Six Key Performance Indicators for Pre-Sales Teams

Most commercial software companies employ technical pre-sales engineers to help potential customers see the value of a particular product or solution. In many companies these engineers combine deep technical knowledge with soft-skills to understand the customer’s problem, establish a foundation of trust with the customer, resolve their concerns and become their trusted advisor.  The position is a key member of the sales team but sometimes gets overlooked as they do not officially carry a quota.

In most cases, the performance of pre-sales engineers will have direct impact on the outcome of a deal. Thus it is important to ensure the pre-sales team is operating efficiently and effectively. So how does a company know if the pre-sales engineers are being the most effective? How can an organization improve the effectiveness of their pre-sales teams? I am a firm believer in Continue reading

Are You An Effective Leader?

Over the course of my career I have been fascinated by the aspects of leadership and management within organizations.  This has largely been driven by an experience I had early in my career with my first management role.  A few days before I was to take over a team, my boss called me into his office and gave me some sage advice.  He said, “be the type of leader that you would want to work for.”  This very simple and common sense advice has stuck with me since that day, and I have continually tried to live by that creed.  I ask myself frequently, would I want to work for me? That simple question has helped guide my view of management and leadership, and along the way I have picked up some observations about effective leaders and dysfunctional leaders.

An effective leader is not Continue reading

Managers, Directors, and VPs – Oh My…

Having worked at IT organizations both big and small, I have been fascinated by how these companies use the titles of Manager, Director and VP.  It has been my experience that smaller companies tend to dilute the value of these titles in their early growth stages by handing them out like candy.

My personal belief is that titles should have meaning and value.  Just because somebody says I want to be a Manager doesn’t mean they are, or should be a Manager. The same holds true for Directors and VPs. Companies should use these titles to accurately reflect the appropriate role and leadership level within the organization.

So what are the differences between each of these three roles?

Manager

A Manager provides Continue reading