Building a Solutions Engineering Function

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Zach Lawryk is a Senior Director of Solutions Engineering at Slack, and has previously led solutions engineering at Optimizely and Box. In this guide he explains the role of solutions engineering in the presale process, and outlines how to manage key SE responsibilities from demoing to technical discovery to running pilots.

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Questions covered in this guide:

What is solutions engineering?

Why should SaaS companies invest in solutions engineering?

What types of companies or products benefit from solutions engineers as a part of their sales team?

How does solutions engineering work with or overlap with sales enablement and solutions architecture?

What are the key activities of solutions engineering?

When does it make sense to bring on your first solutions engineering person?

What are good questions or tests when interviewing AE’s?

How do you provide solutions engineering scalably for less expensive products?

Are there different “flavors” or sub-specialties within solutions engineering, when would you need each?

What’s in the solutions engineering tech stack?

What processes or tools does solutions engineering create at their company? 

How do SE’s cultivate and maintain product expertise?

How do you measure the success of solutions engineering? What metrics do you track?

What are the most important pieces to get right?

What are the common pitfalls?

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