Sales engineers, or any one in a Presales tech engineer role. How do you deal with a sales rep who used to be a a sales engineer? I know that is vague. I have been doing this for a while. I even dabbled in multiple sales roles at smaller companies. My issue is not agreeing with their approach at times. It could be a clash mostly in style. Might be my ego. Just wanted to a chat going. Side note. I mentor folks who are starting as SEs but sometimes the mentor needs to be the mentee.

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At the end of the day, sales reps are responsible for those final decisions. Provide your suggestions and let them digest it however they like. If it goes south, then be honest and respectful about what happened so mistakes don’t happen again. If they can’t respect that level of honesty, I would talk to the leadership about maybe changing things.

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I used to work with someone who did use to be SE before he moved into a AE role. Few things been already mentioned.

- communication, more importantly it has been established that they own the account, it's their neck on the line.

- make sure you document everything, make sure you email steps etc. This will help you in case there is blaming the deal went south.

- let them run the account as they wish however make sure your objection is noted. In written form.

- use KPI and data to make your point and show an alternative way.

Thnx
20 years Pre-Sales experience and worked both in security organisation like Trend Micro and McAffe and SaaS organisation like Citrix and ServiceNow.

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I’ve dealt with this before. Usually it boils down to just having good communication. If I had more than just the one rep who used to be a sales engineer, then I would’ve just let them go on their own. Made my life easier

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Agree, like any AE I support—it all comes down to communication. And ultimately, I likely explain why I disagree and what I recommend, but ultimately they’re the one with their neck on the line for forecast and commit. No one is going to call me when a deal slips or red lines don’t come through. I own the technical win, I don’t own the entirety of the sales cycle (even though I sometimes want to!). It can be hard to accept someone doing things differently when you know you could tell them how to do it “better.” Sometimes that helps folks learn! I think it’s healthy to disagree sometimes, as long as you can communicate and figure out how to do what’s best for the biz & customer.

All that said, some AEs and I have better chemistry than others. Some are challenging regardless of their background. I don’t think I’d tolerate the AE telling me what my job is, which I could imagine may happen in your situation—I’d get my boss to help course correct that probably. If I get a problem child rep, I find they either don’t usually last that long or they’re easy to de-prioritize amongst my others.

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