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3 min read

Investing in the Emotional Intelligence of Your Solutions Architect

Investing in the Emotional Intelligence of Your Solutions Architect

Investing in the emotional intelligence of your teams or your organizations may sound like an HR problem. After all, shouldn’t hiring practices be looking for individuals with high emotional intelligence in sales? Not really. It can be difficult to interview for people with a high EQ and in solutions architect positions, it is not what might be considered the most important and active skillset. But can EQ be trained?

If you are new to 2Win methodologies, let us paint a picture of the gaps we fill and how it fits into your sales cycle. Account executives and customer success may have training in soft skills like active listening conflict resolution and may be ostensibly “people people” but your technical teams who have to present to people need to be masters as retrofitting software solutions to use cases. The problem with this dynamic is that sales is about likeability and trust. If you have a technical team delivering the most important part of a sales presentation, and they have zero EQ your presentation can fall flat. 

At the heart of the 2Win training is emotional intelligence, whether we are training for storytelling or demoing. We want to go over 3 CRUCIAL metrics that really matter when you are investing in soft skills training like 2Win for your solutions architects. 

Gain a considerable advantage over your competition in sales engagements by delivering presentations of solutions that are not only smooth but enjoyable. What the audience does not know is the slight differences in presentation that are imperceptible to outsiders, but are the result of emotional intelligence training, and are that extra ingredient that ultimately edges your team ahead of competitors. 

Gaining and Maintaining Consent 

Gaining and Maintaining consent in selling scenarios is an example of emotional intelligence training in action. Let's paint two pictures to illustrate how consent can change outcomes. First, you are in a SaaS sales demo and you are greeted, seated, and then the presentation starts immediately with a number of solutions following a synopsis of the discovery conversation. Here is an alternate scenario, you are greeted, you are seated, and the account executive outlines the meeting objectives, then a solutions architect asks a series of questions to get an idea of an organization's objectives to direct the presentation in a pace and with an order of importance as it is agreed to by the audience. 

One approach is straightforward and does “technically” present solutions to meet the organizational objective. The second may appear to put the client completely in the drivers seat, which might get a knee jerk reaction from anyone in solutions that the demo will go off rails, what really happens when you get answers to questions and give the clients space to voice perspectives? Did you lose control of the meeting or did you GAIN consent to present? Consent is the permission to and encouragement to proceed with presenting your solutions. Maintaining consent is continually checking in with the audience so that they have the understanding that this is for their benefit and they do have control. Where there isn’t consent to present solutions, you will be less likely to get cooperation throughout the engagement. 

Communication 

How do you get better at obtaining and maintaining consent in client engagements without losing control of the presentation? Mastery of soft skills and through EQ training. Each of our programs at 2Win global teaches pre sales engineers, account executives, and customer success managers, how to master their communication and build more emotional connections through storytelling, asking questions, and using non verbal cues. Professionals learn to time engagements and read their audience to understand when they can take the reins and deliver a solution. The concert of all of these skills in action is nothing short of a symphony, but again the individual skills in action are imperceptible. 

Being an expert communicator is learned. It takes hours and hours of practice, even if you are naturally comfortable in front of audiences. The skills required to first gain consent of an entire audience and then direct them through sometimes complicated technical solutions using high level analogies to simplify the concepts is absolutely learned. This is the expertise we offer at 2Win and what we are famous for in SaaS sales training. But how does gaining audience consent, then clearly communicating value in simple terms, going to impact our specific measures of success? 

The Buy In 

If we go back to these two scenarios, let’s look at the ending. What do you imagine a team has felt at the end of the first scenario, assuming that all things being equal, the team did communicate solutions, but failed to gain consent, and capture audience attention? Without consent to move forward initially, there is likely not going to be a call to advance a deal. Whereas, in the second approach, the entire team seeks consent at each level of the engagement from showing solutions to the end, in which they again seek consent to present next steps. This is where you get a buy-in to the solutions your team presents. 

Sales methodologies offer many different strategies for advancing deals at this stage and closing with next steps. In a software sales presentation, the demonstration portion of the sale is one of the most critical and can make or break the sale. It is especially important that the presales or enablement professionals be trained in soft skills that expertly maneuver not only their demo, but obtain consent and make an emotional connection with the audience. Techniques for getting a buy in and closing by presales are not innate, they come with years of practice or emotional intelligence training. 

2Win Global Training programs are grounded not only in science, but by decades of global experience with some of the biggest names in software and technology. Where technology continues to advance and offer new solutions with not always clear integrations, the need for this very specific set of training continues. Are your teams trained for EQ or are you relying solely on IQ? 

Reach out to 2Win! 

Storytelling Business Workshop

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