely with internal stakeholders, across multiple opportunities at once.”
“With Pre-Sales, I get to talk to a lot of different people, in different industries. There is constant change, one day you’re working with Financial Services, Education the next, or High Tech.” Says Eric, who specializes in Marketing Cloud, although he has a specific area of focus, he enjoys that every one of his opportunities are different.
Having consistent career development and product training opportunities allows Pre-Sales consultants the ability to quickly level up their career. In fact, our COO, Mike Epner, spent part of his career in a Pre-Sales role, and our President of Services, Lori Williams, is a former Pre-Sales alumni herself.
“Having started in technology as a Sales Engineer gave me a unique advantage. I got to see so many different companies—how they worked, who did what and how technology enabled them. It also gave me a full lifecycle view from sales to product development to services and I’ve been able to tap into that experience throughout my career”Lori Williams, President, Services, Traction on Demand
Fostering a collaborative and supportive environment
As a remote-first organization, we’ve put a lot of time, research, and planning into how we can provide our new Tractionites with the best possible onboarding experience. After getting familiar with all things Traction on Demand in Traction University, their learning doesn’t stop there. The Pre-Sales team fosters a sense of community and camaraderie by placing new members in groups where they can feel included and connected to one another. This structure allows new team members to form relationships, stripping away any stigma associated with saying “I don’t know” or “I need help.” That’s what teammates are for!
“We have a friendly, approachable environment, there’s no need to go and defend yourself against your peers. There’s a very healthy sense of collaboration and support on the team which is one of the things that draws me to the group”Steve Hayes, Senior Solution Engineer, Traction on Demand
“As a solution engineer, there’s no way you can know everything under the sun. If I have questions, I’m surrounded by experts. It’s wonderful that it’s an organization filled with really smart people" - Debbie Lee, Nonprofit Solution Engineer, Traction on Demand
While you may be actively working on a variety of projects, rest assured you’re never working alone. The Pre-Sales team (even though remote) remains very connected through opportunities to collaborate and socialize outside of all the hard work.
Could you see yourself working on the Pre-Sales team? We know where we’re going but it’s our people who get us there in new ways. Together we experiment. We iterate. We question. We learn. And on the Pre-Sales team, we seek out opportunities to push the boundaries and have a lot of fun while doing it.
Making the move to Pre-Sales
One of our core mantras since the beginning of Traction on Demand has been work hard, play hard. As we’ve grown from one to over 1400+ Tractionites, this has never changed. We want to do fun things, laugh, and celebrate, and if we can do good at the same time…we’re set. Are you ready to join us on this journey?