Solution architects, also known as presales and sales engineers, are professionals who represent vendors throughout the technical sales process. Sellers rely on them to help close business deals with buyers.

Solution architects typically possess a broad set of technical, sales, and business skills that enable them to become the trusted technical advisor with the buyer. Working closely with account executives in the sales organization, solution architects clearly map the value of the product(s) and solution(s) they sell by understanding four ways in which their offering can meet or exceed the buyer’s needs. Let’s look at these areas in more detail to better understand what the solution architect must master to be the trusted technical advisor.

  • Business Architecture. Solution architects must understand the buyer’s business objectives so they can more effectively position the product(s) and solution(s) they sell in a manner that will contribute to desired business outcomes. Master business empathy to obtain the technical win.
  • Information Architecture. Solution architects need a deep understanding of the current and desired information workflow and process that the buyer experiences to know how the product(s) and solution(s) being sold will help the buyer be more successful. Understand how to enhance current workflows.
  • Application Architecture. Solution architects who map the buyer’s use cases to how they can be easily applied to the product(s) and solution(s) application sold will more clearly differentiate how the offering can make the buyer’s company more competitive. Convey how your application makes the buyer’s life better.
  • Technology Architecture. Solution architects cement trust with the buyer by demonstrating what differentiates the underlying technology architecture of the product(s) and solution(s) in terms of scalability, availability, performance, flexibility, interoperability, and security. Effectively deliver your “under the hood” differentiators.

Solution architects can master these four areas by gaining industry experience, becoming familiar with the product(s) and solution(s) they represent, focusing on external business and technical training, and utilizing solution architecture tools specifically designed to help them succeed at their job.

For example, solution architecture tools, like presales productivity platforms, can help these technical sales professionals apply their domain expertise through various steps within the technical sales process and automate mundane tasks, such as data entry in a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Ultimately, these tools enable them to focus on activities that matter, in particular technical selling.

People buy from people they trust. And technical buyers buy from the most trusted technical advisor — the solution architect — who can most effectively position their product(s) and solution(s) to meet the business, information, application, and technology needs of the buyer.