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V2MOM for Sales Engineers

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December 7, 2021

6 mins read

V2MOM for Sales Engineers

V2MOM for Sales Engineers

While taking the time to sit back and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday break, I couldn’t help but think of what lies ahead and the massive opportunity we all have staring us in the face. Many executives and leaders are planning for FY22, and like most, our leadership team has been deep in discussions on what we can do now to hit the ground running in the new year. Recently, I sat down with Allison Metcalfe, CRO at Demandbase, to have a discussion centered around ideas on how our Sales Engineering team would be focused and what specifically we should be measured on in the coming months and beyond.

I am privileged to lead the Sales Engineering group. A few months ago, I surpassed my 10th year at Demandbase. Leading up to this milestone, I have been reflecting back on what our high growth and multiple acquisitions have taught me. For over 20 years I have been part of many successful SE teams, fought several good fights, felt the sting of defeat, and tasted the glory of the big wins. 

Knowing we are in the most important quarter in our history, I was challenged to put together a Sales Engineering specific V2MOM. You may be asking yourself what a V2MOM is. Marc Benioff did an excellent job laying it out in its simplest form. 

“Although there are many leadership paradigms and frameworks available to executives these days, the V2MOM approach offers the virtue of simplicity. It is easy to digest and implement. The V2MOM enables me to clarify what I’m doing, and then communicate it clearly to the entire company. It boils down to these five questions, which create a framework for alignment and leadership:

  1. Vision — what do you want to achieve?
  2. Values — what’s important to you?
  3. Methods — how do you get it?
  4. Obstacles — what is preventing you from being successful?
  5. Measures — how do you know you have it?

The five parts of the V2MOM give us a detailed map of where we are going and an understanding of how to get there.“ 

  • MARC BENIOFF, CHAIRMAN & CEO | SALESFORCE

I did some additional research to see if the topic of V2MOM specifically focused on Sales Engineering was prevalent. Surprisingly, I found very little. I am hopeful that by sharing my plan for FY22, it will inspire others and begin additional conversations.

Vision:

The SE team makes understanding how all Demandbase solutions work simple and digestible, with obvious value demonstrated immediately. Our story and talk track create aha moments, clearly outline how we are unique and leave prospects wanting more.

Values:

  •   Collaborative: We share ideas, uncover issues, help resolve problems and create solutions. We plan and execute alongside our Sales Team
  •   Master Presenters: We are storytellers. We focus on what matters to the customer or prospect.
  •   Bold: We innovate, learn, adjust and move fast.
  •   Trusted Advisors: We gain the trust of prospects and customers with clear, thorough responses. Our Sales teams know we will do and say the right things to win.
  •   Accountable: We deliver on our commitments. We do what we say we will do, on time with accuracy.
  •   Teachers: We are constantly teaching…validating, studying, learning, informing, researching, solutioning, publishing.

Methods:

  • Product Experts: No one will know the solutions as a whole better than the SE team
  • Presentation Skills: Able to explain complex topics clearly with accuracy, brevity and confidence. – tie Demandbase workflows to business outcomes through effective storytelling. 
  • Trusted Partners: Technical competence, flexible, go where the customer needs to go. Work well with all types of people to build rapport.
  • Highly Credible: Responses that remove buyers’ doubt or hurdles. 
  • Continuous innovation and learning: Constantly analyzing what is happening with the prospects, fine tuning based on their reactions and feedback. Always learning and strategizing on ways to help deals accelerate. As we learn, we scale the changes necessary.

Obstacles:

Security, Compliance, Privacy Assessments, and Organizational Risks 

Need dedicated certified expert(s): 

  • Manage detailed evidence requirements scale, accelerate, and deliver accurate questionnaires.
  • More extreme scrutiny on security/privacy related issues stalling deals.

Demo Tools

Need easy-to-use, scalable, and native demo tools/resources for each offering: 

  • Regulation and PII Issues (3rd party solutions are expensive bandaids). 
  • Need control of data sets to tell the right stories. 
  • Data import APIs/CSVs.
  • New, up-to-date, case studies with metrics.

Hiring & Enablement 

As we grow Sales, we must hire Sales Engineering:

  • SE ramp time needs to be less than 90 days (standardize onboarding).  

Need dedicated Enablement resource:

  • Demo, trials, and data bake-offs need proactive processes, maintenance, and tools and engineering support. 
  • Deep cross-cloud product liaison, enablement, and training w/ enablement team.
  • Organize technical documentation & Center of Excellence.

Measurement:

Corporate Goals 

Achieving new business revenue, renewal, and profitability goals. 

Demo Conversion Rate 

Improving Win/Loss rates on opportunities where SE delivered demos.

Trial Conversion Rate

Improving Win / Loss rates on opportunities with trial tag placement.

Product expertise 

100% of SEs are certified Monthly prioritized certification topics. 

Demo Stage Acceleration

Increase stage conversion rate & acceleration rates. Get opportunities into the next stage and out of the demo stage.

% of Deals going to Data bake offs

Strategic selling our value proposition vs. selling a match rate (w/o accountability).

Measuring Sales Engineers is far easier if they are tied 1:1 to a Sales rep or territory. In that scenario, the numbers do most of the talking. We do not have the luxury to do this currently, so we must find the best way to motivate and measure Sales Engineers that is sustainable quarter over quarter. 

Measuring is only part of the story, as improvement on what is discovered or uncovered is truly the end goal of any type of measurement. Over the next quarter we’ll be putting the infrastructure in place to support our measurement goals. This includes SFDC fields for reporting on SE activity, and time and date stamping opportunity stages on how long it takes to get the demo completed vs how long it remains in the actual demo stage and why. 

I am curious if you run, or are part of a Sales Engineering team – how are you planning to attack FY22? What forms of measurement are working? What have you learned that does not work and should be avoided? Looking forward to your insights and happy to connect on LinkedIn to chat about this further. 

Final thoughts: At Demandbase we are maniacally focused on best in class B2B go to market strategies – we have recently shifted our attention from ABM to ABX to truly transform the way B2B companies go to market. A world class GTM is about far more than Marketing or even Sales engagement. One area that might be, or is often overlooked is the role of the SE team in this equation – what the vision is, how they fit in the motion of B2B G2M and perhaps most importantly… how do you know you’ve got a great one?

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Demandbase

B2B Go-To-Market Suite, Demandbase

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