Giving Sales Engineers the Work-Life Balance to Be Successful

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Company Information
Company size:
2,700
Presales team:
9
AE:SE Ratio:
8:1

67%

Reduction in live SE Calls

50%

Increase in Product Specialization

60%

Faster SMB Sales Cycle

11 minutes

Average View Time

35 minutes

Least Time Spent on a Deal to Close

2 weeks

Demo Lag Time Eliminated

The Challenge

Too Many Demo Requests and Too Many Repetitive Demos

Sovos had a long established sales process that included a multitude of meetings to close deals. Buyers had repetitive calls with BDRs and AEs and waited up to two weeks to get an intro demo of their solution. Once sales engineers were involved, they were present for every follow up call needed to close the deal. Duston Littlefield, Director and Global Practice Lead of Presales, noted that 50% or more of his team's demos were not qualified for SE support or were repetitive demos given to new members of the buying committee as they entered the deal. This constant pull on their time had SEs feeling burnt out and needing a solution to scale their activities across the funnel.

“My team was showing up to 80% or more of the sales calls that were tossed their way. There was little to no protection for their time and energy spent on these repetitive calls just to introduce our solution to a new stakeholder who was coming in blind and had little to no context of what their team members were evaluating.”
A man with a young boy on his shoulders.
Duston Littlefield
Director and Global Practice Lead of Presales
Sovos

The Solution

Removing Repetitive Demos with Intelligent Demo Automation

Duston learned about Consensus from a team member who had used their demo automation software at another company. With guidance from this team member and seeing the Consensus platform in action throughout the buyer’s journey, he decided to implement it to save his team valuable time that was being eaten up by repetitive demos. Their implementation involved creating a series of demos that sales reps could use 80% of the time to give an effective overview of their tax compliance software. After a month of creating content and building their demo library, they partnered with sales on a six-weeks pilot to establish best practices and create internal champions across the sales organization.

“We wanted to have the right content so sales reps would feel comfortable using this tool on Day One. By the time we announced this to our sales team, we had testimonials from top sales reps on why they liked the tool and how it was helping them hit their quotas.”
A man with a young boy on his shoulders.
Duston Littlefield
Director and Global Practice Lead of Presales
Sovos

The Results

Increased Capacity and Efficiency

Sovos was able to add to their presales team’s capacity to make an impact by cutting their live calls by two-thirds using demo automation. This not only gave SEs valuable time back to complete important consultative tasks, but also increased their ability to support sales reps without hiring additional sales engineers. In fact, Duston and his team reported that presales teams using Consensus were better able to support the average 8:1 ratio of AEs to SEs, with the goal of getting down to 6:1 with the support of automation. Sovos also found that the content they created resonated with their buyers, seeing an average view time of 11 minutes on demos sales reps were sending on demand.

“My team is more impactful because of Consensus. Customers come to live calls with specific questions now, and we have much more productive conversations. My SEs feel like they can come prepared for these conversations because they now have extra time to hone their craft and become better product experts.”
A man with a young boy on his shoulders.
Duston Littlefield
Director and Global Practice Lead of Presales
Sovos
Deals Close Faster with Digital Demos

Eliminating demo lag time and repetitive live calls has shortened the sales cycle for Sovos. The ability to share demos with buyers on demand not only eliminated the two week wait buyers previously endured to see a demo, it gave Sovos sales reps a powerful tool to create deal momentum and help buyers reach decisions faster. This gave Sovos a particular advantage with their SMB clients, who often purchase tax compliance software on strict deadlines and under much duress. Duston reported that some SMB deals were closing with as little as 35 minutes of time spent from internal resources, whereas they would previously take weeks to close.

“The biggest thing Consensus has done for us is streamline deals. Whether it is an Enterprise deal with 10-20 stakeholders or a SMB deal with only a couple decision makers, we are able to reach people faster, show them our offering, and help them make better buying decisions without the need to hold the same meeting multiple times.”
A man with a young boy on his shoulders.
Duston Littlefield
Director and Global Practice Lead of Presales
Sovos
Better Work-Life Balance for Sales Engineers

Work life became much better for sales engineers at Sovos. Automating intro demos not only stretched their capacity to support sales reps, it also allowed them to become more specialized in the products they supported. Sovos reported SE specialization increasing by 50% as presales practitioners gained the time needed to become experts in fewer products as opposed to generalists in many products. SEs also reported they were able to use their product knowledge to continually improve the demo library, recycle assets, and give customers a better buying experience, as evidenced by the 11 minutes of average view time on demos.

“The fact that my team feels like they can take a vacation or decide to hone their craft is huge. Because they are not spending all their time on repetitive calls, we are able to turn them into specialists who know their products perfectly or introduce them to other segments where their expertise could be utilized now that we have automated the basics of another area.”
A man with a young boy on his shoulders.
Duston Littlefield
Director and Global Practice Lead of Presales
Sovos

Key Takeaways

  • Demo automation creates the most effective presales teams
  • Consensus helps companies give both buyers and sellers the ideal experience
  • Sending demos before live calls helps build deal momentum
  • Job satisfaction increases when repetitive demos are eliminated from the presales workload