How Engineering Teams Need to Work with Sales for Company Growth
September 9, 2021
Engineering team members at custom product companies need to evolve the way they work with sales teams to increase efficiency and develop better products. For a company to grow, engineering teams need to work with the sales teams so as to ensure that the products are easy to sell and market. overall impact the company growth in a positive aspect.
The success of engineering-to-order (ETO) companies depends heavily on the ability of members of the engineering team to focus on sales. Sales are not organized as a complete team but are reflected in the business results and corporate culture.
Misaligned ETO companies can experience these weak points:
More business losses (decrease in profit/loss percentage) because sales, engineering, and operations waste a lot of time and cannot coordinate response as quickly as competitors.
Lower customer satisfaction (fewer orders / smaller orders per customer, more customer support complaints) because they have lost confidence in the company’s ability to deliver.
Falling project margins due to poorly planned budgets in engineering, sales, purchasing, and finance team leaders.
More delayed projects (or missed customer commitments) few projects because the team members lack the transparency of the overall portfolio and existing projects and work styles.
Results like these can seem inevitable when two departments have such different workflows. In fact, there are steps towards effective teamwork that engineers and technical managers can take to make it easier to work with the sales department and stay in control of the projects.
Enhance Team Collaboration Via a Common Goal
In a survey conducted by Tech-Clarity, more than 40 percent of respondents said that custom products have improved their sales margins. 50 percent of those surveyed also stated higher sales volumes. These results don’t just happen, they are the result of an organization’s ability to align its teams and improve collaboration across the team.
This only works if the engineers stop seeing sales as “the people over there” and realizing that the salespeople are key components of the process.
For custom engineering products to be profitable, engineering teams need to acknowledge the fact that the sales team is under constant pressure from customers. As demand increases, sellers need to balance managing the increased volume of sales with delivering faster, more accurate quotes to prospects.
Your ability to achieve this balance directly affects technical success. Inaccurate product designs create more work for engineers and waste their time. A cohesive team stops working in silos and starts functioning as a single unit.
Step out of the box and learn about the sales workflow
Tech-Clarity survey respondents said that most of their technical adjustments happen during the customer inquiry and/or quotation phase of the process. This means that technical decisions are often made before the devices are touched, which is why engineers need at least basic knowledge of their company’s sales cycle.
It’s a great idea for them to keep track of customer calls and see the process in the company’s CRM so they can easily communicate with the sales department. Improved communication makes it easier to present ideas or features and to involve the sales team.
Understanding the sales workflow improves communication and transparency between sales and technology. Both are important when it comes to accelerating new product development and introduction (NPDI).
Faster NDPI means the company can quickly implement updates and new products that have a direct impact on profitability. Engineers know what sales success looks like, are better able to collaborate, and make sure the engineering team’s skills are considered before projects reach them.
Real-time integration with collaboration tools
Improve engineering and sales alignment without disrupting a few team meetings or even building a little empathy and understanding. Both are important, but mean very little when a company’s data and processes are separate.
When data and processes are disrupted, it often leads to the unnecessary effort, confusion, and friction between teams. Nobody wins in this situation, so high-performing companies are more likely to have processes and systems.
tightly integrated data. The top-performing companies have development teams that are well connected to the product marketing process. They are 2.5 times more likely to have built-in design processes and get to market, which likely adds to the speed of their NPDI process.
A large part of this process is engineering change management. With a centralized view of information linked in a cohesive process, change management becomes easier. This gives all stakeholders a holistic understanding of what the change means for their part of the company. In fact, it works so well that top performers are 79 percent more likely to have built-in data and processes to support engineering change management.
Setting Boundaries around the Roadmap
Sales are no different. Understanding the vendors’ experiences, understanding their processes, and using integrated systems leads to greater transparency and trust, which leads to better and more frequent team communication that can be used to set firm boundaries on engineering deadlines.
Deadlines won’t creep in on any of the teams and help keep the focus on delivering great products. Bringing engineering and sales together as a unified and effective team is vital for customer development companies. It can be a difficult team-building process, but not impossible. In fact, there is a way to integrate team communication and improve collaboration between teams while getting up to 15 percent more deals and reducing project delays by 40 percent.
Learn more about how work can be executed better. Either face to face or remotely, as functional teams for more successful collaboration. The integration of the engineering team and sales can be achieved by a PLM platform that allows collaboration across the values chain
KloudPLM helps you bridge the gap between the engineering and sales teams via a cloud-first platform. Expedite better product design through a single platform that allows for better inter-team communication. Access and disseminate valuable information through the analytics feature and our intuitively designed dashboard.