Landing a Pre Sales Technical Role

yoloadminyoloadmin CCNA Route and Switch CCNA Collaboration VMware VCP-NV6Posts: 4Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi ! and thanks for taking the time to read my post. Today I am seeking advise from people who have successfully transitioned from a technical role to a pre sales technical role. I am finding it quite hard to get the job. I am getting some interviews (since July i have had about 8 different interviews with about 5 interactions each interview). In some cases I have been top 2, alot of times I make the rounds with interviewing with multiple SE's (sales engineer's). Alot of feedback i receive is that i don't have consulting experience and or not sales appropriate. This seems to be the  real quality feedback I get. Most feedback I get is they just went with someone more qualified.  Although I would like to think this is true in most cases I know that alot of people make it right from my type of experience right into technical pre sales. I know I have been told that you need to know someone in the company and have a good relationship with them to get the job. I have had that experience as well knowing someone to get me in.. With no luck.. I have cultivated strategic relationships with channel partners and vendors like cisco and vmware. This is where i prefer to work. Alot of the SE's I do work think that I would make a great SE. But the thing is I am not sure if they are just saying that to save face with a customer.. any thoughts on this would be great... because I am sure they get people asking them all the time about jobs?

So a little background on myself. I am currently a systems architect for a company with billions of dollars in assets and tens of thousands of members. I have 10+ years of experience in IT. My most predominate products i use are VMware suite (nsx view vsphere vro HCI) along with some Cisco collaboration products. I have demonstrated achievements of transitioning a company to a 100% virtualized environment. This includes alot of the aspects of the network side as well. I know up to this point I probably have not done the best job of showing how I have sold internally very well. Because after reflecting on all of this I didn't realize how much I am selling internally. I do meet with C - Level and management teams to align business needs with long term solutions to complex technology challenges.  I do these projects from start to finish. This includes running a POC, getting numbers for hardware and licencing costs and in turn working that up to a purchase. I then implement the technology with hands on experience. As you might already understand this is pretty good money for me right now and moving to what I understand of SE's salary would be a lateral move. I am OK with that because I know that they might not reward me right away with commission but eventually down the road the money will come and the fruit of my labor is not confined by a pay grid and job security (nothing wrong with that it's just not for me) as fulfillment but  my willingness to be the best and to continually raise my competencies to achieve success. So my questions are.

1. How do I give the best interview not having experience in pre sales but indirectly as a customer.
2. What Jobs could I get that will get the recruiters reaching out to me for pre sales technical roles and not straight up technical administration/architect role.
3. Any other feedback would be great.

Comments

  • MitMMitM Posts: 581Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm not in a Pre-Sales role, so I'll let others answer.

    I just wanted to say it sounds like you have the right experience. A lot of Pre-Sales folks I know worked at VARs as consultants and moved up that way. From there,  moved to companies like VMware/Cisco

    Where are you located?
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, CCNA Posts: 3,961Mod Mod
    1. I think it comes down to personality. It seems to be the most important factor in sales

    2. Your current role is perfect. Being in Architect is the best place to be. Other options would be to work in service providers as a technical resourced and then move to pre-sales


    Goal: MBA, March 2021
  • yoloadminyoloadmin CCNA Route and Switch CCNA Collaboration VMware VCP-NV6 Posts: 4Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    UnixGuy said:
    1. I think it comes down to personality. It seems to be the most important factor in sales

    2. Your current role is perfect. Being in Architect is the best place to be. Other options would be to work in service providers as a technical resourced and then move to pre-sales


    1.yeah my personality is pretty extroverted. 


  • yoloadminyoloadmin CCNA Route and Switch CCNA Collaboration VMware VCP-NV6 Posts: 4Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    MitM said:
    I'm not in a Pre-Sales role, so I'll let others answer.

    I just wanted to say it sounds like you have the right experience. A lot of Pre-Sales folks I know worked at VARs as consultants and moved up that way. From there,  moved to companies like VMware/Cisco

    Where are you located?
    United States.
  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+; CCNA R&S; CCNP R&S Posts: 861Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I’m not in pre-sales either, but I think I recall reading advice somewhre saying that you might have to go into pos-sales support/implementation first and then try to transition to pre-sales.  I think the article/discussion I read mentioned starting out with smaller companies as well.  You might try a search on the /r/networking subreddit on reddit.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    edited December 2018
    The money on the pre-sale side can be better than delivery side. I did interview for a pre-sale architect position while back. Ultimately stopped the process when I realized many of the pre-sales architects aren't architects. They're sales guys driven by commission, not what's best for the customer.

    If you're really interested in a pre-sales role, shoot me a PM.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Posts: 2,453Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    dave330i said:
    The money on the pre-sale side can be better than delivery side. I did interview for a pre-sale architect position while back. Ultimately stopped the process when I realized many of the pre-sales architects aren't architects. They're sales guys driven by commission, not what's best for the customer. 
    That's most of the pre-sales folks I have met, in fact I can't recall one who wasn't focused on sales.....   A close friend of mine is a "solutions director" aka senior pre-sales and it's RFP's, Presentations (with clients) and sales meetings.......   His bonus is directly impacted on how many deals they land that he is apart of.  The more he is apart of that sale the more it impacts his overall rating.   There isn't any incentives for "best solutions"....  
  • yoloadminyoloadmin CCNA Route and Switch CCNA Collaboration VMware VCP-NV6 Posts: 4Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    dave330i said:
    The money on the pre-sale side can be better than delivery side. I did interview for a pre-sale architect position while back. Ultimately stopped the process when I realized many of the pre-sales architects aren't architects. They're sales guys driven by commission, not what's best for the customer.

    If you're really interested in a pre-sales role, shoot me a PM.
    OK, I sent you a PM.

    Thank you,
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,091Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    dave330i said:
    The money on the pre-sale side can be better than delivery side. I did interview for a pre-sale architect position while back. Ultimately stopped the process when I realized many of the pre-sales architects aren't architects. They're sales guys driven by commission, not what's best for the customer. 
    That's most of the pre-sales folks I have met, in fact I can't recall one who wasn't focused on sales.....   A close friend of mine is a "solutions director" aka senior pre-sales and it's RFP's, Presentations (with clients) and sales meetings.......   His bonus is directly impacted on how many deals they land that he is apart of.  The more he is apart of that sale the more it impacts his overall rating.   There isn't any incentives for "best solutions"....  
    Pretty sure I can get 30% pay bump if I switch to pre-sales, but it feels like I'm selling my soul.. 
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
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