By Andrew Rustad, Director, Sales Engineer – East and Ben Edwards, Director, Sales Engineer – West

East meets West, this session at the 2022 Sandler Partners National Summit provided a sharing of perspectives and information for our nationwide Sandler Partners Community. East was represented by Mark Phaneuf, SVP Channel, East Region and West by Michele Johnson, Channel Director, Southern California – with the Sales Engineering Team represented by Andrew Rustad and Ben Edwards for East and West respectively.

But enough with the intros, let’s get to the heart of the matter, it’s very easy to be an order taker, getting into the endless loop of providing quotes, but when you bring added value, you generate revenue for yourself and become indispensable to your client. A lot of “knowledgeable” customers will know what they want, say Microsoft teams, but not know the full extent of what that solution actually means. We need to align to what the customers business is, what they need, and the problems we can help them solve.

Change Your Perspective: Solve Problems and Empower, Rather Than Just Sell Technology

Transactional sales can be great, but what if the customer doesn’t receive everything they need or receives aspects they can’t make use of – both these scenarios will come up in the future, it’s better to address them earlier in the conversation. Why do they need the solution? What kind of users do they have? Where do the users sit? Asking questions like this will allow you to go wider and deeper, and help the customer make better use of the technology they really need. There is so much more value, and longevity, to being an advisor than simply being a broker.

When you become their trusted advisor, your customer will call you for everything, but particularly when they need help solving a problem. Putting it another way, the number one competitor we have is no decision, the quote that goes nowhere, that just fades away. The reason, it’s not a challenge that needs addressing, it’s not helping move their business forward, and we’re not giving them the reasons, or a solid business case, to move forward.

To get there you just need to tap into the resources you have as a Sandler Partner. Learn about the technology solutions, categories, and what problems they solve – look for webinars, or view the videos and reading materials in your Sandler Portal. In the Portal there are also Conversation Starters to help get the discovery going. You can also have your Sales Engineering team work with you – providing education sessions with the customer, being part of initial meetings or anywhere else you need us to chip in to help land or advance the deal.

During the rest of the session, we discussed some actual use cases, demonstrating how to pivot to provide that added value – including three well defined, and easy to understand steps you can employ during customer interactions, from the very rational methodical business requirements to keywords that show an emotional trigger. You can see this part of the presentation for yourself by watching the program recording!


Want to learn more about selling for your customer’s needs and requirements, plus, the support you can receive from the Sales Engineering team or to schedule an introductory chat? Email Ben directly at [email protected] or Andy at [email protected]. You can also learn more about the team leadership by visiting the Sales Engineering page on our website, or reach out to [email protected] and we’ll get back to you ASAP!